In 1999, ICANN developed a Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) that sets the terms by which accredited registrars are authorized to register domain names within the generic top-level domains. The RAA requires registrars to investigate and correct any reported inaccuracies in WHOIS contact information for the domain names they register.
It also published additional information and guidance for registrars regarding their obligations to investigate and correct data inaccuracies, and implemented a system to receive and track complaints about inaccurate and incomplete data. The RAA specifies that registrars must collect the following information, as a minimum, from each registrant:
- the domain name being registered;
- the names of the primary name server and any secondary name servers;
- the identity of the registrar;
- original creation and expiration dates of the registration;
- the registrant's name and postal address; and
- the name, postal address, e-mail address, telephone number, and fax number (optional) for both the technical contact and the administrative contact for the domain name.
The RAA directs registrars to:
- require registrants to agree that willfully submitting inaccurate contact details (or failing to respond within 15 days to an inquiry regarding accuracy) shall be a basis for cancellation of the registration and
- take reasonable steps to investigate and correct contact information in response to any reported inaccuracy.