the pseudo science of the WHOIS study by NROC for ICANN

Since several years there are complaints and studies that the WHOIS system (who is responsable for a certain domain) is totally inaccurate and even false and that this has certain dangers.

So the NRO did a sample study for ICANN but that is so limited in scope that it is not worth the paper it is written on

* it is concentrated on the .com domain in general (75%)

* more than 75% of the registrants are according to their WHOIS in the US

* the number of domains tested is about 1400 (for the same money you could try to test automatically thousands of emailadresses as this one is always used if all the rest is false or incorrect).

So statistically this is so limited in scope that it doesn't mean a thing. If you want to proof that of the whole general gtld internet the WHOIS has a high percentage of mistakes or false addresses, your sample will have to be much greater.

The problem is that nobody is saying this.

The three biggest problems with the present whois are

* that you have to have the correct name and address - even email of the people responsable for the technical side of the matter if the site gets hacked or attacked

* that business domains need to have a real business addresses just as in the offline world

* that criminal online businesses are hiding their addresses or aren't contactable which makes any judicial procedure more difficult

Off course if you make a study about such a big zone (and even than have a high percentage of faults and noncontactable domains) than you can't give practical solutions because the impact will be too great. And thus the investment - even if there if there is no logical or business reason for them.

* when one says that it would cost more if the registrar would have to check each address on the whois with the creditcard than this would be totally normal for a business site. And for a higher price this site could have a certified WHOIS logo.

And if one says that the WHOIS of the different registrars are different and that one need one central database and WHOIS and that this would cost enormous sums, than one has to be assured that this would be totally logic for business sites that are certified.

Another reason for this is that online business is built upon reputation. Everything you can do online can be spoofed. The only things you can trust a bit are the certification services (if they are secure enough). The WHOIS system needs a certification service. It can even be used as a privacy service for certain details of the contact information.

* when one says that it will ask a lot of effort to track down most of the users with mistakes in their WHois, one can respond that this effort will only be necessary when there is a real problem with the site that asks such an urgency.

For the moment the internet is still in the landgrab mentality and just as in the wild wild west there are no clear laws and bounderies. It is time to start setting up a system that will determine clear and distinct legal ownership of the virtual legal estates one has. It is not sure that this registration will be as cheap as it is - and maybe a general certification tax on all new domains would help fund the certification services - but there is no business reason why virtual domains should be that cheap. They are not coca cola for immediate consumption, but investments in virtual real estate and property. The cost shouldn't be times 100 but a 10% increase would already make a big difference.

This is only possible if a system is set up that would protect global brands across the domainname system from being hijacked.

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