WHOIS Recommendations related to accuracy of data
10 January 2003
3.7.7 Registrar shall require all Registered Name Holders to enter into an electronic or paper registration agreement with Registrar including at least the following provisions:
126.96.36.199 The Registered Name Holder shall provide to Registrar accurate and reliable contact details and promptly correct and update them during the term of the Registered Name registration, including: the full name, postal address, e-mail address, voice telephone number, and fax number if available of the Registered Name Holder; name of authorized person for contact purposes in the case of an Registered Name Holder that is an organization, association, or corporation; and the data elements listed in Subsections 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11.
18.104.22.168 A Registered Name Holder's willful provision of inaccurate or unreliable information, its willful failure promptly to update information provided to Registrar, or its failure to respond for over fifteen calendar days to inquiries by Registrar concerning the accuracy of contact details associated with the Registered Name Holder's registration shall constitute a material breach of the Registered Name Holder-registrar contract and be a basis for cancellation of the Registered Name registration.
22.214.171.124 Any Registered Name Holder that intends to license use of a domain name to a third party is nonetheless the Registered Name Holder of record and is responsible for providing its own full contact information and for providing and updating accurate technical and administrative contact information adequate to facilitate timely resolution of any problems that arise in connection with the Registered Name. A Registered Name Holder licensing use of a Registered Name according to this provision shall accept liability for harm caused by wrongful use of the Registered Name, unless it promptly discloses the identity of the licensee to a party providing the Registered Name Holder reasonable evidence of actionable harm.
3.7.8 Registrar shall abide by any specifications or policies established according to Section 4 requiring reasonable and commercially practicable (a) verification, at the time of registration, of contact information associated with a Registered Name sponsored by Registrar or (b) periodic re-verification of such information. Registrar shall, upon notification by any person of an inaccuracy in the contact information associated with a Registered Name sponsored by Registrar, take reasonable steps to investigate that claimed inaccuracy. In the event Registrar learns of inaccurate contact information associated with a Registered Name it sponsors, it shall take reasonable steps to correct that inaccuracy.
1. ICANN devote adequate resources to enforce the WHOIS contractual obligations above
2. ICANN ask registrars to identify, by a date certain, a reliable contact point to receive and act upon reports of false WHOIS data. ICANN should encourage registrars to (i) provide training for these contact points in the handling of such reports, and (ii) require re-sellers of registration services to identify and train similar contacts.
3. ICANN should post registrar contact points on its web site (perhaps on the list of accredited registrars). It should also encourage registrars to take reasonable steps to make their own contact points publicly available, such as by posting this information on the registrar’s home page, including it on the page displayed in response to a query to the registrar’s Whois, and/or in other ways.
4. ICANN should continue to maintain an optional and standardized complaint form on this issue in the internic.net site. Registrars, registries and re-sellers should be encouraged to provide a link to this site. In order to better ensure follow up, the complaint form should supply a "ticket number" for the complaint and should be designed so ICANN receives a copy of the registrars' response to the complaint (i.e., the form should incorporate a simple, automated mechanism for the registrar to report back to ICANN on the outcome of complaints).
5. ICANN should remind registrars that "willful provision of inaccurate or unreliable information" is a material breach of the registration agreement, without regard to any failure to respond to a registrar inquiry. A functional definition -- based on the actual usability of contact details -- should be used for “inaccurate or unreliable”.
6. ICANN should clearly state to registrars that "accepting unverified 'corrected' data from a registrant that has already deliberately provided incorrect data is not [not "may not be," as the advisory now states] appropriate." Accordingly, where registrars send inquiries to registrants in this situation, they should require not only that registrants respond to inquiries within 15 days but that the response be accompanied by documentary proof of the accuracy of the "corrected" data submitted, and that a response lacking such documentation may be treated as a failure to respond. The specifics of acceptable documentation in this situation should be the subject of further discussions.
7. ICANN should work with registrars, over the next 6 months, to monitor and collect more extensive data on the specific impact of the 15 days period in RAA 126.96.36.199, and its actual implementation by registrars, on good faith registrations, in particular from developing countries, that are subject to accuracy inquiries.
8. ICANN should encourage registrars and their agents to take steps to remind registrants of their obligations to submit and maintain complete and accurate contact data at appropriate points, including but not limited to the time of renewal of a registration.
9. ICANN should also take steps to include information about the obligation of registrants to submit and maintain complete and accurate contact data on ICANN’s websites at appropriate locations, and consider other ways to educate registrants on this issue.
10. ICANN should encourage Registrars to develop, in consultation with other interested parties, “best practices” concerning the “reasonable efforts” which should be undertaken to investigate reported inaccuracies in contact data (RAA Section 3.7.8).
11. Registrars must require Registrants to review and validate all WHOIS data upon renewal of a registration. (effectively an extension of RAA clause 188.8.131.52 above) The specifics of required validation remain to be determined by this Task Force or another appropriate body.
12. When registrations are deleted on the basis of submission of false contact data or non-response to registrar inquiries, the redemption grace period -- once implemented -- should be applied. However, the redeemed domain name should not be included in the zone file until accurate and verified contact information is available. The details of this procedure are under investigation in the Names Council's deletes task force.
13. (derived from recommendation 6 above) When registrars send inquiries to registrants regarding the accuracy of data under clause 3.7.8 of the RRA, they should require not only that registrants respond to inquiries within 15 days but that the response be accompanied by documentary proof of the accuracy of the "corrected" data submitted, and that a response lacking such documentation may be treated as a failure to respond.
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