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auDA Seeks Comment On AU Domain WHOIS Policy

November 19, 2013

As part of its WHOIS Policy review, au Domain Administration (auDA) has released an Issues Paper for public comment.

WHOIS search tools allow enquirers to find the current registrant record and other details of a particular domain name. It's been over 3 years since changes were last made to WHOIS policies. 

Currently, a WHOIS query on Australian domain names reveals the following information:

The Issues Paper asks two questions:

1. Should there be any changes to auDA's WHOIS Policy covering the collection, disclosure and use of WHOIS data for .au domain names?

Some have argued that more registrant contact information should be disclosed for .COM.AU and .NET.AU. However, disclosing more information is thought by others to encourage the use of false details by registrants; or the use of proxy services.

Another piece of information available in various TLD's but not shown on AU queries is the domain creation and expiry date. The absence of this information was designed to help thwart renewal scams. On the flip side, the availability of this information also provides an easy way for registrants to check expiry dates and for other parties to carry out historical (and legitimate) research.

2. Should access to .au domain name data (other than via WHOIS) be opened up?

Currently only searches on domain names can be performed via WHOIS, but there has been some call to be able to search on other elements of a record, such as registrant name or company.

The full issues paper that describes various scenarios relating to the above is available here (PDF). The closing date for submissions is Friday 31 January 2014 and the address for sending comments can be found here.

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