ICANN Seeking Volunteers for WHOIS Review

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ICANN announced yesterday that it is seeking volunteers for the WHOIS review team. To be more precise, the review is actually focussed on the “Registration Directory Service”, as the terminology and technology is evolving.

There are currently quite a few other “whois related” activities going on within ICANN’s policy development system. So why is ICANN launching yet another one?

The simple answer is that they have to. Under what is called the “Affirmation of Commitments”, often shortened to AOC, that ICANN signed back in 2009 the organisation committed to conducting regular reviews of certain “key” areas and whois (or its replacement) is one of them.

However there is a glimmer of light. The announcement notes that the review will be limited in its scope. While some people may raise an eyebrow at that assertion, the rationale behind this decision is sound. There are already multiple work streams within ICANN that are dealing with WHOIS. Adding another one into the mix that could conflict directly with the ongoing work wouldn’t make a lot of sense.

So who should volunteer for the review team?

ICANN had laid out the criteria for selection to include the following, though you don’t need to have all of them:

  • Prior member of the 1st WHOIS Review Team or was an active contributor to its work
  • Prior member of the Expert Working Group on Registration Directory Service
  • Familiarity with operation of the Domain Name System (DNS)
  • Familiarity with WHOIS registrant data collection, compliance, directory service (RDDS) management
  • Familiarity with Translation and Transliteration of WHOIS Contact Information
  • Familiarity with ICANN Procedure for Handling WHOIS Conflicts with Privacy Law
  • Familiarity with malware and abuse vectors and mitigations, including cybercrime
  • Familiarity with WHOIS Data Retention Waiver Process
  • Multistakeholder community understanding
  • Team spirit, adaptability, consensus-seeking attitude
  • Willingness to learn
  • Readiness to contribute
  • Capacity to reason objectively, putting aside personal opinions or preconceptions
  • Analytical skills

They’ll also be looking for both gender and geographic diversity.

Of course the problem with this review’s timing is that a lot of the people who would be best qualified to do it are already involved in the existing RDS work group.

A review of this nature will require quite a big time commitment with both regular conference calls as well as possibly multiple 2 -3 day face to face meetings.

If you’re interested the call for volunteers is open until 7 December 2016  20 January 2017 7 March 2017.


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6 Responses to ICANN Seeking Volunteers for WHOIS Review

  1. YamadaMedia October 31, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

    Why would people volunteer when there is $400 million currently in the bank?

    • Michele Neylon October 31, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

      All work groups, review teams etc., are unpaid voluntary positions.
      The money in the bank you’re referring to is in relation to auction proceeds, but ICANN’s overall reserves have been reduced quite a bit during the IANA transition.


  1. Off to Hyderabad for ICANN 57. What's on the Menu? - October 30, 2016

    […] Launch of the “whois review”. ICANN are obliged to conduct reviews of several key policies every few years, though the timing of this is a little contentious. […]

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