North American Network Operators Group

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High volume WHOIS queries

  • From: Dan Lockwood
  • Date: Mon Feb 28 16:35:00 2005

I'm in a disagreement with ARIN about my application for bulk whois
data.  I've got a software program that needs resolve AS numbers to the
Company Name of the owner.  The software app has need to do this on a
very high volume.  E.g.  I run a report that returns the top 100 AS
destinations for my network and I want to resolve the numbers to the
names as part of the report generation.  Since ARIN throttles the number
of queries that you can execute against their servers I seems to "just
make sense" that you would do the processing using local data.

That is all fine and good, but the problem comes when I distribute the
software to users.  ARIN's AUP for bulk whois states:

"Redistributing bulk ARIN WHOIS data is explicitly forbidden. It is
permissible to publish the data on an individual query or
small number of queries at a time basis, as long as reasonable
precautions are taken to prevent automated querying by
database harvesters."

My original AUP application stated that I would transfer the data to the
users using an XML file on a regular basis.  Clearly in violation of the
first point.  Fine.  But now after a phone conversation they are telling
me that I can not operate a server to distribute the data on a "per
query" basis too.  Providing a server that answers whois queries just
like ARIN seems to be clearly permissible based on the remaining AUP
verbage.  At this point the only thing I can get out of the guy/gal on
the phone is "NO!".

Does anyone have any experience doing something like this?  How about a
sanity check?  Am I completely wrong in how I'm interpreting the AUP?