Update on publication of personal data in the WHOIS / RDS

There has been a considerable debate whatever ICANN will enforce the contractual agreement between registrars and registries to display personal data in the WHOIS.

Publication of personal data in the WHOIS is usually in conflict with many data protection laws around the world.

The EU GDPR and its substantial non-compliance fines seem to sway the discussion into a direction where ICANN needs to come up with solutions. And they did: ICANN published several models that propose to limit the publication of personal data in the WHOIS. The next step is that the ICANN community analyzes these models.

The models created by the ICANN Organisation can be viewed through the link below.


All the models published by the ICANN community are posted here.

The end of WHOIS?
The models proposed by the ICANN organization have limited personal info published in the WHOIS the two other models no longer publish personal data in the WHOIS.

The ECO model also has in common that there is no personal data published in the WHOIS.

So ultimately I think we are heading to a solution where registries and registrars no longer will publish person data in the WHOIS.
All models continue their support for data transfer to registries. In my opinion, this does not meet the EU GDPR data minimization principle, which I will explain in a future blog post.

Most beautiful model?
All models are not perfect, and to be used as a solution the following are of key importance.

  • Flexibility
  • Implementation time frame.

In my opinion, the ECO model fits those requirements.
In addition to this, the ECO model has the largest industry support, which is key critical for mass adoption.

The end of privacy protection services?
Should you still use the Realtime Register privacy protect service even when there will be no personal data published in the WHOIS in May 2018?
The short answer is, yes.

All proposed models might tackle the WHOIS issue; it does not address the issue of possible data breaches, increased legal requirements for you as a reseller, and other areas of GDPR noncompliance. Our privacy service does that, though perhaps we should rename our privacy service to Data Protection Compliance Services (DPCS).

Interim solutions.

Keep in mind the solutions proposed are interim solutions, I would urge the ICANN community to band together and start working on real lasting solutions, rather than attacking interim solutions.

Realtime Register is a supporter of the ECO model.


3 reasons why your customers should have their blog on a .blog

Nope, this post is not about WHY they should blog, plenty of blog posts about that floating around. Forr example this blog, Dechay Watts has sprouted an impressive number of 19 reasons.  One of my favorites is number 9, It can be fun.


Back on topic “3 reasons why your customers should have their blog on a .blog”

1. You can choose a fresh new domain name for you blog

You might have had to compromise when you choose your companies domain name or you want to pick a snazzy name for your blog. With a current number of well over 100k, you can call the number of  .blog registrations still modest. The good news is, there are still quite some great names to register to pick up. For example everythingdomains.blog… oops… taken. Anyway, you surely get the drift.

2. Your blog will be easier to maintain

If your blog has its own .blog  you can maintain it more easily, no more dependencies of a tech department. Once your preferred blog CMS software is installed and everything has been set up, you’re good to go. Just write and publish to your heart’s desire.

3.  A .blog linking to your company website gets you SEO brownie points

Backlinks are, next to content, King when it comes to SEO value. With your own .blog you can create valuable backlinks to your company’s website. This will certainly drive your SEO ratings up. And that is exactly what you want, don’t you? More potential customers visiting your website.

So, if you if you still haven’t got a blog, create one. For the reason WHY I refer you to blog posts dedicated to that particular topic. If you already a blog, make sure your next blog post is about “X reasons why you should put your blog on a .blog

Happy blogging and domain selling!

ICANN, Thick WHOIS Migration Delay & Pray

The migration of the Verisign Thick WHOIS has been delayed until 29th November.
This is a welcome change from the original migration data wich was set at 1-August-2017.

We at Realtime Register were not planning to migrate on this data anyways, as we are still reviewing the EU GDPR and its impact.

Currently, ICANN is collecting community input regarding the EU GDPR till September this year. In November ICANN will present the results wich will provide more clarity regarding the fact if ICANN is the data controller or not according to the EU GDPR. Furthermore, Registrars expect more clarity at this date regarding the output of personally identifiable data through the public WHOIS.

The EU GDPR will go into effect on 25-May-2018 and will severely impact your business.
A blog post regarding the EU GDPR and how it will affect you as a reseller will follow soon.

ICANN blogged about this migration delay here.

It’s time to get .ONLINE!

Having an online presence is almost a necessity in our digital world. Businesses, individuals, startups, students – everyone is looking to get online. And what better way to help them successfully enter the World Wide Web than adding .ONLINE to your domain portfolio!

Did you know…
… that over 1,000,000 websites already include the word ‘online’ in their URL, proving that people worldwide consider ‘online’ to be a great keyword? No wonder, considering ‘online’ is one of the few universal words out there that means the same thing in 24+ languages. And whereas many TLDs are market-specific, .ONLINE is relevant for practically any website. So, choosing .ONLINE means choosing a truly generic domain extension that is understood in many languages!

Help your customers blaze their way to .online success!

Check out the .ONLINE infographic here.

March 13, .TEL will become a normal TLD… Or won’t it?

Early 2009, .TEL started out with about 120,000 registrations. In the next year, it grew to a 250,000 and registrations reached their peak in 2011 with about 340,000 registrations. After this, the numbers started to decline rapidly. Currently there are slightly less .TEL names registered then short after the start of the general availability in 2009.

A crippled TLD?

The .TEL was promoted as a platform for publishing contact details online through a dedicated telhosting platform. You might consider it like an online Rolodex. The use of this extension was restricted to this platform. This was of course a limitation for the use of .TEL, no hosting or redirect on your .TEL domain name was possible. The fast market adaptation of smart phones was also unfavorable for the .TEL registration numbers. The telhosting platform lost partially its use, because one could easily dig up a telephone number with their smartphone. And the introduction of a lot of new generics didn’t help either, for obvious reasons.

A revival for .TEL

.tel The ICANN board recently approved of the lifting of the DNS restrictions for .TEL, making it possible to sell your own hosting with a .TEL domain name. This change will become effective on March 31. The same date, the registry will release a modernized Telhosting system. A preview of the new lay-out can be find at the example profile page at http://telpage.tel .
The new Telhosting profile page will be managed by a desktop control panel, also iOS and Android smartphone apps will be introduced to manage the profile page. The Telnic registry will support the registrants. To inform the registrants the registry will send an email to the registrant on February 13.

In short, starting March 31, registrants can choose whether they want to use a single .TEL page or create and host their own web page with a .TEL,

The Good

The Lifting of the DNS restrictions will bring some benefits to our business:

  • A lot of great names are still available for .TEL;
  • New options for the secondary market will arise;
  • With the sale of a .TEL domain you can upsell with a hosting package;
  • Other upsells with products like SSL certificates;
  • Freedom of choice for your customers.

The Bad

Of course, as always, there are some downsides about the changes.

  • You need to adjust your sales flow, but these will become more in line with the other TLDs;
  • You will have to communicate about the new proposition of .TEL.

And the Ugly

About some developments, I am not too excited, and I guess you will probably share this feeling.

The .TEL registry will be directly communicating with the registrants with an email, introducing the new platform. Here is an example of this email. In addition to this, the .TEL registry will do the support for the telhosting environment. This leaves you as the domain name provider out the equation. It might feel a good thing, a cost reduction for you as a web hoster. However, for .TEL it might become harder to demonstrate your added value to your customer.

Also, the proposition of the .TEL might become diffuse for registrants and website visitor. For the registrants, it could be unclear what the use for .TEL is. And for the website visitor, it might become unclear who is responsible for the hosting of a TEL site. My suggestion is, it is best to promote .TEL as a standard extension. It is short, about telephone communication and with lots of good names still available. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the new telhosting platform will be phased out after just a few years.


Despite my issues above, I am happy about the revitalization of .TEL. For the web hosting industry, there are a lot of opportunities with this extension. It is up to you to seize them and make .TEL (again) a nice addition to your business!