Quoting Anthony (anthony-luv(a)hogan.id.au):
The Aus approach was indeed taken due to spam
considerations, trying to
limit data mining of whois records (the daily rate limiting), and renewal
scams based upon listed expiry dates (I remember reading through auDA doco
as it came into being after Melbourne IT lost the exclusive gig).
Yes, after initially being astonished at the withholding of expiry dates
in .au domain WHOIS, I read about the rationale, and one must of course
acknowledge that it makes sense.
FWIW, I offered Ben's and Jesse's domain-check scripts as candidate
solutions for Russell's problem because he said merely that he was
seeking a tool to monitor expiration status for _domains_. The
stated context wasn't specifically _.au_ ones -- but, note, I also made
sure to highlight the _Linux Gazette_ article to highlight the .au
roadblock so Russell wouldn't be surprised.
All GTLDs (I think) and _almost_ all country-code TLDs (ccTLD) domains'
data parse fine. (I think.) ICANN keeps creating weird and obscure
GTLDs, though, which is one reason why any tool like Ben's and Jesse's
needs occasional maintenance. And the _other_ reason is that even
long-established TLDs sometimes change their WHOIS date reporting in
ways that break parsing, for no good reason.
To craft a monitoring tool for .au domains, I believe one would need to
write code to login to registrar records as the owner, and parse the
expiry data there. Which _could_ work. Or:
Back on track... I think we're seeing the eventual
death of WHOIS, due to
Interesting point. WHOIS service, and most particularly classic 43/tcp
WHOIS service, has been the red-headed stepchild for decades for other
reasons, too. For one thing, the current breed of desktop users almost
never even think to use it. MS-Windows doesn't come with a client, and
MacOS X has only a Unix-standard console client, so Macheads typically
never notice it. And, as with the main reason why Gopher was supplanted
by the Web, port-43 WHOIS service is text-bound and non-advertising-friendly.
Quite a few ccTLDs offer WHOIS only via Web front-ends, partly in
And now, as you say, argubly there's Yet Another GDPR Objection to deal
with. I fear you're right.
Hopefully there'll at least be a system that
provides base info:
One can conceive of a standard authenticated-owner interface to permit
domain principals to look up such data, sidestepping EU privacy
objections. Maybe. But of course, public ability to check _other_
people's domain details, relied on by Ben and Jesse's tools and frankly
by many people all the time, suffers. E.g., I can't tell you how many
times I've tried to help an acquaintance with, say, his/her domain about
to expire, and the e-mail addresses on record were utterly useless but the
names and telephone numbers of the Registrant, Administrative Contact,
and Technical Contact were crucial.
The 'e-mail addresses prove useless for an unexpectedly expiring domain'
syndrome is predictable, if you think about it: If the listed contact
e-mails had been an effective means of reaching the key people, they
wouldn't have ignored about five or six consecutive renewal notices.