[nc-whois] a question
Before we get started on the tabulation and assessment of the WHOIS survey
data, I have a question to ask.
The Revised VeriSign .com Registry Agreement: Appendix W states:
"Registry Operator agrees that one of the early goals of the Improvements is
to design and develop a Universal Whois Service that will allow public access
and effective use of Whois across all Registries and all TLDs."
It also states:
"Registry Operator further agrees that if it successfully designs and
develops the Universal Whois Service it will (a) make the Application Program
Interfaces necessary to produce software which can efficiently deploy and use
the Universal Whois Service available to applications developers on an open,
non-proprietary, standards-based and royalty-free basis."
It is my understanding that "applications developers" are not bound by ICANN
consensus policies. Once a centralized Universal Whois service is developed,
any marketing group that develops its own software applications could utilize
this Universal Whois to target a worldwide client base with commercial
If we seek to protect the rights of those who value privacy, a consensus
policy which defines the parameters of this Universal WHOIS must be developed
prior to the commencement of research and development of the Universal Whois
Service currently scheduled to be inaugurated no later than December 31, 2001
(as we must be reasonably fair to VeriSign which after all is committing its
own funds to this project).
I believe that we are fast approaching the point where a full Working Group
will be required. This Universal WHOIS will affect the daily lives of
millions of worldwide domain name holders, and several domain name policy
issues are at stake. The membership of this committee, even with the benefit
of preliminary data from Survey participants, cannot lay claim to
"consensus". We are too small a group, and there is no mechanism in place
that allows for outreach to impacted parties in a structured participatory
environment. The issues are too large, and the stakes too high to continue
limiting discussion to only the members of this committee.
Only a widely publicized Working Group can offer the range of commentary and
dialogue that is required to meet this challenge. The outreach being
conducted by VeriSign is not sufficient for this purpose.
At what point will you deem it proper to convene a Working Group as an
adjunct to your committee efforts?