WHOIS (pronounced as the phrase who is) is a query and response protocol that is widely used for querying databases that store the registered users or assignees of an Internet resource, such as a domain name, an IP address block, or an autonomous system, but is also used for a wider range of other information. The protocol stores and delivers database content in a human-readable format. The WHOIS protocol is documented in RFC 3912.
Posts about Whois
    • Why are you doing that Whois search? DENIC wants to know

      In a taste of what might be coming under EU privacy legislation, DENIC wants you to jump through some new hoops before it lets you see Whois data. When doing a Whois query on its web site today, the German ccTLD registry first asks you to answer the question: “How do you justify your legitimate interest in accessing the whois data?” It’s a multiple-choice question, with an ...

      Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncite- 10 readers -
    • DomainTools scraps apps and APIs in war on spam

      DomainTools is to scrap at least five of its services as it tries to crack down spam. It’s getting rids of its mobile apps, its APIs, and is to stop showing registrants’ personal information to unauthenticated users. CEO Tim Chen told us in an email at the weekend: The Android app is no longer supported. The iOS app will no longer be supported after February 20th.

      Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncite- 10 readers -
    • US and EU call for Whois to stay alive

      Government officials from both sides of the Atlantic have this week called on ICANN to preserve Whois as it currently is, in the face of incoming EU privacy law, at least for a select few users. The European Commission wrote to ICANN to ask for a “pragmatic and workable solution” to the apparent conflict between the General Data Protection Regulation and the desire of some f ...

      Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncite- 6 readers -
  • Three ways ICANN could gut Whois

    … ICANN has published three possible models of how Whois could be altered beyond recognition after European privacy law kicks in this May. Under each model, casual Whois users would no longer have access to the wealth of contact information they do under the current system. There may also be a new certification program that would grant access…

    Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncite- 10 readers -
  • Big changes at DomainTools as privacy law looms

    …, processing and sharing that data indefinitely, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the new law represents a possibly existential threat. But while Chen says he’s “very concerned” about GDPR, he expects the use cases of his enterprise customers to be protected. DomainTools no longer considers itself a Whois company, Chen said, it’s a security…

    Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncite- 21 readers -
  • How Whois could survive new EU privacy law

    … seems to have taken on board comments from registries and registrars, intellectual property lawyers and domain investors, none of which are particularly enthusiastic about GDPR and the lack of clarity surrounding its impacts. GDPR is an EU-wide law that gives much stronger protection to the personal data of private citizens. Companies that process…

    Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncitein How To's- 15 readers -
  • As .wed goes EBERO, did the first new gTLD just fail?

    … put a TLD in the emergency program if they fail to meet up-time targets in any of five critical registry functions. In this case, ICANN said that Atgron had failed to provide Whois services as required by contract. The threshold for Whois triggering EBERO is 24 hours downtime over a week. ICANN said: Registry operator, Atgron, Inc., which operates…

    Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncite- 9 readers -
  • ICANN: tell us how you will break Whois rules

    … of the increasingly panicky path towards reconciling ICANN’s contracts with the General Data Protection Regulation, the EU law that comes into full effect in a little over five months. GDPR is designed to protect the privacy of EU citizens. It’s generally thought to essentially ban the full, blanket, open publication of individual registrants…

    Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncitein How To's- 8 readers -
  • Open Whois must die, Europe privacy chiefs tell ICANN

    … domain name holders raises serious concerns regarding the lawfulness of such practice under the current European Data Protection directive (95/46/EC), especially regarding the necessity to have a legitimate purpose and a legal ground for such processing. Under the directive and GDPR, companies are not allowed to make consent to the publication…

    Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncite- 9 readers -
  • ICANN chief tells industry to lawyer up as privacy law looms

    … that it will “defer taking action” against any registrar or registry that does not live up its contractual Whois commitments, within certain limits. “GDPR is a law. I didn’t come up with it, it didn’t come from ICANN policy, it’s the law,” Marby said during ICANN 60 in Abu Dhabi last week. “This is the first time we’ve seen any legislation…

    Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncite- 14 readers -
  • Verisign and Afilias testing Whois killer

    … or domainer, in other words. As it happens, it’s highly possible that this kind of stratified Whois is something that will be legally mandated by the EU General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into effect next May. Tweet Tagged: .com, .info, .net, afilias, ICANN, pilot, rdap, verisign, whois …

    Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncite- 12 readers -
  • Amsterdam refuses to publish Whois records as GDPR row escalates

    … Two Dutch geo-gTLDs are refusing to provide public access to Whois records in what could be a sign of things to come for the whole industry under new European privacy law. Both .amsterdam and .frl appear to be automatically applying privacy to registrant data and say they will only provide full Whois access to vetted individuals such as law…

    Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncite- 11 readers -
  • Pilot program for Whois killer launches

    … ICANN is to oversee a set of pilot programs for RDAP, the protocol expected to eventually replace Whois. Registration Data Access Protocol, an IETF standard since 2015, fills the same function as Whois, but it is more structured and enables access control rules. ICANN said this week that it has launched the pilot in response to a request last…

    Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncite- 20 readers -
  • EFF recommends against new gTLDs

    …. These are both well-known EFF positions that the organization has expressed in previous publications. On the other two issues, the report recommends examining ccTLDs for those which don’t have to kowtow to local government speech regulations or publicly accessible Whois policies. In each of the four areas of concern, the report suggests taking…

    Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncite- 16 readers -
  • Ombudsman steps in after harassment claims in Whois group

    … that contravenes the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior and possibly the Community Anti-Harassment Policy”. The RDS working group is exploring the possibility of replacing the current Whois system, in which all data is completely open, with something “gated”, restricting access to authenticated individuals based on their role. Law enforcement agencies…

    Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncite- 17 readers -
  • ICANN loosens Whois privacy rules for registrars

    … ICANN has made it easier for registries and registrars to opt-out of Whois-related contractual provisions when they clash with local laws. From this week, accredited domain firms will not have to show that they are being investigated by local privacy or law enforcement authorities before they can request a waiver from ICANN. Instead, they’ll…

    Kevin Murphy/ DomainIncite- 20 readers -