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EDRi booklets

Whois data

Prague ICANN meeting to discuss Whois data

20 June, 2012

An ICANN meeting will be held in Prague between 24-29 June 2012, where issues and topics impacting users, consumers and registrants, like whois access and the extension of domain space with ongoing new gTLD program, will be discussed. As a reminder, ICANN is an Internet governing body managing mainly IP addressing and domain names and which is implementing a multi-stakeholder model, bottom-up and consensus-based policy-making process .

ICANN as an organization still needs important improvements on accountability, transparency and public interest aspects and also in the involvement of the civil society, activists and academics.

ICAAN supports custom domains and discusses whois privacy issues

2 July, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

During its 32nd International Public Meeting in Paris of 22-26 June, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved the proposal to expand the world's Domain Name System.

Dr Paul Twomey, ICANN's president and CEO, said in a statement: "The Board today accepted a recommendation from its global stakeholders that it is possible to implement many new names to the Internet, paving the way for an expansion of domain name choice and opportunity. (...) The potential here is huge. It represents a whole new way for people to express themselves on the Net. It's a massive increase in the 'real estate' of the Internet."

"This was an extremely successful meeting that will be remembered as a

Whois privacy problems not solved by ICANN

7 November, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

ICANN meeting that took place last week (29 October - 2 November 2007) in Los Angeles was expected to decide on the WHOIS database privacy problems. But unfortunately the decision taken was just to make further studies on the matter, despite the already seven years of discussions on this topic.

The need for WHOIS reform has been a hot topic for some years in the civil society and some ICANN structures. An EPIC & NGO Letter to ICANN Board on Need for Whois Reform sent on 30 October 2007 asks "for changes to WHOIS services that would protect the privacy of individuals, specifically the removal of registrants' contact information from the publicly accessible WHOIS database."

Deadline public comments on ICANN whois policy

16 June, 2004

Under rules established by ICANN, any entity that registers a domain name has to provide contact information that can be queried through the WHOIS service - by any data user and for any legitimate purpose. Data users remain anonymous, and there is no enforcement of the few limitations imposed on using the data.

This policy is currently up for review. Three separate task forces are dealing with access modes to WHOIS data, with a review of data elements, and with data accuracy enforcement. Preliminary reports from these Task Forces are open for public comment, until 5 July 2004.

On access and data elements, representatives from ICANN's Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC, representing non-commercial domain name holders) and At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC, advocating the interests of individual Internet users) have worked to replace unaccountable and anonymous access to sensitive data by a model that is designed to balance data users' and data subjects' interests. Core design goals here are to enable accountability of data users, and to make sure that WHOIS does not become a tool exclusively available to intellectual property-holders and other corporate interests.

NGOs urge ICANN to safeguard privacy

5 November, 2003

More than 50 consumer and civil liberties organisations from around the world have written to ICANN to urge the organisation to limit the use and scope of the WHOIS database to its original purpose - the resolution of technical network issues - and to establish strong privacy protections based on internationally accepted privacy standards. The WHOIS database broadly exposes domain registrants' personal data to a global audience.

The NGOs urge ICANN to consider their views on the use of WHOIS data. The letter asks for purpose limitation so that data are not going to be used for purposes that they were not originally submitted for. The letter also insists on a possibility for individuals to opt-out from the publication of their data in the public accessible WHOIS database.

Opinion EU data protection authorities on WHOIS data

19 July, 2003

The associated European data protection authorities (the Article 29 Working Party) issued a formal opinion on WHOIS directories. These directories associate social information (like holder's identity and contact information) with network identifiers such as domain names or IP addresses.

The opinion is focused on domain name WHOIS, especially the fact that personal data about individual domain name holders are publicly accessible.

The working party notes that the original purpose of making these data publicly available -- finding contact points for addressing technical problems in operating the internet -- is legitimate.

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