InterNIC "whois server <handle>" broke?

Jeffrey Haas wrote:

authenticate yourself by telneting into at the whois
prompt. From there, I could then issue a query for all domains
that list my server's NIC handles.

So, in my case, I'm MNO5. I could then query for anything that
MNO5 is either:
o a contact
o a dns server attached to my contact

The greatest difficulty I see in this is establishing authenticity for
everyone. Those with existing authenticity (CRYPT-PW or PGP) could
be done. The rest would be a problem, and could invite people trying
to assign their own passwords to other people's contact records, and
that would end up being a big mess.

I could even live with the request being done live and then e-mailed
to me.

If it is mailed to the contact e-mail address only, that might well be
safe enough for Internic to be willing to send the full list.

I would _really_ love a way to lame delegate my stuff via password
login as well in a batch fashion.

I believe they can do lame delegations, but that it's not practical to
be doing that over and over on millions of domains. However, it might
be practical for an authenticated request to do so specifically for a
particular server. The code to do that would just run through all the
domains with that server as a DNS, and apply the lame test via that
server. Those that get a specifically negative response (I never heard
of that domain and I don't have an SOA record for it) would be collected.
It would then be entered into the system and assigned a tracking number,
and perhaps send you a notify template to give final authority to yank
that specific server from those domains.

I'm wondering if part of the problem is they're changing DB systems,
and don't have the appropriate macros installed yet.

That's believable. I'd give them some time and see if it comes back
online. Just how much? I don't know. Look for a response from them.