[nc-transfer] Thoughts on the conference call - Part VI "Whois Accuracy"
On the issue of "Whois Accuracy"...
This is a double-edged issue that we must carefully handle lest we cut
ourselves. Another NC task force is dealing with the reliability of Whois at
length. This group has gone undertaken an extensive discovery process that
we should not interfere with. Current policy effectively deals with the
immediate problem. Registrars and registrants have an obligation to ensure
the accuracy of the Whois data. For practical purposes, registrars bear the
brunt responsibility while registrants remain reactive to the notifications
of inaccuracy (and threat of deletion) by the registrars.
Inaccurate Whois data can be an obstacle to efficient transfers and without
effective support of the relevant policies by registrars (and enforcement of
these policies by ICANN staff), transfers can and do become nearly
impossible for registrants to undertake. For instance, it is well documented
that one registrar previously used a fictitious email address for the
administrative contact instead of supplying accurate data to the registry.
Thousands of Whois records bear this fictitious address. If a registrant
with one of these fictitious addresses attempts to undertake a transfer, the
registrar in question still attempts to verify their consent by sending an
inquiry to the fictitious address - which inevitably fails because the
address doesn't exist.
While each of these affected registrants must ensure that their contact
information is correct, the registrar has an equal obligation to ensure that
their publication of the Whois is accurate. Technically, this particular
registrar is operating in violation of their ICANN agreement and should be
compelled, according to their contractual obligation, to undertake a massive
update to their database. Unless and until this is done, thousands of
registrants who may wish to take their business elsewhere are effectively