Some registrars have already quit ICANN’s Whois experiment

ICANN’s two-year experiment in helping connect Whois users with registrars has grown its pool of participating registrars over the last few months, but it has lost a couple of not-insignificant companies along the way.

The Registration Data Request Service launched in November, promising to provide a hub for people to request the private data in Whois records, which is usually redacted. Monthly usage reports, first published in January, showed 72 registrars had joined the scheme at launch.

That number was up to 77, covering about 55% of all registered gTLD domain names, at the end of February, the latest report shows. Seven more registrars have signed up and two have dropped out.

The newbies include WordPress creator Automattic, which has 1.1 million names, PublicDomainRegistry, which has 4.4 million,, which has 666,000, and Turkiye’s METUnic, which has 235,000.

The two registrars quitting the project, apparently in January, are Combell (formerly, which has 1.3 million domains, and Hong Kong’s, which has 57,000.

The latest data shows that RDRS returns a “registrar not supported” error 32.7% of the time.

The running total of requesters was up by 607 to 2937 in February, ICANN’s data shows. They filed 246 requests in the month for an RDRS total of 754 so far. Intellectual property owners were the main users, followed by law enforcement and security researchers.

There were 64 approved requests — where the registrar handed over the Whois data — to make a to-date total of 133. On 50 occasions requests were turned down because the registrar decided it could not turn over the data due to privacy law. These stats break down to 20% approval and 70% denial.

It took an average of 6.92 days to approve a given request — a steep incline from the 3.89 days in January — and 2.92 to deny one.

The full report, containing much more data, can be read as a PDF here.

The post Some registrars have already quit ICANN’s Whois experiment first appeared on Domain Incite.

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