Whois verification is part of a new program started by ICANN in 2014 called the Whois Accuracy Program Specification. It is poorly implemented, dangerous, does not meet its stated objectives, and like all good pointless self-imposed bureaucratic processes, it's mandatory.
Anytime you change contact information associated with a registered domain, including when you first register it, you must verify the new contact email address. This is done by sending you an email message with a link to click on. The email will be sent to the registrant contact's email address. If you have RespectMyPrivacy for the domain, the message will be automatically relayed to your NearlyFreeSpeech.NET member contact email address.
We do not get to control when this message is sent, its content, or whether or not your spam filter will take it seriously. If you do not click on the link, two reminder emails will be sent over the next two weeks. If you still don't click the link after 15 days, ICANN requires that the domain be suspended until you do. If a domain is suspended, it can take 24-48 hours to start working again.
Even worse, if you don't complete whois verification for one domain and you have other domains that use the same contact information, all those domains will be suspended as well.
If this has happened, or if the verification is currently in progress and you don't have the email, you can request a re-send at any time from the registration info panel in our UI.
Please note: This policy has nothing to do with us. It applies to any domain in any ICANN-controlled gTLD, regardless of what registrar you use. If you have an opinion on this program that you would like to share with ICANN, you should feel free to direct it to the nearest brick wall. ICANN is not currently accepting public comment or feedback on this issue. That's just how they roll.