ICANN Resolutions » Next Steps for the Internationalized Registration Data (WHOIS) Final Report
Important note: The Board Resolutions are as reported in the Board Meeting Transcripts, Minutes & Resolutions portion of ICANN's website. Only the words contained in the Resolutions themselves represent the official acts of the Board. The explanatory text provided through this database (including the summary, implementation actions, identification of related resolutions, and additional information) is an interpretation or an explanation that has no official authority and does not represent the purpose behind the Board actions, nor does any explanations or interpretations modify or override the Resolutions themselves. Resolutions can only be modified through further act of the ICANN Board.
Board receives and reviews the IRD Final (WHOIS) Report submitted by the IRD Working Group and next steps
Whereas, in 2012, the Board adopted an Action Plan [PDF, 265 KB] to address the recommendations of the first WHOIS Review Team, calling for ICANN to (i) continue to fully enforce existing consensus policy and contractual conditions relating to WHOIS, and (ii) create an expert working group to determine the fundamental purpose and objectives of collecting, maintaining and providing access to gTLD registration data, to serve as a foundation for a Board-initiated GNSO policy development process (PDP).
Whereas, the WHOIS Policy Review Team, in the WHOIS RT Final Report, [PDF, 1.44 MB] highlighted the need to define requirements and develop data models with the following recommendations:
"ICANN should task a working group…, to determine appropriate internationalized domain name registration data requirements and evaluate available solutions; at a minimum, the data requirements should apply to all new gTLDs, and the working group should consider ways to encourage consistency of approach across the gTLD and (on a voluntary basis) ccTLD space…"
"The final data model, including (any) requirements for the translation or transliteration of the registration data, should be incorporated in the relevant Registrar and Registry agreements …"
Whereas, to address these WHOIS Review Team recommendations, the Action Plan [PDF, 265 KB] called for a series of activities aimed at developing policies and a technical data model and framework for internationalizing WHOIS, including,
Convening of an expert working group (known as the IRD Working Group) to determine the requirements for the submission and display of internationalized registration data.
A GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP) to determine whether translation or transliteration of contact information is needed.
Whereas, in September 2015, the Board approved a new consensus policy developed by the GNSO related to the translation and transliteration of WHOIS contact data, for which the implementation planning is currently underway.
Whereas the IRD Working Group produced the IRD Final Report, [PDF, 268 KB] that includes the Data Model requested by the Board, and principles and requirements for internationalizing registration data (such as WHOIS).
Resolved (2016.03.10.05), the Board hereby receives the IRD Final Report [PDF, 268 KB] and thanks the IRD Working Group for the significant effort and work exerted that produced the proposed data model for internationalizing registration data as reflected in the IRD Final Report.
Resolved (2016.03.10.06), the Board requests that the GNSO Council review the broader policy implications of the IRD Final Report [PDF, 268 KB] as they relate to other GNSO policy development work on WHOIS issues, and, at a minimum, forward the IRD Final Report [PDF, 268 KB] as an input to the GNSO PDP on the Next Generation Registration Directory Services to Replace WHOIS that is currently underway.
Resolved (2016.03.10.07), the President and CEO, or his designee(s), is directed to work with the implementation review team for the new consensus policy on translation and transliteration to consider the IRD Working Group's data model and requirements and incorporate them, where appropriate, to the extent that the IRD's recommendations are consistent with, and facilitate the implementation of the new consensus policy on translation and transliteration.
Why is the Board addressing the issue?
This resolution continues the Board's attention to the implementation of the Action Plan [PDF, 265 KB] adopted by the Board in response to the WHOIS Review Team's recommendations. [PDF, 1.44 MB]This resolution arises out of a series of efforts identified in the Action Plan commenced at the Board's request with the aim of internationalizing WHOIS contact data. It also facilitates the implementation of the recently adopted and related consensus policy on translation and transliteration of WHOIS data approved by the Board on 28 September 2015.
What is the proposal being considered?
Under the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC), ICANN is committed to enforcing its existing policy relating to WHOIS (subject to applicable laws), which "requires that ICANN implement measures to maintain timely, unrestricted and public access to accurate and complete WHOIS information…." The AoC obligates ICANN to organize no less frequently than every three years a community review of WHOIS policy and its implementation to assess the extent to which WHOIS policy is effective and its implementation meets the legitimate needs of law enforcement and promotes consumer trust. Under this timeline, the second WHOIS Review Team is to be convened in late 2016.
In 2012, the first WHOIS Review Team recommended in its Final Report [PDF, 1.44 MB] that the Board take measures to improve WHOIS. Its findings state: "work needs to proceed with priority in coordination with other relevant work beyond ICANN's ambit, to make internationalized domain name registration data accessible." In response, the Board adopted a two-prong approach that simultaneously directed ICANN to (1) implement improvements to the current WHOIS system based on the Action Plan [PDF, 265 KB] that was based on the recommendations of the WHOIS Review Team, and (2) launch a new effort, achieved through the creation of the Expert Working Group, to focus on the purpose and provision of gTLD directory services, to serve as PDP on the Next Generation Registration Directory Services to Replace WHOIS commenced in January 2016 with a call for volunteers.
The effect of the Board's action today, i.e. forwarding the IRD Final Report [PDF, 268 KB] to the GNSO for appropriate follow-up policy work, is aimed at internationalizing WHOIS contact data, as part of the Action Plan, [PDF, 265 KB] in order to improve WHOIS and enable non US-ASCII script to be included in WHOIS records. At a minimum, the PDP on the Next Generation Registration Directory Services to Replace WHOIS should take into account the IRD Final Report recommendations.
Today's action also instructs the President and CEO to consider the IRD's technical data model & non-policy related requirements, as appropriate, as part of the implementation of the new consensus policy on translation and transliteration of registration data, to the extent that its findings are consistent with the new consensus policy, and facilitate its implementation.
What factors did the Board find to be significant?
Internationalization of the Internet's identifiers is a key ICANN priority. Much of the currently accessible domain name registration data (DNRD) (previously referred to as WHOIS data) is encoded in free form US-ASCII script. This legacy condition is convenient for WHOIS service users who are sufficiently familiar with languages that can be submitted and displayed in US-ASCII to be able to use US-ASCII script to submit registration data, make and receive queries using that script. However, this data is less useful to the WHOIS service users who are only familiar with languages that require script support other than US-ASCII for correct submission or display.
The data model recommended by in the IRD Final Report [PDF, 268 KB] creates a standard framework for submitting and displaying internalized registration data and facilitates the implementation of the new consensus policy on translation and transliteration of contact data.
What significant materials did the Board review?
The Board reviewed the IRD Final Report [PDF, 268 KB] and other briefing materials submitted by staff.
Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN (strategic plan, operating plan, or budget)?
The work to improve and internationalize WHOIS is not expected to require additional resources beyond those included in the Board-approved FY16 Operating Plan and Budget, and the FY17 Operating Plan and Budget, when adopted.
Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?
This action is not expected to have an immediate impact on the security, stability or resiliency of the DNS, though the outcomes of this work may result in positive impacts, since improvements in the accessibility of WHOIS in multiple scripts and dialogues may enable the resolution of technical issues affecting the security, stability or resiliency of the DNS.
Is public comment required prior to Board action?
As this is a continuation of prior Board actions, this is an Organizational Administrative Action, for which public comment is not necessary prior to adoption