[council] Blog post: what's up with Whois

Marika Konings marika.konings at icann.org
Sun Oct 12 16:30:23 UTC 2014

For your information, please find below a blog post from Margie Milam in
relation to Whois Accuracy. Please note that the pilot study will be further
discussed during Monday's All Things Whois Session (see

Best regards,

What's Up with WHOIS?
After several years of reporting on the status of WHOIS related activities,
I have good news to share. WHOIS Accuracy Rates are slowly improving, as
reflected in the latest Preliminary Findings paper
relim-10oct14-en.pdf>  [PDF, 668 KB] published today by the National Opinion
Research Council (NORC) at the University of Chicago.

These findings suggest that there is still more work to be done to bring up
accuracy rates. After examining nearly 100,000 WHOIS records, NORC's
Preliminary Findings highlight important observations regarding the Pilot
* Operationally, Registrars under the 2013 RAA have more accuracy for email
addresses than Registrars under the 2009 RAA;
* New gTLDs have slightly better operational email accuracy rates than prior
* Prior gTLDs have more operational accuracy on telephone numbers, but the
two groups are equal on operational postal address accuracy.
The Preliminary Findings paper
relim-10oct14-en.pdf>  [PDF, 668 KB] describes the analysis conducted by
NORC, after collaborating with intergovernmental and private sector firms.
Relying on expertise from the Universal Postal Union, the UN agency
responsible for coordinating global postal policies, and commercial service
providers such as StrikeIron, DigiCert and Whibse, NORC applied the latest
technology available to validate email addresses, telephone numbers and
postal addresses to varying degrees, each at a syntactical and operational
level. This expertise is reflected in the methodology adopted by NORC in
assigning the different accuracy rates described in the Preliminary Findings

The purpose of the Pilot Study is to test assumptions using real data. The
methodology can be adjusted based upon the consultations in Los Angeles, as
well as the public comments received. The paper
relim-10oct14-en.pdf>  [PDF, 668 KB] is published for the LA Meeting to
demonstrate how ICANN's WHOIS Accuracy Reporting System (ARS) is being

The ARS, when fully developed, will produce periodic accuracy reports to
enable you to track whether policy changes or changing contract terms
produce measurable improvements in accuracy. It will also include a feedback
mechanism where potentially inaccurate records are forwarded to registrars
for action and it will include a tracking mechanism to see if the records
are appropriately updated. A full study report, with updated findings and
statistics, will be published for Public Comment following the ICANN Los
Angeles Meeting.

Join us in Los Angeles at the All Things WHOIS Session
<http://la51.icann.org/en/schedule/mon-whois>  to explore these findings in
detail, as well as to share your perspective on how the ARS should be
developed in the future. The session will also cover the latest developments
08oct14-en>  related to WHOIS Improvement activities, and it will explore
the future of WHOIS, in light of the Recommendations of the Expert Working
Group (EWG) on gTLD Directory Services
> . To learn more about the EWG's Recommendations from their Final Report
[5.11 MB], a series of short videos
<https://community.icann.org/display/WG/EWG+Multimedia+FAQs>  have been
recorded to answer key aspects of their Final Report
[5.11 MB].

We look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles.

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