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[nc-whois] WHOIS TF minutes June 13

[To: nc-whois@dnso.org]

Dear WHOIS Task Force members,

Please find the approved minutes in html and word version, of the
teleconference June 13,  2002.

Thank you.

DNSO Secretariat




JUNE 13, 2002







Andrews Sarah

Cade Marilyn Chair

De Saint Gery Glen  DNSO Secretariat

Djolakian Laurence

Elizaga Karen

Fausett Bret

Harris Tony

McKee Kristy

Metalitz Steve

Rahman Hakikur

Roessler Thomas

Stubbs Ken

Gail, Marilyn Cade’s assistant


Non- commercials not represented.



I.               Roll Call

II.             Status Report by Thomas of materials and reports submitted

III.           Outstanding work items needed, per Thomas, related to analysis

IV.             Report from each drafting group on findings, "gems," and recommendations

V.               Roundtable on file conclusions

VI.             Discussion of presentation format

VII.           Calendar and next steps

Agenda Item 2 Status report by Thomas of materials and reports submitted


Thomas reported that the important basketing was almost finished
Laurence and Troy have done the ISP Registrars and Registries respondents.

Waiting for the Non-commercials from Rom Mohan.

Kristy reported that she had received 1 from Steve, 1  on user requirements, and gems as well as final conclusions.
For Q. 20, reports have been submitted by Karen Marilyn and Thomas which have been sent to the list on June 12. There has been a gem collection from chapters 2 and 4 . Section 2 deals with user expectations and experience.

 Why should they be there or why shouldn’t be they be there.  A large topic was privacy and spam.

The method is that people look at the chapter and then report back with interesting contributions.

Q 8 is seen as unnecessary as a different basketing approach was suggested.

Agenda item 4.             Report from each drafting group on findings, "gems," and recommendations


Thomas reported that changes had been made to Chapter 1 and there was a sub chapter on participation.

The number of ccTLD and gTLD registrations were similar. 
Qualitative results showed that the ISP, Registrars and registries had a large number of domain names.

Marilyn felt that this had to be explained and thought that it could be because Registrars were holding a group of names as authorised by ICANN, to which Ken Stubbs said there could be other reasons, such as where a name is not paid for or in a status waiting for the customer to pay or because they want to auction them eventually.  Marilyn felt that the question was explicit in that it was “How many names have you registered not how many names are you holding.

It was decided to write an explanatory note.

Where there were large numbers of domain names registered it was thought best also to explain as they could be registrations by a third party such as a web hosting company.

General purpose of domain name registration:

A bar graph was used. In the individual category  15% mentioned for commercial purposes.


Questions 3 and 4: no changes made.

Not too much should be expected from the Statistical information.


Free form questions:

These were not analysed statistically.

It should be mentioned that about half 60% were looked at.

No changes to this section made during the call.


Steve Metalitz, Laurence Djolakian, Ken Stubbs and Hakikur Rahman group for:

User Expectations and experience qq 5 – 10

Steve reported for the group.

The draft reflects basketing up to Friday, June 7 the deadline.  Notes from the gTLD and GA reps notes have been left in and they should be asked how they would like them to be handled. It was suggested that they be dropped and ignored from the final draft and add if absolutely necessary at the end.

Q. 7 part of the question not evaluated has been marked in red, which was based on the fact that by the deadline, that the majority of responses from every category were included in non basket categories which may not be the case now.

Thomas suggested that this needs confirmation.

In addition he suggested looking for possible categories that could be merged as there were too many baskets.
Thomas suggested dividing the last part of Q. 8 into 2 sub paragraphs.

Q. 9 Steve said he would take into consideration Thomas’s comments sent to the list and modify them a little.

Chapter 20 should be looked at in connection with this chapter as it could add some substance.


Uniformity and centralisation


Karen Elizaga reported that there was still work to be done and it was hoped that this would be finished by Saturday.

Comments were posted to the list on June 10.  It was suggested that these be integrated.


Standard headings were supplied by Kristy for “gems”.


Chapter 4

Not much done and not much change to be expected.


The method of evaluation should be removed.


Some individual responses:

This section refers to “gems” and has been classified in topics with a footnote noting which submission the answer came from.

Thomas walked through this section.


Marilyn reminded the group that this section should be balanced against statistical data and would be useful in understanding what conclusions should be recommended.

Thomas was thanked for all the work that he had done.

Sarah would take the lead in drafting.


Oscar and Troy would be emailed to bring them up to date on the status.


How to handle Q. 20

Explain in the introduction how Q. 20 was handled.

Add the wording of the question

Note that a specific analysis of sub questions was not done, this only included topics for users to address.


Sarah, Marilyn Thomas, Kristy  would undertake the drafting of a paragraph.
Note the change in drafting team for Q. 20  Kristy will post this.


Marilyn suggested that before going on to Item 5 on the agenda, the major findings, chapter by chapter,  should be discussed.


Findings were defined as what people actually said.

Conclusions are what the task Force thinks.


It was suggested that Chapter 7 be labelled FINDINGS


Steve Metalitz started  on User Expectations.

-         Most people were satisfied with the data elements in the whois data base.

-         Small minority thought that there was too much and a small minority thought that there was not enough.

-         Half of the respondents encountered inaccurate data, though most thought that the data base was accurate.

-         Want more robust searchability for domain name and whois searching

In summary:

Most users are satisfied with data elements that there are.

Accuracy is important and some have been harmed by inaccurate data.


Chapter 2 (Steve Metalitz)


There was a great deal of legitimate use of WHOIS data

There was an effective identification process such as domain names, resolution tool problems.


Uniformity and Centralisation:


Strong support for uniformity,

Strong support for central access to data

Respondents support an approach that provides a central point of access for multiple whois.

Q. 15. Those who checked the box should be part of the Domain registration fee today.


Resale/Marketing and bulk access:


There is some ambiguity as half the respondents don’t like the status quo and most support the status quo of bulk access and want it to be extended to the ccTLDs.

Half want the marketing issue to be banned.


QQ 18 and 19 should be taken separately.

More than half the individuals gave the reply that they were interested in the option of having a domain name registered by a third party

Only a few felt that they should answer the question.


Troy, Sarah, Bret, Oscar, when drafting should take into account that the low response is due to the fact that it should not have applied to a lot of people.

It should have applied to the ISP, Registrars and Registries.


Q. 19

Marilyn felt that there is not enough understanding of real individuals that register domain names as to how they see the difference between the proliferation of a domain name for an e-mail address as encouraged by dot name and a domain name for putting up a web site.

There should be a footnote to say that the kind of commercial registrants could be webhosting companies, and others but probably not ISP or Registrars.

There is not enough information gathered from the questionnaire  to break out the distinction between resellers or web hosters and they could be captured in the commercial.


Agenda Item 5 – Conclusions


People do not like marketing

People do not like spam

Uniformity and consistency of multiple  WHOIS across ccTLDs and gTLDs.


QQ. 12 and 13

There was strong support for “ do you think that data elements should be provided for different ccTLD domains.

For Q; 13 there was stronger support for describing data elements in a comfortable manner.

The vast majority of people who answered the questionnaires want this.

Marilyn noted that the concept of uniformity was different from the word uniformity itself.

Thomas will collect data on “ have you ever registered a TLD.”


Were you ever harmed in dealing with WHOIS

Showed that inaccurate data should be solved with data accuracy and should also be extended to ccTLDs


Steve Metalitz suggested as an approach to the conclusions, dividing up the issues where there was satisfaction and where there was change wanted,

Such as:

-         Higher restrictions on commercial and marketing usage

-         Uniformity across the Domain name system

-         Searchability

-         Accuracy


For the gTLDs there is provision in the ICANN agreements with the Registrars and Registries dealing with accuracy and it is recommended  that  these provisions should be enforced


There should be more support to improve data accuracy


Validating data is not clear.  However, it was felt that ICANN has under its agreements the ability to require data validation and so ICANN should be consulted.  What is needed to get it done is the issue, rather than a question of authority.


Problem of timely update of data


Practical inability to change data


The conclusions should note that based on the input, people may give false information for a reason, because of private concerns.

Concern was expressed about access for marketing uses.


The conclusions should mention that a  very small number of people expressed concern that WHOIS information could be used for harmful purposes.


It should be noted that much of the spam is being generated by a different approach, and it is targeting IP addresses in blocks and is not related to WHOIS data. Accuracy in WHOIS data is not going to end spam.


Strong recommendation for restricting the WHOIS uses for marketing and Third party resale access.

The distinction should be made between WHOIS access and bulk access.

How should it be limited and to whom.


Snapnames restricts bulk access to non competing registrars.


Is there anything that should happen to the actual WHOIS?

Recommendation to leave it as it is.


Recommendation concerning the extension of search services available


Bulk access ma be acceptable to respondents if it comes with strong ties.


Traditional access seems to be the right approach.


Individual search services

If registered by one person there is a lot of information on the person and there could be a strong privacy invasion.

It should be noted that this has not been worked through in the survey.

Cultural conflicts should be mentioned.


Recommendation areas:



Market resale

Bulk access


Agenda Item 6 - Discussion of presentation format


The draft report should be posted before the Bucharest meeting and left open for a period of 4 weeks for public comment.


During comment period more outreach will be done.


Report before Bucharest by Tuesday next week.


Comments on the drafts.

Presentation on a template in the form of view graphs that can be used in Bucharest for presentations.


Findings and conclusions will include what next steps should be.


Non commercials should be contacted to find out where they are with their work.


Whois Presentations in Bucharest:

Monday 24 meeting and conference call to include those who cannot be there.

Wednesday 25 on GA agenda and NC agenda

Friday 27 ICANN Public Forum


The next call should be a work session on the Bucharest presentation and answer questions from the report, a “moot court”


There is an MP3 recording of the teleconference at:


Unfortunately the downloading takes a bit of time.


DNSO Secretariat

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