Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)

The Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) enables users to access current registration data and was created as an eventual replacement for the WHOIS protocol. RDAP was developed by the technical community in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
RDAP is a protocol that delivers registration data like WHOIS, but its implementation will change and standardize data access and query response formats. RDAP has several advantages over the WHOIS protocol, including support for internationalization, secure access to data, and the ability to provide differentiated access to registration data.

Why is RDAP being implemented?
Deficiencies with the current WHOIS system, such as lack of support for internationalization, secure access to data, differentiated access, standardized query, response, and error responses, have been recognized for over a decade. ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee advised in 2011 that the ICANN community evaluate and adopt a replacement protocol. SAC 051: SSAC Report on Domain Name Whois Terminology and Structure [PDF, 243 KB].

ICANN has been working with registry operators and registrars on RDAP implementation, most recently through the RDAP pilot program. Registry operators and registrars will be required to implement RDAP under the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data. It is expected that RDAP will also be required under any new policy that will go into effect after the expiration of the Temporary Specification. - Please note that DNS.Business has (is) successfully participated in the pilot deployment of RDAP via our partnership with RyCE GmbH ( 

How will the privacy of registration data be protected in RDAP?
RDAP provides the option to enable differentiated access (for example, limited access for anonymous users and full access for authenticated users).

DNS.Business: Current Status - RDAP
While we have successfully implemented RDAP for our registry system deployments (including .ZA SLDs) we have yet to develop mechanisms to differentiate access rights. This is largely due to the fact that the International standards (for its design and implementation) have not yet been finalised and it could be detrimental to start off on a process that deviates from what could be the final standard. Having said this, it is possible that access and authentication controls will remain something left to the individual implementer of the technology. Our thinking is that at some stage we can create a web client (a component of the DNS portal) that will facilitate differential access and authentication using RDAP. 

Please also refer to RFC 7481 ( for more information on RDAP proposed security standards.

Posted by Neil Dundas
Neil is our CEO and Co-founder, having vast expertise in a multitude of fields from both his law and domain name business days. He played an integral part in the application, launch and technical administration of the .Africa domain name and is key to establishing international partnerships, ADR, legal partnerships and more for our business.