.us Adopts Resolution on Whois
Date: Tuesday January 21 2003, @03:03PM
Topic: Privacy

The .us policy council sent out a note today to members of the .us Policy Forum mailing list advising that the council adopted a resolution on Whois. Unfortunately, both the email and the web version got a bit mangled, so I've attached a clean text to the end of this story.

Basically, the resolution asks Neustar, the .us operator, to comment on Michael Palage's draft policy statement (also below). Palage argues that whatever the global whois policy, a very tough policy will be needed for kids.us...although neither the resolution nor his paper make any distinctions in practice between .kids.us and the rest of the .us namespace.

Although this proposal still has a takedown policy for names alleged to be inaccurate and not proved otherwise, the registrant gets 30 (up from 15) days to reply with evidence of authenticity. This is an improvement.

But there are still some problems. First, it's all very well to point to the special issues involved in kids.us, but then why apply the Palage policy apply to all .us registrations, instead of just to kids.us? Second, there's this odd paragraph:

In the situation where the registrar receives a second inquiry regarding the accuracy of Whois data for a specific domain name, the Registrar shall require documented proof from the domain name registrant within the 30 day time frame or have the domain name placed on hold in accordance with the process described above;
I'm not exactly sure what this means - I think it means that each inquiry is treated the same, which is probably acceptable up to some point; there comes a time, though, when repeated queries are harassement...
Update: 01/23 02:22 GMT by M: The .us Policy Council has published the minutes of its January 9th meeting.

The following is a cleaned-up text of the message:

The following motion passed by a vote of 6-0-0, with two members of the Policy Council (Ms. Tennant and Mr. Love) not participating in the vote. Jeffrey J. Neuman US Policy Council, Secretariat.

Proposed Resolution US-0003:

Whereas, the .US Policy Council seeks to address the issue of accurate Whois data;

Whereas the .US Policy Council has developed an initial policy entitled "The Importance of Accurate Whois Data in the .US Top-level Domain" which can be found [below];

Resolved that in accordance with the .US Policy Council Charter, which can be found [below], the .US Policy Council requests comments from the usTLD Administrator, NeuStar, Inc. on this proposed initial policy by February 14, 2003.

The Importance of Accurate Whois Data in the .US Top-Level Domain

(Michael Palage)

The accuracy and access of Whois information is a topic of global discussion and importance. Although there are currently underway various initiatives by both the public and private sectors to address these problems, the accuracy of Whois information within the .US top-level domain is of critical importance with the potential launch of a .KIDS.US space. Although the specifics of this proposed "green space" have not been finalized, it is without question that the accuracy of data associated with any domain names registered in this space is of paramount concern.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently launched an initiative to assist third parties and registrars in identifying and correcting inaccurate Whois information. Information about this program can be found online at http://www.internic.net/cgi/rpt_whois/rpt.cgi . This program appears to have been positively received in the community, as ICANN to date has already received over 2,800 submissions. As with all initiatives, the first 2,800 submissions has identified certain issues that need to be addressed to ensure that appropriate safeguard mechanisms are in place that take into account the business realties of the marketplace to prevent against unintended deletions of domain names.

Listed below are the proposed modifications that should be incorporated into a formal Whois accuracy policy:

NeuStar will operate a web-based reporting mechanism ("Whois Accuracy Portal") by which parties can submit inquiries regarding the accuracy of Whois data;

NeuStar will employ appropriate automated mechanisms to prevent inappropriate submissions to the Whois Accuracy Portal, however, there shall be no requirement imposed on NeuStar to manually review these submissions prior to forwarding them to the registrar of record for investigation;

NeuStar will approve a standardized Whois Accuracy Inquiry Notice (WAIN) prepared by accredited registrars in consultation with domain name stakeholders regarding inquires about false or inaccurate Whois data;

NeuStar shall require that registrars send the standardized WAIN to their domain name registrant after receiving a notification of potentially false or inaccurate Whois data via the Whois Accuracy Portal;

Registrar or Registrant shall be required to respond to inquiries regarding the accuracy of the Whois data within 30 days (note: this is an increase from the current 15 day time period);

Registrars shall be required to comply with reporting mechanisms incorporated into the Whois Accuracy Portal to allow NeuStar to monitor registrar compliance;

Registrar specific information collected from this reporting mechanism shall not be made public, however, NeuStar may provide summary details regarding the success of the Whois Accuracy Portal.

Registrars that are unable to verify the accuracy of the Whois data or fail to receive instructions from the registrant within thirty (30) days shall delete the name at the end of the thirty-day period. The Registry will place the name in a redemption grace period during which the Registrant may only re-activate the domain name upon verification of the accuracy of its Whois data. At the end of the Redemption Grace Period the domain name shall be made available to the general public if it has not been reactivated;

Registrar shall not remove the domain name from hold status or renew the domain name until registrant has provided documented proof which the registrar shall be required to retain;

In the situation where the registrar receives a second inquiry regarding the accuracy of Whois data for a specific domain name, the Registrar shall require documented proof from the domain name registrant within the 30 day time frame or have the domain name placed on hold in accordance with the process described above;

NeuStar shall incorporate into the Whois Accuracy Portal a contractual requirement that third parties submitting Whois accuracy inquiries acknowledge that the submission is not intended to interfere with the lawful operations of the domain name registrant or registrar; and

The Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) and the Registry Registrar Agreement (RRA) should be appropriately amended to incorporate the following requirements.

Nothing in this policy shall prevent a registrar from taking action (i.e. deleting a domain name) in less than 30 days in appropriate circumstances, including but not limited to fraudulently submitted Whois data.

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This is essentially US law
by KarlAuerbach on Tuesday January 21 2003, @08:13PM (#11000)
User #3243 Info | http://www.cavebear.com/
Aside from the aspect that this law of non-privacy in .us applies to all of .us and not merely .kids.us, I wonder what parents will think when they discover that when their kids put up their own web sites in .us - or in .kids.us - that they will have to publish their addresses and phone numbers to anyone and everyone who might want to take a look.

I know women who have been stalked based on whois data. Who will be the first child molested or kidnapped because their address and phone number are required to be published on a public registry? To me this sounds like Megan's law in reverse.
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Give me a break!
by ldg on Sunday January 26 2003, @10:48AM (#11032)
User #2935 Info | http://example.com/
"NeuStar shall incorporate into the Whois Accuracy Portal a contractual requirement that third parties submitting Whois accuracy inquiries acknowledge that the submission is not intended to interfere with the lawful operations of the domain name registrant or registrar..."

Is anyone foolish enough to believe that if someone wanted to interefere they would be truthful about it?

There are many issues, such as how many times will a registrant be harrassed by submissions? At what point will registrars determine that the cost to administer this policy reaquires an increase in cost to registrants? If the registry's or registrar's interface has problems or a registrant is unavailable due to travel or business - or even circumstances beyond his control, such as involuntary email address changes - is the registrant to be continually harrassed?

Define innaccurate.
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  • This article comes from ICANNWatch
    http://www.icannwatch.org/

    The URL for this story is:
    http://www.icannwatch.org/article.pl?sid=03/01/22/0027255