ICANN to Undertake Four Whois Studies

Studies to examine how whois is used — and misused.

ICANN announced it will spend $530,000 to undertake four separate studies of whois. The studies are partially a result of a request by the Governmental Advisory Committee in 2008.

1. Misuse of whois – how people misuse whois information, such as for marketing and spamming purposes.

2. Whois Registrant Identification – classify the various types of entities that register domains, including natural
persons, various types of legal persons and Privacy and Proxy service providers.

3. Whois Proxy and Privacy “Abuse” – will compare these services and how often “bad actors” use them, also comparing this rate of abuse to other “tools” such as falsified Whois data, compromised machines,
and free web hosting.

4. Whois Proxy and Privacy Relay and Reveal Study – measuring how these services respond to requests.

ICANN expects the studies to take between four and twelve months to complete.

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