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[nc-whois] RE : DRAFT points on Final Conclusion (sec. VII)


As volunteered during our last conference call (but a few days later than my
stated deadline, for which I apologize), here is a first cut at points to
appear in the Final Conclusion section (VII) of our report.  As suggested on
the call, and to speed up review in light of our impending deadlines, I am
sending to the full list and not just to the section VII subgroup.  

This draft is an effort to boil down what we learned from the survey to a
page and a half of prose.  Inevitably it is "big picture" but I hope
accurate.  At least it gives us something to shoot at.  

Among other developments that could change this is the output of the other
groups as they finalize other sections, and the analysis of the Q. 20 free
form responses.  

For those who may have difficulty opening the Word attachment I paste the
draft text here.  

Steve Metalitz

DRAFT Bullets for Conclusion of Report (Sec. VII)

	The survey results are a useful addition to ICANN's decision-making
process.  While not a scientific sample, the 3000+ responses make this the
most comprehensive survey ever undertaken regarding Whois, and respondents
represent a good cross-section of Whois stakeholders.   Some of  the survey
results are ambiguous (due in great part to shortcomings in the survey
instrument), but many are clear-cut.   

	The survey documents the variety of legitimate uses frequently made
of Whois data.  Respondents rely on this data to support technical and
security operations; to determine the identity of a party responsible for a
site visited online; and to assist in the enforcement of intellectual
property rights, among other uses.   Effective identification and the
resolution of technical problems led the list when respondents were asked to
choose their main concern regarding Whois, with privacy issues identified by
a minority of respondents in all groups.   

	Survey respondents generally appeared satisfied with the data
elements now contained in Whois, with only relatively small minorities
asking either for more data or for suppression of data that is currently
collected.  Nearly half had encountered problems with inaccurate or
incomplete Whois data, though most thought that only a small percentage of
the database was involved.   Most respondents wanted the ability to search
Whois on data elements other than domain name.  

	Although fewer respondents used Whois in ccTLDs than in gTLDs, there
was strong support for the concept of uniformity of Whois data formats and
service throughout the domain name system.  A centralized point of access to
all Whois was also a popular idea with the strong majority of these
respondents, and most of them felt that registrars or registrants, rather
than Whois users, should pay for the cost of this service.  

	Many respondents appeared dissatisfied with the gTLD status quo in
terms of limitations on marketing uses of Whois data, which currently
operates on an opt-out basis.  Half the respondents thought such uses should
be banned altogether, with most of the other half choosing an opt-in regime
over opt-out or an unregulated environment.  However, when asked to react
specifically to the contractual bulk access rules now in effect, at least
half the respondents appeared to choose the status quo and to call for it to
be extended to ccTLDs, thus adding a note of ambiguity to the results.
Half the individual respondents expressed interest in the existing
provisions allowing registration of domains in the name of a third party,
but this option found less favor with most other groups of respondents.  

	[Question 20 summary to be provided based on Abel W. report]

The overall picture provided by the survey is one of general satisfaction
with the Whois status quo.  It appears to be an important service upon which
a number of segments of the community rely to carry out vital technical
functions and to provide needed transparency and accountability.  The main
areas of dissatisfaction seem to be the following:

	More robustly searchable Whois, including the ability to search on a
multiplicity of data elements.
	More uniformity of Whois services throughout the Domain Name System,
and a centralized point of access  to a multiplicity of cross-registry
databases
	Tighter restrictions on commercial and marketing uses of Whois data
	Improving the accuracy and reliability of Whois data

The survey results suggest that these are the areas in which the Names
Council should concentrate its efforts to articulate the evolving community
consensus with regard to Whois, while reaffirming the existing consensus
with regard to Whois data elements, public accessibility, and unrestricted
uses outside the commercial/marketing arena.    


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Domain Names Whois TF DRAFT final conclusion bullets sjm 051302.doc



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