ICANN announced that it’s WHOIS Primer is now live. ICANN also has a Global WHOIS Lookup Tool that is currently in development and will display the full registrant data for all gTLD domain names (whether those gTLDs operate thin or thick WHOIS services).
ICANN is trying to improve WHOIS based on recommendations from WHOIS Review Team. The WHOIS Primer (available in all six UN languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) is designed to help the average domain name user better understand the framework surrounding WHOIS. The WHOIS Primer summarizes, at a high level, the numerous contracts, policies, protocols, and standards that collectively support today’s WHOIS system. It is written in an easy to read format, and deciphers contract legalese and technical specifications to assist the reader in understanding and using the WHOIS framework. Based upon the requirements of the 2013 RAA and the New gTLD Base Registry Agreement, the WHOIS Primer includes links to specific source documentation to assist those seeking to dig deeper into WHOIS. Please note that the Whois Primer is still in Beta.
Also published was a Draft Implementation Plan [PDF, 341 KB] for the Global WHOIS Lookup Tool currently in development. This Plan describes our proposed design for creating a common interface that overhauls the InterNIC Service to provide enhanced usability for consumers, including the display of full registrant data for all gTLD domain names (whether those gTLDs operate thin or thick WHOIS services). Phase I of the WHOIS Lookup Tool is expected to be live by the ICANN Singapore Meeting in March 2014.