This topic provides answers to commonly asked questions about the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data (Temporary Specification) issued by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and the adjustments of the WHOIS output.

Why has the WHOIS output changed?

ICANN released the Temporary Specification on May 17, 2018 and required that domain name registries and domain name registrars make necessary adjustments to the public WHOIS output. The Temporary Specification was the response of ICANN to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of European Union (EU) that came into effect on May 25, 2018.

For more information about the Temporary Specification of ICANN, see ICANN Board Approves Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data.

What are the specific adjustments of the WHOIS output?

To meet the requirements in the Temporary Specification of ICANN, from May 25, 2018, the public output of Alibaba Cloud WHOIS lookup returned by Alibaba Cloud does not contain personal data of domain name registrants, administrative contacts, and technical contacts. Personal data includes names, email addresses, phone numbers, and street addresses.

What is the scope for Alibaba Cloud to implement the Temporary Specification of ICANN?

Alibaba Cloud implements the Temporary Specification of ICANN in compliance with the requirements of ICANN. The mode in which Alibaba Cloud processes and displays domain name registration data is the same for all users around the world. Both EU users and mainland China users can enjoy the same data protection services.

Are the domain name registration process and the required information changed?

No. Only the domain name registration data displayed in the WHOIS output is changed.

Is the transfer process between domain name registrars changed?

ICANN adjusted the domain name transfer policy on May 25, 2018 because the public WHOIS output no longer displays the email addresses of domain name registrants and administrative contacts. The specific changes are as follows:
  • The gaining registrar cannot access the registration data of the domain name subject to a transfer through the WHOIS lookup. Therefore, the gaining registrar is no longer required to obtain the Form of Authorization (FOA) from the transfer contact.
  • The domain name registrant must re-submit complete registration data to the gaining registrar. The gaining registrar must verify and confirm the data submitted. In this case, the Change of Registrant process in the domain name transfer policy of ICANN is no longer applicable.

What do I do if the new domain name registrar refuses to assist in the domain name transfer due to the lack of access to the transfer contact email address?

Based on the Temporary Specification of ICANN, the gaining registrar cannot access the registration data of the domain name subject to the transfer registrar through the WHOIS lookup. Therefore, the gaining registrar is no longer required to obtain the FOA from the transfer contact. The adjustment to domain name transfer in the Temporary Specification of ICANN took effect on May 25, 2018. If the gaining registrar has not implemented this policy, we recommend that you contact the gaining registrar to learn about the latest policy.

How do I contact a domain name registrant, an administrative contact, or a technical contact in the future?

For a domain name registered with Alibaba Cloud, you can submit an online form to the domain name registrant, administrative contact, or technical contact on the WHOIS result page of Alibaba Cloud.

How do I obtain complete WHOIS information?

You may want to obtain complete WHOIS information of a related domain name to file a complaint to safeguard your legitimate rights and interests. In this case, you must obtain complete WHOIS information from Alibaba Cloud through competent or judicial authorities. Alibaba Cloud will collaborate in accordance with the laws.

If your legitimate rights and interests related to your domain name are violated, you can file a complaint to Alibaba Cloud and request the complete WHOIS information of a related domain name. After Alibaba Cloud receives your complaint, it checks whether your complaint is reasonable.

Reporting center on the Alibaba Cloud International website: Alibaba Cloud IPR Infringement and Abuse Claim Form.

Can I continue to use the domain name privacy protection service provided by Alibaba Cloud?

By default, the registration data of domain names has been protected since May 25, 2018 due to the adjustment of the WHOIS output. As a result, Alibaba Cloud has suspended the domain name privacy protection service.

When will the domain name privacy protection service be provided again?

Alibaba Cloud will determine the recovery of this service based on the follow-up discussions and policy adjustments that ICANN and its community make on WHOIS output issues. When determining the time for service recovery, Alibaba Cloud will also consider the official policies for proxy and privacy services.

Is the adjustment of the WHOIS output permanent?

The Temporary Specification of ICANN is valid for no more than 12 months and can be adjusted during the valid period. In addition, ICANN is the organization that manages the global DNS and the root server system. ICANN is still cooperating with global domain name registries, domain name registrars, and other community members to develop a consensus policy on the collection and display of registration data of generic top-level domains (gTLDs). As an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar, Alibaba Cloud may need to make further adjustments to the WHOIS output in accordance with the new consensus policy or revisions of the Temporary Specification.