The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the governing body of the internet namespace, this week announced the deadline for the .COM, .NET and .JOBS registries to comply with the Thick WHOIS Transition Policy.
The policy requires that all domains registered be Thick, as well as the WHOIS information be consistently labeled and displayed when queried. The .COM, .NET and .JOBS registries that currently provide Thin WHOIS services must submit all new domain name registrations as Thick WHOIS by 1st May 2018. These registries must also migrate all data required for Thick WHOIS services for existing domain names by 1st February 2019.
In addition, registries and registrars are required to to collect, store and display WHOIS data in a consistent, prescribed manner by the earlier deadline of 1st August 2017.
Currently, registrations made with these Registries are Thin i.e. the Registry Operator maintains and provides only technical information (e.g., name servers, statuses, creation date) and the Registrar associated with the domain name. Contact information for the domain name is maintained by the Registrar of the domain.
A Thick registry is one where the Registrar provides a copy of the above contact information to the Registry. This allows the Registry to maintain a full list of all domain information with itself.