[DBWG] Possible solutions to the changed attribute issue

Simon Seruyinda simon at afrinic.net
Mon Aug 24 09:05:57 UTC 2020


We have had discussions internally regarding the changed attribute and we acknowledge the challenges sorrounding its effectiveness and accuracy as a reliable source of who made the changes and when.
Current WHOIS behaviour does not force the addition of a changed attribute during an update if one already exists.
Besides validating that the email address the user provides is a valid one, the changed attribute is for the users own reference. Nothing can be determined by a third party by looking at the email address provided here.
As pointed out by Frank, currently the date is not validated to confirm that it matches the date when update is being done, but we can change this to make it auto-generated.

In our internal discussions, the following options were considered:

1. Eliminate other avenues of creating and updating WHOIS objects such as webupdate and auto-dbm and leave only myafrinic. Allow non-registered contacts to register on the portal with limited access to specific functionality so that when a change or creation of an object is done, we know exactly who is making the updates. This would enable us to auto-generate the changed attribute. This would be possible in myafrinic v2 which is currently under development.

2. Slowly deprecate the changed attribute and replace it with two auto-generated attributes namely created and last-updated or last-modified both of which would take the date whose format we can discuss and agree upon here.

How have other RIRs handled this?

Began deprecation of the changed attribute in 2015, and replaced it with created and last-modified attributes.

Replaced the changed attribute with the last-modified attribute

Your comments and suggestion on the best implementation approach to take are welcome.


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