ICANN – the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has enforced a new policy that affects all Whois updates regardless of whether a change of registrant or just a simple Whois modification is taking place. The policy is effective December 1, 2016.
The new policy has been imposed on all registrars and, as an ICANN-accredited registrar, we’ve taken all due steps to implement it throughout our system.
The implementation will affect all domain registrants who attempt to make modifications to the Whois contact information of their domain names (.COM, .NET, .ORG, .BIZ or .INFO). This includes changes to the registrant’s name, organization or email address.
What is the new policy about?
ICANN’s new policy represents an essential revision of its Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP), which covers the authorization procedures registrants need to pass through prior to initiating a transfer.
The new revision also covers the process of transferring domain ownership from one registrant to another, which now entails a series of confirmation and notification emails.
In addition to transfers, the new policy revision also affects simple Whois data updates, which may include changes to the registrant’s first name, last name, organization or email address.
How will the new policy affect registrants?
The new policy has introduced a few significant changes to the Whois management process, which can be summarized as follows:
- registrants will no longer be able to make simple modifications to their Whois data with a click of the mouse;
- any changes made to the first name, the last name, the organization or the email address, will now trigger an email confirmation procedure;
- the procedure includes obtaining confirmation from both the current and the new registrant before the change is completed;
- after the Whois update has been completed, the current and the new registrant will receive a confirmation email informing them that the change is reflected in the Whois database;
- whenever a Whois modification has been implemented, the associated domain will enter into a 60-day transfer-lock period;
- if a Whois change is made before initiating a domain transfer, the present registrant will be able to opt out of the 60-day lock, so that the domain can be transferred to the new registrant as soon as the Whois update confirmation procedure has been completed;
How does the new policy work?
The newly revised policy will come into effect every time a change is made to the Whois data, be it a registrant change or a simple Whois modification. Here are the steps involved in the Whois update procedure on our platform:
- The domain owner submits a Whois modification request;
- We send a Whois update confirmation request to the new registrant, asking them to approve or to decline the change of registrant;
- We send a Whois update confirmation request to the current registrant, asking them to approve or to decline the change of registrant; In the event of a transfer, we give the current registrant the option to opt out of the 60-day transfer lock that is imposed on a domain after a Whois update is confirmed. This way, they will be able to initiate the transfer as soon as the Whois update request is confirmed;
- Once the Whois change has been approved by the registrant(s), we will complete the update and send a final confirmation to both the current and the new registrant notifying them of the completed process. No further response is required from the registrant(s) at this point.
In case the current or the new registrant does not approve the change within 5 days of receiving the update confirmation request from us, the latter will be terminated and the current Whois information will not be modified.
NOTE: Even if the registrant just wants to make a correction to their name or organization, for example, the policy mandates that we send two separate emails in this case as well.
The afore-described Whois update confirmation procedure will not affect ID-protected domain names.
To make this possible, we have changed our Terms-of-Service agreement.
Of course, we will always opt out of the 60-day transfer lock on behalf of the given registrant, allowing transfers to take place.