neric entry (for a fee). Thus, changes to the Whois process need to be conceived in a systematic way that accounts for the varying legitimate perspectives. The example of local telephone directories is offered for illustrative purposes only. The committee is not recommending this specific model per se, although the analogy can also be helpful since personal data (name, address, and phone number) are made publicly available through printed (and now online) directories, just as they are through Whois services.

Recommendation: Future systems that support Whois data management and access should be designed to allow for gradations in access while maintaining some degree of free access to Whois information. The Whois protocol will have to be replaced to accommodate the desired gradations in access.136


The IETF had, by October 2004, approved as “standards-track” documents (see Box 3.3) several elements of a proposed replacement protocol, which is called IRIS and defined by the CRISP Working Group, that will implement this capability. The protocol also addresses most or all of the other perceived deficiencies of the Whois protocol, including its inability to deal with non-ASCII characters. More detail on those deficiencies is available in the statement of requirements for the new protocol in A. Newton, “Cross Registry Internet Service Protocol (CRISP) Requirements,” RFC 3707, February 2004, available at <>. However, in May 2005 it was still unclear how long it would take for all the elements to be approved, published, and implemented.

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