ICANN Releases Upgraded Invalid Whois Reporting System

New system improves submissions and tracks registrar compliance.

ICANN has updated its Whois Data Problem Report System (WDPRS), which anyone can use to submit reports of inaccurate whois information on a domain name.

According to ICANN, the new system offers many improvements:

* More detailed information is captured from complainants to assist registrars in investigating Whois inaccuracies
* Duplicate reports regarding the same domain name are not accepted by the system
* Reports concerning domains already on hold are removed
* Greater capacity has been introduced to allow for bulk submissions of reports
* Processes have been put in place to assess registrar compliance with RAA Whois inaccuracy investigation requirements

The system is available on the Internic web site.

Some registrars, including GoDaddy, offer their own system for submitting invalid whois complaints on domains registered with them. When you do a whois lookup on GoDaddy it includes a link to “Report Invalid Whois”.

Most registrars will suspend domain names with invalid whois information if the owner doesn’t update the information in a timely manner. ICANN has sent breach notices to registrars that don’t follow up to invalid whois reports.

It’s important to only submit invalid whois complaints when you have verifiable information that the record is inaccurate. A domain owner not responding to an e-mail you send does not mean the whois is invalid — you must receive a bounce notice.


  1. says

    This is a GREAT feature – Whois information need to be kept up to date and this feature shall certainly help keep this information correct.

    I hope people use this and update there information.



  2. charlatan says

    Quote from – Robbie Ferguson – RegFeeNames.
    “Whois information need to be kept up to date and this feature shall certainly help keep this information correct.
    I hope people use this and update there information.”

    It is an interesting comment from you considering you hide behind Godaddy’s private whois.

  3. says

    I too think it’s a great feature. I found the old one to be quite archaic. I’ve only used it twice to report a name I wanted yet could not reach the person had all fake info so there was no way to reach them. There was no resolution to both issues. I hope ICAAN actually penalizes registrars that do not act upon a complaint within a reasonable time period.

  4. says

    ICANN has sent breach notices to registrars that don’t follow up to invalid whois reports.

    Oooh…! That must scare them! I have an equally effective strategy. Tell non-compliant registrars a scary story about werewolves!

  5. says

    We are apalled at all the invasive information that is required or forced upon lease holders. All these measures that you all think are good are nothing more than an intrusion of the rights of current lease holders.

    It makes it much easier for taking leases away than it does for protecting current lease holder rights. Are you people all serious or just guppies waiting to be filleted?

  6. Ricardo says

    I find what James said annoying. He couldn’t buy the domain so he punishes the domain owner.

    I agree with Jeff, all you are doing is giving “them” more tools to use against the passive domain owners.

    I had someone file a complaint because the potential buyer couldn’t get past my answering machine and I ignored the lowball email offers.

    All it does is make it easier for the registrar to take the domain away from you and then auction it off.

  7. Ricardo says

    More and more professional domainers are quietly buying or leasing a registrar to get away from the over reach of predatory registrars like Godaddy, Enom, etc.

  8. Oren says

    My question is – if the owner of the domain NEVER fixes his whois info, and it gets suspended, does the registrar have to release the domain? Or does it sit in this “suspended” purgatory?

  9. Andrew says

    @ Oren – the “preferred” method is for the registrar to suspend the domain until it expires, and then let it drop.

  10. Oren says

    If already suspended, can ICANN (or an interested party) force them to drop it sooner, if say it doesn’t expire until 2016?

  11. Andrew says

    @ Oren – registrars have the option of dropping it earlier, although it is ill-advised. Just do a search on this site for FamilyAlbum.com to see what happens when you do that :)

    If the domain is paid for for ten years, then the registrar may as well keep it there for the rest of the period even if it isn’t in use. It’s possible the registrant just forgot about it and will discover it while it is suspended.

  12. says

    this kind of feature is always welcome but what happens to domain owners using whois privacy services?
    is there anyway icann would be able to take care of that problem?
    i have had clients who have dubious account details but they get away with using whois privacy.
    -sohail roshni

  13. Andrew says

    @ sohail – if an email to a privacy service bounces, you can submit it through the tool. If they just don’t respond, you can’t do much UNLESS they are breaking a law. In that case most of the time you can get the domain whois uncovered through a UDRP or court order.

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