The WHOIS protocol has not been internationalised. The WHOIS
protocol has no mechanism for indicating the character set in use.
Originally, the predominant text encoding in use was US-ASCII. In
practice, some WHOIS servers, particularly those outside the USA,
might be using some other character set either for requests, replies,
or both. This inability to predict or express text encoding has
adversely impacted the interoperability (and, therefore, usefulness)
of the WHOIS protocol.