Network Working Group                                       M. Kucherawy
Internet-Draft                                                 Cloudmark
Intended status: Informational                             April 2, 2012
Expires: October 4, 2012

              Requirements For Internet Registry Services


   This document enumerates a base set of requirements to be included in
   any system that provides registration information for Internet
   registration entities, i.e., network and/or domain name assignments.
   Some of these, in turn, will define requirements for registrars;
   this, however, is an issue outside of the scope of this document.

   It is hoped that this work will also influence the development of
   requirements and specifications for domain name registries at some
   point in the future.

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on October 4, 2012.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2012 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
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   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect

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   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
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   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.  Terminology and Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
     2.1.  Keywords  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
     2.2.  Incorporated Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   3.  Requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
     3.1.  Protocol Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
     3.2.  Classes of Service  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
     3.3.  Reply Syntax  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   4.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   5.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   6.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   Appendix B.  Public Discussion  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

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1.  Introduction

   The ubiquitous [WHOIS] service can be used today to query for domain
   name registration or network or subnetwork assignment information by
   the general public.  It is however a very simple protocol, whose
   output is free-form and thus not amenable to machine parsing.  It
   also includes no support for internationalization, and it enables
   only rudimentary (if any) differential service capabilities.

   The CRISP working group created a workable and extensible standard
   for replacing WHOIS, called [IRIS], which attempted to address these
   problems.  Unfortunately, IRIS has seen little to no deployment for
   various reasons, mostly its complexity compared to WHOIS and some
   political and technical inertia.

   Thus, this effort confronts anew the need for a better service than
   WHOIS provides, by first laying down a framework of requirements that
   such a service needs to accommodate to become a viable alternative to

   In recent years, ARIN and RIPE NCC have fielded production RESTful
   web services to serve registry data, and each has met with success.
   It is widely believed that this simpler re-use of Web technologies
   familiar to modern web developers has enabled this success.

   The requirements described here effectively sketch a framework for a
   WHOIS replacement service that satisfies modern Internet needs and
   shows some promise for widespread adoption by both clients and

2.  Terminology and Definitions

   This section defines terms used in the rest of the document.

2.1.  Keywords

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [KEYWORDS].  In
   particular, since this is not a standards track document, these key
   words are meant to describe requirements for those proposals for a
   WHOIS replacement that seek standards track status.

2.2.  Incorporated Requirements

   Many of the requirements distilled from the input provided by various
   communities in [CRISP] will apply to this effort as well.  It is

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   certainly the case that the research presented there should be
   considered prerequisite reading for this new work.

3.  Requirements

   This section enumerates the basic requirements of any WHOIS
   replacement system.

3.1.  Protocol Requirements

   The protocol requirements are as follows:

   1.  To support internationalized values, the protocol SHOULD be able
       to deliver replies that contain data that are not exclusively
       7-bit clean.

   2.  The protocol SHOULD be able to deliver a reply that is
       effectively a referral or redirect to another server.  The DNS
       and some existing WHOIS extensions have had this capability for
       some time, and this effort would do well to consider those
       methods when developing this capability.

   3.  For replies, the protocol MUST use a data format that is well-
       established.  The use of this data format MUST incorporate
       necessary features so that core data classes can be extended
       easily and without the need to substitute those core data classes
       to accommodate local or non-standard extensions.  This
       extensibility MUST NOT require clients to be programmed for local
       extensions to interpret the standardized data classes.

   4.  The protocol MUST define a minimum set of fields and their
       respective syntaxes that are to be included in every reply.
       Context-specific extensions to this set MAY also be defined.  The
       set of fields MAY be different for names versus numbers, but a
       common set of fields or data types between the two is expected.

   5.  Either the protocol or its underlying transport mechansim MUST be
       capable of authentication of some kind sufficiently robust to
       provide different quality-of-service to different clients once
       they identify themselves in a reliable way.

   6.  The protocol SHOULD support the notion of including in the reply
       a suggested time-to-live period during which the client is
       expected to cache the reply and not query for it again.

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3.2.  Classes of Service

   Section 2 of [CRISP] lays out a comprehensive set of actors that are
   parties to the registration data service being defined here.  This
   document is particularly interested in enumerating the needs of
   various types of clients, such as:

   anonymous:  Users with no prior arrangement for access to the data;
      typically all available data will be provided in response to a
      query, but the query rate may be severely limited.  No
      authentication is typically required.  Some data considered to be
      personally identifiable information MAY be elided.  Some
      percentage of the clients in this class are likely to be abusers,
      as described in Section 2.4.7 of [CRISP]; others are seeking
      information useful in debugging DNS problems, as described in
      Section 2.4.6 of [CRISP].

   security:  Users that have an interest in a specific subset of a
      registration's data for the purpose of analysis and correlation
      while evaluating the trustworthiness of the source.  Examples
      include email client evaluation, email content evaluation, web
      site security, etc.  The subset will typically include creation/
      registration dates, assigned nameserver names and IP addresses,
      registrar ID and registrant ID.  Users in this class would be
      required to authenticate in some way, but such clients would not
      typically be subjected to rate limiting given the prior
      arrangement.  Section 2.4.2 of [CRISP] defines "Service Providers
      and Network Operators", and this category appears to fit within
      that definition.

   law enforcement:  Users with a bona fide interest in as much
      registration data, including change history, as is available.
      Typically, queries would be rare but have extremely high priority.
      These clients would definitely require authentication and probably
      also require encryption.  See Section 2.4.4 of [CRISP] for further

   The development of data models for each type of service (names vs.
   numbers) will need to consider the various requirements of different
   types of clients coupled with local policy.  Overly restrictive
   policies and/or particularly sparse data in replies will mean the new
   service is not very useful to clients, which will frustrate adoption.

3.3.  Reply Syntax

   The reply format needs to conform to the requirements enumerated

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   NOTE: The standard format is expected to be a significant portion of
   the work on the way to describing a new overall WHOIS specification.
   In any case, machine-parsability of replies is crucial to the success
   of this work.

   o  All date and/or time fields MUST be formatted as per [DATETIME].

   o  A server MUST provide a minimum set of data about a given query.
      It is expected that this minimum set will be different for a
      network allocation registry than a domain name registry, and will
      also vary by operator policy; however the following MUST be
      provided in all replies:

      *  The creation date/time of the record

   o  A server MAY provide different output based on the nature of the
      client, where such can be definitively determined.

4.  IANA Considerations

   This memo presents no actions for IANA.  [RFC Editor: Please remove
   this section prior to publication.]

5.  Security Considerations

   This memo introduces an overall protocol model, but no implementation
   details.  Specific security considerations of the implementation(s)
   that meet these requirements will be provided in their defining

   Some topics those documents will need to cover include:

   o  Privacy considerations

   o  Denial of service attacks

   o  Redirection loops

6.  Informative References

   [CRISP]    Newton, A., "Cross Registry Internet Service Protocol
              (CRISP) Requirements", RFC 3707, February 2004.

              Klyne, G. and C. Newman, "Date and Time on the Internet:

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              Timestamps", RFC 3339, July 2002.

   [IRIS]     Newton, A. and M. Sanz, "IRIS: The Internet Registry
              Information Service (IRIS) Core Protocol", RFC 3981,
              January 2005.

              Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [WHOIS]    Daigle, L., "WHOIS Protocol Specification", RFC 3912,
              September 2004.

Appendix A.  Acknowledgements

   The author wishes to thank the following for their contributions to
   and reviews of this memo: Ray Bellis, John Levine, Alan Maitland,
   Carlos Martinez, James Mitchell, S. Moonesamy, Andrew Newton,
   Frederico Neves, Francisco Obispo, Arturo Servin, and Alessandro

Appendix B.  Public Discussion

   Public discussion of this suite of memos takes place on the mailing list.  See

Author's Address

   Murray S. Kucherawy
   128 King St., 2nd Floor
   San Francisco, CA  94107

   Phone: +1 415 946 3800

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