Deployment of the Internet White Pages Service (RFC2148)
Original Publication Date: 1997-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-15
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
H. Alvestrand: AUTHOR [+1]
This document describes the way in which the Internet White Pages Service is best exploited using today's experience, today's protocols, today's products and today's procedures. This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements.
Network Working Group H. Alvestrand Request for Comments: 2148 UNINETT BCP: 15 P. Jurg Category: Best Current Practice SURFnet September 1997
Deployment of the Internet White Pages Service
Status of this Memo
This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
1. Summary and recommendations
This document makes the following recommendations for organizations on the Internet:
(1) An organization SHOULD publish public E-mail addresses and other public address information about Internet users within their site.
(2) Most countries have laws concerning publication of information about persons. Above and beyond these, the organization SHOULD follow the recommendations of .
(3) The currently preferable way for publishing the information is by using X.500 as its data structure and naming scheme (defined in  and discussed in , but some countries use a refinement nationally, like  for the US). The organization MAY additionally publish it using additional data structures such as whois++.
(4) The organization SHOULD make the published information available to LDAP clients, by allowing LDAP servers access to their data".
(5) The organization SHOULD NOT attempt to charge for simple access to the data.
In addition, it makes the following recommendations for various and sundry other parties:
(1) E-mail vendors SHOULD include LDAP lookup functionality into their products, either as built-in functionality or by providing translation facilities.
Alvestrand & Jurg Best Current Practice [Page 1]
RFC 2148 Internet White Pages Service September 1997
(2) Internet Service providers SHOULD help smaller organizations follow this recommendation, either by providing services for hosting their data, by helping them find other parties to do so, or by helping them bring their own service on-line.
(3) All interested parties SHOULD make sure there exists a core X.500 name space in the world, and that all names in this name space are resolvable. (National name spaces may elobarate on the core name space).
The rest of this document is justification and details for this recommendation.
The words "SHOULD", "MUST" and "MAY", when written in UPPER CASE, have the meaning defined in RFC 2119 
The Internet is used for information exchange and communication between its users. It can only be effective as such if users are able to find each other’s addresses. Therefore the Internet benefits from an adequate White Pages Service, i.e., a directory service offering (Internet) address information related to people and organizations.
This document describes the way in which the Internet White Pages Service (from now on abbreviated as IWPS) is best exploited using today’s experience, today’s protocols, today’s products and today’s procedures.
Experience  has shown that a White Pages Service based on self- registration of users o...