Recommendations of the .com/.net/.org Whois Committee on Questions 1 and 2
(6 March 2001)

In a 1 December 2000 letter, ICANN Vice-President Louis Touton asked the .com/.net/.org Whois Committee to provide its recommendations on eleven issues concerning provisions of registrar agreements concerning Whois service. On 6 March 2001, the Committee presented the recommendations shown below on Questions 1 and 2. For convenience, Questions 1 and 2 are copied at the bottom of this web page.

Subject: .com/.net/.org Whois Committee recommendations in response to ICANN staff questions 1 and 2
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2001 18:34:47 -0500
From: "Rebecca Nesson" <rnesson@cyber.law.harvard.edu>
To: "Louis Touton" <touton@icann.org>
CC: <whoiscom@icann.org>

To the ICANN Staff,

The .com/.net/.org Whois Committee offers the following two recommendations in response to questions 1 and 2 of the ICANN Staff letter to the committee. In addition, we note our support for efforts by the ICANN Supporting Organizations to examine Whois service more fully. We expect that additional recommendations in response to the remainder of the questions posed by the ICANN Staff will be forthcoming soon.

Thank you,
Rebecca Nesson
Coordinator .com/.net/.org Whois Committee

Recommendation 1

In response to question 1 of Louis Touton's letter to the committee, we recommend that registrars provide Whois replies in a standard format.

Recommendation 2

In response to question 2 of Louis Touton's letter to the committee, we recommend phasing in as expeditiously as possible a standard Whois format that does not rely on TCP port 43, such as the XML-based format, which is described in detail in the Internet draft 'Whois Export and Exchange Format' of January 26, 2001. This standard should be developed in coordination with the IETF.

Question 1: Should registrars provide Whois replies in a standard format? Currently, registrars use a wide variety of formats for Whois responses. If a standard format were employed, it would simplify the efforts of registrars to provide a seamless, TLD-wide, domain-name-lookup capability. While this would not satisfy the long-delayed goal of restoring full TLD-wide Whois service, it would at least ameliorate the delay in achieving that goal.

Question 2: If a standard format is to be encouraged, what should it be?

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