Tech Updates

The Importance of The WHOIS Database

Is it time for the Internet infrastructure to be upgraded? YouTube made dramatic changes. Now, ICANN and the European Union are threatening the WHOIS database.

Is this simply politics? What is this database? Why is the integrity of the WHOIS database, so important to the integrity of the World Wide Web?

How Does WHOIS Work?

Everyone wants to control the World Wide Web, only permitting websites, discussions and interactions that adhere to their personal ideology. But of course, that is impossible.

Back in 1982, the WHOIS registry was established to store domain name owner contact information. This information includes the domain name owner, administrator, physical address, e-mail address and the expiration date of the domain name ownership. While the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) controls the allocation of the domain names, the WHOIS registry contains the ownership data.

WHOIS Well-Respected Reference

This WHOIS registry information is public knowledge. You could request a WHOIS Database download, if you would like to get access. You can even hire a proxy to assist with a WHOIS Database download.

Public Record

Governments, journalists, lawyers and researchers use the WHOIS registry as a “public record.” The law requires publishing information to make it official. This also prevents fraud.

ICANN Proposal

On June 24, 2013, ICANN proposed that the WHOIS registry should be abolished. There have been instances when spammers have used the WHOIS information to engage in nefarious activities. ICANN believes that domain name data access should be limited to transfer or legal purposes.

Unfortunately, the ICANN proposal would make it impossible for journalists to find the truth. WHOIS also adds an air of credibility.

European Union Ruling

Since the WHOIS registry was created in the 1980s – by, for and with American interests in mind – it is no surprise that other nations might want some input. The European Union might not feel that WHOIS reflects their cultural mindset.

This might be the mentality behind the May 25, 2018 European Union issuance of a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which seems to suggest that WHOIS public data is illegal. But, doesn’t the European Union require companies to publicize data in corporate reports? Of course it does. Therefore, the requirement of websites to provide their public contact information should not be a surprise.

Nobody requires anyone to purchase a website. Having the domain name owner list his contact information publicly should be a bare minimum requirement. It helps establish online credibility.

WHOIS Trusted Resource

Is the World Wide Web ready to upgrade to becoming the World Wide Web II? Making changes to the infrastructure of the Internet is very difficult to do. There are so many loose ends that must be tied together.

Nobody knows whether WHOIS will be revamped or modified. It will be a very complicated process. All we know is that the WHOIS registry is a trusted resource, which is vital to the operation of the Internet.