Project Jake

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The Internet today is a large and complicated ecosystem, and the tools and processes that were designed for a simpler environment are no longer sufficient for today’s complexities. Project Jake, named for Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler, is developing a framework for expressing collection, labeling and access rules for Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS), also known as WHOIS. This work is intended to provide a new foundation for Internet-based data collection and disclosure policies related to domain name system registration.

The origin of WHOIS started with the Arpanet, before the Internet and the creation of the Domain Name System (DNS). The administrative and technical contacts were the people in charge of the time-shared computers on the Arpanet. The technical contact was the person one might call the sysadmin today. The administrative contact was usually a person with the administrative authority who could take action if one of the system users was misbehaving. Today, that simple concept of an administrative and technical contact for a domain that is available to anyone else on the network is significantly complicated by global privacy regulations, complex business structures, and conflicting policies.

Project Jake will start by building and socializing a model and framework that will express policies in such a way as to show the complex interactions of different stakeholder requirements. The implementation of this framework will allow for the expression of contact information via the RDDS that is appropriate to the policies that govern any particular stakeholder group.

By allowing for this kind of data-driven examination of policy, future governance and policy makers can clearly see the results of their changes, and determine not only what aspects of RDDS information will be shared, but also determine the overall cost and effectiveness of the changes under consideration.

Learn more about our work:

Changing the Model: Rethinking registration data collection and disclosure

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