The Thick Whois PDP WG was tasked to provide the GNSO Council with 'a policy recommendation regarding the use of thick Whois by all gTLD registries, both existing and future'. Following its analysis of the different issues outlined in its Charter, including: response consistency; stability; access to Whois data; impact on privacy and data protection; cost implications; synchronization / migration; authoritativeness; competition in registry services; existing Whois applications; data escrow, and registrar Port 43 Whois requirements (see section 5 of the Initial Report), on balance the Working Group concludes that there are more benefits than disadvantages to requiring thick Whois for all gTLD registries. As a result, the Working Group recommends that:

The provision of thick Whois services should become a requirement for all gTLD registries, both existing and future.

The WG expects numerous benefits as a result of requiring thick Whois for all gTLD registries. Nevertheless, the WG recognizes that a transition of the current thin gTLD registries would affect over 120 million domain name registrations and as such it should be carefully prepared and implemented. In section 7.2 of the Initial Report, the WG outlines a number of implementation considerations. In section 7.3 of the Initial Report the WG also provides other observations that emerged from this discussion which while not directly related to the question of thin or thick did and should receive due consideration by other bodies.

The Initial Report has now been published for public comment (see and the WG would like to encourage all interested parties to submit their comments and suggestions so these can be considered as the WG continues its deliberations in view of finalizing its report and recommendations in the next phase of the policy development process.


  • Presentation of Initial Report by Mikey O'Connor, Chair of the Working Group followed by Q & A

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