A survey commissioned by Icann, shows the limits of the Whois service (Who is) used to check the availability of Internet domain names.
Over three-quarters of registered Internet domain names are incomplete, invalid or identified under a false name. Furthermore, it is not possible to recover 22% of website owners. This is shown by a survey conducted by the University of Chicago at the request of ICANN (ICANN), the Internet regulator, to check the accuracy of the results of the Whois service (pronounced ‘Who is?) used to trace the domain names and ensuring their availability. This report details a number of problems faced by organizations responsible for managing domain names of a TLD or IP addresses for a specific region (the registries).
The survey reveals that only 23% of the names and addresses are quite accurate, ie that they meet the criteria determined by the domain name management organization. 8% did not provide detailed information or are manifestly false name, and 14% are simply unreachable. Doug Brent, CEO of ICANN, this study is the first serious attempt to verify the accuracy of Whois service. “Domain Name Registration is worldwide.
Determine its accuracy is more than just assessing the validity of a name and an address. The survey checked the link between the declarant and the name / address that identifies it. In other words, it showed that it was possible to have a perfectly valid name and address, without having the certainty that they corresponded to the domain name registrant. »
Known issues but difficult answers
The Internet regulator, which has already stated its concern about the accuracy of Whois service, worked to regularly inform registrars of domain names (registrars) of misstatements. He also increased the number of its resources in this area. But Doug Brent said that at present, ICANN could not go further. “Any solution to improve the accuracy of Whois is closely related to the powers of ICANN, which today can not do anything but to investigate complaints of these inaccuracies,” he has and admitted. “Finding answers to this seemingly simple problem is, for years, a challenge to the ICANN community.
At the same time, too, solutions are considered by the defenders of intellectual property, legislators, experts confidentiality of private life and those using non-Latin alphabets, often with different objectives. “But things could soon change. Indeed, Doug Brent believes that the publication of the study will spark more debate on this subject. He also stressed that the commitments of ICANN alongside the US Department of Commerce, included a strengthening of the Whois service on policy and stated that it considered the periodic review of progress in this area as part essential.