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On 16 Aug 2002, Kim Davies asked a Good Question on CENTR GA list:

Is there any particular reason why the IANA database is not being published via WHOIS? WHOIS is generally accepted as the industry standard way of publishing domain administrative/contact details.

I personally think it would be useful if IANA ran a WHOIS server for the domains it delegates.

Subsequently Kim got a scoop information, which he published on CENTR GA list on 19 Aug 2002:

Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 09:16:02 -0700
From: Louis Touton
To: Kim Davies
Subject: [Fwd: RE: [centr-ga] Questions on IANA data base changes]


Authoritative TLD (including ccTLD) contact data is made available through the port 43 Whois service at <>. We are working on having this Whois server provide nameserver information for TLDs as well and expect that to be released to production later this year. In the meantime, TLD nameserver information can be obtained through the Internic web site <>.


On 19 August 2002 a valid snapshot of ccTLD database has been prepared at

This reconstructed ccTLD database uses 3 sources of information:

On 19 Aug 2002 the following observations has been provided on and sources:

  1. How many are we ?

    The list at includes 243 entries, 241 existing and 2 non existing

    • .kp (North Korea), not affected
    • .eh (Western Sahara), not affected

    There should be 3 more:

    • .gb (Great Britain)
    • .su (Soviet Union)
    • .zr (Zaire) - removed

    The first two are operational, the last one existed and has been removed. But nothing should ever disappear from records.

    The answers correctly for .gb and .su

    There should be also the:

    • .cs (former Tchecoslovaquia) - removed
    which has been operational, and has been removed few years ago.

    In total it makes 247 entries for ccTLD, and 243 currently operational ccTLD.

  2. Coherency

    1. The is not coherent with the html web site

      The website uses "Sponsoring Organization" terminology, while the uses "Registrant". The ccTLD managers has been permanently opposing unilateral introduction of "Sponsoring Organization" terminology by ICANN, it is therefore a good news to be back to square one with "Registrant" in the ccTLD database whois.

    2. The website provide information
             "URL for registration services: http://something.somewhere"
      which is missing in It would be much appreciated the whois be completed.

      Note that Norwegian registry has been and continues to provide this information, but it is always better to have things together, on IANA site.

      To ensure than IANA Function is providing the same information on its both sites, and, it would be preferable the website provides nothing else that a list of ISO3166-1 codes which have been in use for ccTLD. The content for each ccTLD would be then the result of instantaneous whois query to

      As it was correctly pointed out by many, including ICANN staff Herbert Vitzthum:

            "You will accept that the two databases leaded to some
            missunderstanding even which one would be the autoritative

  3. Observations and requests for improvement of

    1. I noted that each and every "Registrant", "Admin Contact" and "Tech Contact" object has been associated with two lines, identical for 243 entries:
                Registration Date: 01-January-1985
                Last Updated Date: 01-January-1985

      It is unclear when and why the field "Last Updated" is actually updated.

      For example:

      • .jp Last Updated Date: 01-April-2002
      • .au Last Updated Date: 01-January-1985
      • .us Last Updated Date: 01-January-1985

    2. The real ccTLD Registration Date is in two lines at the end.

      These real ccTLD Registration Dates are all true with exception of Chile, .cl, where the old mistake persists:

                Registration Date: 27-January-1995
                Last Updated Date: 10-October-2001

      The Chile case is Jon Postel mistake in his notes, Chile was here in 1987. Patricio Poblete has been correcting my old compilation of ccTLD database from August 1999. Apparently that Postel mistake has a long life.

    3. What is the relationship between "Registration Date" in various fields - "Registrant", "Admin", "Tech" and the last record ccTLD Registration Date requests for clarifications and fits exactly the IANA WG themes.

    4. I noted in some cases that the phone number provided in the North America (prefix 1) was an 8 hundred number. Such telephone numbers are not valid for international calls (those who call from outside country) and should not be used in the international ccTLD whois.

    5. The ccTLD Managers has been asking for the ccTLD database, which must include details of any changes made during the life of the TLD.

      It can be achieved by many mechanisms, one of them is by creating database objects related to each ccTLD. At first glimpse I see 4 categories of them:


      When an object is updated, the former one moves into "", and remains shown as reference to the past history. This way the request to provide details of any changes made during the life of the ccTLD could be satisfied.

    6. The most important part of ccTLD database are the name servers, which are missing in the database. This information is essential and should be kept there, with full record of each modification.

      Today we do not have anything about the past name servers' changes, except the record of 30 name servers updates, provided by Stuart Lynn in Marina del Rey Nov 2001: IANA-DB-performance-Y2001.html

      We do not know anything about pending request, and for how long, and why.

    I am sure the ccTLD managers are looking forward to work together on completion and improvements to the, we have been awaiting it for 4 years.

    Elisabeth Porteneuve

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Page updated : 2002-08-20 21:24:27