ICANN published plan for domain name Thick Whois in .com and .net

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) published [PDF, 66 KB] a proposed plan for implementing policy recommendations regarding Thick Whois. The plan requires gTLDs currently providing thin Whois services – .COM, .NET and .JOBS – to transition to thick Whois. Comments will be accepted until 23:59 UTC on 15 December 2016.

All New gTLDs are using thick whois since their launch in early 2014. Many of the older gTLDs, like .org, .biz, .info, have been using thick whois for more than 10 years now.

Thin and Thick Registration Data are defined as follows:

  • Thin (Registration): domain name for which the Registry Operator maintains and provides only technical information (e.g., name servers, statuses, creation date) and the Sponsoring Registrar associated with the domain name. Contact information for these domain names is maintained by the sponsoring Registrar.
  • Thick (Registration): domain name for which the Registry Operator stores all the registration data elements that enable it to comply with WHOIS (available via port 43) and web-based directory services requirements described in Section 1 of Specification 4 of the “Base Registry Agreement approved on 9 January 2014” (“Base Registry Agreement”) and the Registry Registration Data Directory Services Consistent Labeling and Display Policy.

You can comment on the plan here.

The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) policy recommendations state that,

“The provision of thick Whois services, with a consistent labeling and display as per the model outlined in specification 3 of the 2013 [Registrar Accreditation Agreement], should become a requirement for all gTLD registries, both existing and future.” ICANN and a community-based Implementation Review Team have determined that consistent labeling and display and thick Whois should be addressed separately. A revised version of the Registry Registration Data Directory Services Consistent Labeling and Display Policy was posted for public comment on 21 October 2016.

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About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.


  1. Justification ?

  2. Verisign may point to the implementation of thick whois – which is an extra chore, however small – in order to argue for a price increase. So thick whois may be better for Verisign after all. And a mixed blessing for registrants.

    We shall see.

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