The system for storing information on domain registrants is to be reviewed.

Used worldwide by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization has announced it will look at the WhoIs directory to see if there are any changes that could be made, CPA Global reports.

The decision comes after a period of internal consultation between ICANN board members and various working groups was completed and among the issues that will be looked at are intellectual property and business users.

If companies are looking to find out who is responsible for domain hijacking, or domain-related trademark infringement, then the directory is usually the first port of call.

ICANN board chair Dr Stephen D Crocker remarked: “WhoIs began more than 25 years ago, before there was even a world wide web and its purpose was far more technical than it is today.

“It’s clear that we have to take a thorough look at WhoIs from the ground up – and that’s what we’re asking [the ICANN] chief executive officer Fadi Chehade to do: what should WhoIs be and how can we best improve its accuracy?”

Dr. Crocker hopes the review will bring about a strengthening of the WhoIs reporting requirements. He stated one of the main problems is that there is currently no incentive to provide accurate WhoIs data because there are no punitive measures.

The working groups would therefore like to see a system introduced to decide on an appropriate, internationalized domain name registration data requirements.

Earlier this month, Jon Nevett, a co-founder of Donuts, said the new generic top-level domains that are being rolled out by ICANN will alter the landscape radically. It means .com suffixes may no longer be the most prized domains, as companies look to get their hands on sector-specific web addresses.

For example, a make-up firm may look for a URL ending in .beauty, rather than a traditional .com or

WhoIs directory to be reviewed by ICANN
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