[Gnso-epdp-team] [Ext] Purpose O (Research) - informal small group

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Fri Nov 16 04:03:19 UTC 2018

Somewhat related to OCTO's use, as a result of the first WHOIS Review ICANN instituted an Accuracy Reporting System to track WHOIS accuracy. The program has been on hold since May and we need to consider what can be done to re-institute it. With the general lack of WHOIS visibility, this program is even more important. I mentioned this in LA, but it seems to have dropped between the cracks.


At 15/11/2018 09:54 PM, Benedict Addis wrote:
* Team copied *

Dear Thomas,

Thank you for speaking with me yesterday about the Research purpose. In answer to your second question, I have clarified in the document that the registry will pseudonymise registration data before it is transmitted to ICANN.

Regarding your first question, I have spoken to both current and former members of the OCTO team. They have provided the following additional input:

"Octo used registration data as part of LE [Law Enforcement] training.

Like other opsec [operational security] practitioners we used reg[istration] data when collaborating with public/private sector investigators.

We also used it when we were invited to work with Compliance on a particular complaint."


"[we] used full whois when we initiated our own investigations but that activity was self-directed not explicitly part of SSR role and remit. I also used whois to report phishing and brand infringements against ICANN.

Lastly I used whois as part of research into bulk registrations and other consensus policy or registrar practices that had undesirable or unintended consequences."

I should note that prior to 25th May, OCTO used public whois data. Since then, this work is on hold.

Lastly, I’m sorry that this document is reaching you at the 11th hour. I have been waiting for guidance from ICANN before sending it, which was requested over a month ago.


On 5 Nov 2018, at 21:36, Thomas Rickert <thomas at rickert.net<mailto:thomas at rickert.net>> wrote:

Thanks, Benedict!

Let me reiterate my input, which I think needs to make its way into the document or in a covering note. To be clear, I am not questioning that we need to look into ways to enable ICANN to do research, but I am still unclear as to what their requirements are do to research.

More input from those conducting the research is required, especially on the questions:
What data is actually required for research purposes?
Would it not be sufficient to have pseundonymized data?


Am 05.11.2018 um 22:29 schrieb Berry Cobb <mail at berrycobb.com<mailto:mail at berrycobb.com>>:

Hi Benedict,

Thank you for the update.  I think it will be important to get this to the list for the full group’s consideration.  Afterwards, I’ll make a few cosmetic updates and post on the wiki.

Thank you.


Berry Cobb
GNSO Policy Consultant

From: Benedict Addis [mailto:bee at theale.co.uk]
Sent: Monday, November 5, 2018 15:38
To: Berry Cobb
Cc: farzaneh badii; Marika Konings; Thomas Rickert; Anderson, Marc; Emily Taylor; matt at brandsight.com<mailto:matt at brandsight.com>; Amr Elsadr; Kurt Pritz; Caitlin Tubergen
Subject: Re: [Ext] Purpose O (Research) - informal small group

Dear Berry,

Thanks for your message, and thank you everyone for your time.

I’ve updated the workbook to incorporate the feedback from Farzaneh and Thomas.

Essentially, I have clarified that the registry will pseudoymise registration data before it is transmitted to ICANN.


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