In response to requests from the GNSO Council to gather data to inform future WHOIS policy development activities, ICANN has commissioned a series of studies to evaluate different aspects of WHOIS. This study, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, uses Whois to classify entities that register gTLD domain names, including natural persons, legal persons, and Privacy/Proxy service providers. Study findings are intended to provide raw data needed to understand how entities that register and use gTLD domain names identify themselves in Whois, including (but not limited to) domains registered Privacy/Proxy services and domains engaged in potentially commercial activity. This empirical data will not only enable Council to respond to GAC questions, but will also create a baseline for evaluating potential Whois policy changes.
Using associated Internet content, the study classifies entities using those domains, and observed potentially commercial activities. These findings will help the community understand how Registrants identify themselves in Whois. NORC presented their results in a webinar on 6 March 2013. The Whois Registrant Identification Study Final Report [PDF, 535 KB] takes into account public comment received on the Draft Report (www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/whois-regid-15feb13-en.htm).
For more information on the WHOIS Studies, please see: gnso.icann.org/issues/whois/studies.
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