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The AFNIC reinforces protection against illegal use of its Whois database

Home > Observatory and resources > News > The AFNIC reinforces protection against illegal use of its Whois database

Saint Quentin en Yvelines, May 16th 2007

The AFNIC Board of Directors has fixed the main trends to follow in regards to the .fr Whois database access.


As a registry, the AFNIC manages a database that can be accessed by everybody through different channels (DNS, Whois…).
For any domain name, this access allows to find the details concerning the holder, the creation and anniversary dates, the details of the administrative and technical contacts and the servers on which it is installed.
This is what is commonly called the “Whois”. Using this database can also help knowing if a .fr domain name is available.

As the .fr registry, the AFNIC’s mission is to maintain this database. The AFNIC defines the terms and conditions for its access.


Decisions adopted by Board of Directors

The AFNIC has associated the Internet community to its reflections on how the terms and conditions of this access could evolve. The AFNIC organized, in addition to the work done by its consultative committees, a
public survey from February 27th to March 26th 2007 on the AFNIC database publication and access. The results from this consultation were published on the AFNIC website on April 24th 2007.

To follow these reflections, the AFNIC Board has decided on April 27th:

to reinforce the technical measures that will prevent automatic retrieval of data as well as keeping the domain information consultation service opened to everyone, free of charge, without authentification or identification of users;

to propose to registrars additional services that would give them access to all the data needed in their business;

to replace the list of the last registered domain names by a prompt data extraction service, within specific and strict contracts. This service would be completed by a motivated opposition system that will allow a domain name holder not to appear in the extracted lists.


In order to guarantee a stable service, the AFNIC will deploy these new functions in the following months according to a calendar that will insure a global coherence of these evolutions.

Further information

Public survey on the AFNIC database publication and access:

Results from public survey on the AFNIC database publication and access:

About the AFNIC
(Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération )

Non-profit organization, the AFNIC is in charge of the administrative and technical management of the .fr (France) and .re (Reunion Island) Internet domain names.
The AFNIC brings together public and private members: representatives from the French government, Internet users and Internet Service Providers (Registrars).
Further information.

About Afnic

Afnic is the acronym for Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération, the French Network Information Centre. The registry has been appointed by the French government to manage domain names under the .fr Top Level Domain. Afnic also manages the .re (Reunion Island), .pm (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte) French Overseas TLDs.

In addition to managing French TLDs, Afnic’s role is part of a wider public interest mission, which is to contribute on a daily basis, thanks to the efforts of its teams and its members, to a secure and stable internet, open to innovation and in which the French internet community plays a leading role. As part of that mission, Afnic, a non-profit organization, has committed to devoting 11% of its Revenues from managing .fr Top Level Domain to actions of general interest, in particular by transferring €1.3 million each year to the Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity.
Afnic is also the back-end registry for the companies as well as local and regional authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD, such as .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc and .sncf.

Established in 1997 and based in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Afnic currently has nearly 90 employees.