The convergence trend on HTTPS protocol continues to gather momentum. This time it is the venerable WHOIS protocol that is poised to be replaced with RDAP over HTTP. In the INFORMATIONAL RFC7485 (its not a standard), it describes how to query WHOIS style data over HTTP:
This document describes the WHOIS data collection procedures and gives an inventory analysis of data objects based on the collected data from the five RIRs, 106 ccTLDs, and 18 gTLDs from DNRs. The RIR data objects are classified by the five RIRs into IP address, ASN, person or contact, and the organization that held the resource.
The Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) is a new service designed to address a number of shortcomings in the existing Whois service. The most important changes are:
Standardization of queries and responses
Internationalization considerations to cater for languages other than English in data objects
Why replace whois ?
Today, WHOIS offers four main problems to publishers and consumers of registry data. The WHOIS standard is very brief, and does not specify query types, output formats, or error messages, and each whois service operator has made those decisions independently. There is also no support for internationalization, which has become a much more pressing problem with the advent of internationalized domain names (IDNs). The protocol was designed for a single server answering all queries, and has no mechanism to cope with today’s distribution of registrations and authorities. There is also no support for authentication mechanisms, again leaving the challenge of different classes of users for each operator to resolve,
Reference: The Future of WHOIS | APNIC
The RDAP Information RFC Reference : Inventory and Analysis of WHOIS Registration Objects