October 28, 2016

ICANN puts timeline on Verisign switch to thick Whois

The Registry could be running a thick database for its gTLDs by 2017

This week, under a new ICANN proposal, Verisign may have to maintain a thick Whois database for three of its gTLDs. Verisign, based in the United States, is the operating Registry for domain extensions like .COM, .NET and .JOBS for which it may have to maintain a thick registry.

A thick Whois is where the registry stores the full Whois record, including all registrant contact data for every domain in their TLD. The Verisign TLDs currently have thin Whois databases, which is only restricted to information about domain creation dates, sponsoring registrar and name servers.

ICANN has published the Whois transition policy for .COM, .NET and .JOBS on its website for public comment. It is proposed that Verisign will start offering registrars the ability to put domains in its thick Whois registry by August 2017. The new proposal includes a clause that would let registrars request an exemption from the requirements if they can prove that it would conflict with local laws.

Analysts say that Verisign may use the expense of building the new Whois system to justify an increase in the price of .COM.