Intentionally Invalid Whois Data

Edelman, Benjamin G. “Intentionally Invalid Whois Data.” US House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, September 2003.

As the DNS is currently structured, registrants are under only an honor system to provide accurate Whois data. Meanwhile, it makes no economic sense for registrars to enforce Whois accuracy. The result is that in terms of accuracy, when compared with other compilations of public data (such as driver’s licenses and trademark registrations), the Whois database is substantially fiction. I suggest 1) a reduction in the lenience of opportunity to “cure” intentionally invalid data, 2) for registrants with multiple domain names with intentionally invalid data, forfeiture of all domains when any are to be cancelled, 3) statistically valid surveys of registrars’ Whois accuracy, with public reporting of each registrar’s accuracy, 4) public reporting of Whois accuracy complaints and their dispositions, and 5) financial and other penalties to registrars with poor Whois accuracy records.