Quantcast How does WHOIS control ownership of domain? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
10-27-2012, 11:37 AM
Mr. Rey Mr. Rey is offline
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Sorry if I'm not in the right category, I wasn't sure.

Is it true that we don't own or control our domain name or some part of it when we choose to use the WHOIS protocol?
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  #2  
10-27-2012, 04:40 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Not exactly. I think you've confused a few topics.

Domain registration is effectively a license that must be renewed in one-year increments. When you register a domain name, you submit your information. That includes the name of a person, the name of an organization (if applicable), a valid mailing address, a valid telephone number, and a valid fax number (if applicable).

However, registrars (and third-party domain services) also offer privacy options which hides your whois.

While many people opt to hide whois without thinking, it's not advised. The reason being that whois "privacy" (hiding) is more often abused by online troublemakers -- scammers/fraudsters, illegal operations, conspiracy lunatics, libelous non-factual BS sites, etc. As such one of the most common pieces of advice, when dealing with an online business (especially hosting!) is to see if their whois shows legitimate contact details.

In the case of the hosting industry, lots of teenagers living at home trying to open "hosting companies" while wearing their big-boy pants and pretending to be something they're not -- i.e., experienced, a legitimate business that pays taxes, etc. Virtually all hosts who hide their whois are scams or run by kids/amateurs, and should be avoided.

The one exception to the "don't use a business with hidden whois" rule is sites that have lots of consumer advocacy type content. These are sites that try to balance anti-scam information with concerns for their own safety, both physical and legal. Site owners would then be limited to DDoS attacks only, and not subjected to lazily-filed SLAPP suits, or threats of physical violence by crazies who would come to your home or office. And while many sites would claim this exemption, use your best judgment when determining that a site owner is either justified in his/her concern, or simply full of crap and actually just hiding.

A good site to look up whois is here: http://whois.domaintools.com

If your whois information is fake, a registrar can nullify your domain license, and confiscate it. Godaddy does this quite often with spammers and counterfeiters from China. However, they're also guilty of confiscating domains from people later proven to be innocent of any wrongdoing. As such, Godaddy is a lousy register that should not be used, as they've proven themselves untrustworthy in the past. Both Godaddy and 1&1 tend to knee-jerk react to situations, and seem to have little regard for the customer. Use a better registrar like Namecheap or DirectNIC.

Godaddy is also guilty of exploiting a loophole related to domain privacy, which forces you to stay with them. If you want to transfer your domain, you must often unhide the whois. But Godaddy only allows transfers after 60 days have passed since your last whois data update. Therefore you must unhide your whois 61 days in advance (at minimum) in order to transfer. Unfortunately, this is long enough for your whois data to be cached "in the clear" by other sites, meaning you're no longer private/hidden, thus nullifying the entire benefit of maintaining a hidden whois. This slimy policy was against ICANN rules initially, but ICANN has become a Godaddy puppet in recent years, amending rules to allow for bogus Godaddy practices. They claim it's in the interest of consumer protection (not allowing others to steal your domain), but has largely been condemned as nothing more than a cash grab to force you to stay a Godaddy customer.

This last part is likely where the confusion over controlling a domain name, in relation to whois, has come from.

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  #3  
10-28-2012, 01:15 PM
Mr. Rey Mr. Rey is offline
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Conspiracy lunatics, lol, that's a good one.

Thanks for clearing things up, KP.

So if a person doesn't opt to hide whois, is their web host company able to do a good job of filtering out most of the spam?

Godaddy's not the only one that needs to be described by that image either.
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10-28-2012, 01:30 PM
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If you don't hide your whois, the information shown should be yours -- your home or office. Even a mailbox somewhere is fine, be it the Post Office or a private mailbox service. In fact, I tend to suggest domains never go to a personal home address, if it can be avoided.

You NEVER want your whois to show your host! If the whois shows their information, then they technically own the domain and not you, even if you are paying for it. Lots of people have lost their domains because of hosts who have folded, and the domain was snapped up on the aftermarket before the legitimate owner could reclaim it.

You also never want to use fake information, like 123 Street, LA CA 90210, 888-555-1234.

Most offline "spam" (junk mail) is from fake companies that try to trick you into switching to their domain service, by claiming you're about to expire. Always renew online, from the host directly, never by mail. Everything by mail is crap. About once a year I'll also get fake credit card applications, which are made out to the whois address.

Whatever email address is registered will also receive spam from fake domain services, claiming to have a near-match domain. If somebody fills out a form, then they'll go buy the domain for $10 and resell it to you for $500. But you could just as easily buy that domain yourself by ignoring them. I've done this several times. It's the most useful spam I've ever gotten, alerting me to available domains that I did want.

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  #5  
11-03-2012, 12:36 PM
Mr. Rey Mr. Rey is offline
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When I have a form to email set up on my website, is that enough to avoid getting spam sent to my email?

If not, what can I do to avoid getting as little spam as possible from my website?
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  #6  
01-28-2013, 04:21 AM
vagain vagain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Rey View Post
Sorry if I'm not in the right category, I wasn't sure.
Is it true that we don't own or control our domain name or some part of it when we choose to use the WHOIS protocol?
It is not like that,The domain owner details like name,address,phone number,email are all published online for anyone to see, as per the rules by ICANN. But we have the power to change this with Private Registration (hiding WHOIS details).If we have a private registration for our domain then the owner details will be hid by using proxy details.When a search is done for a privately registered domain the owner details will not be available for public thereby providing security to the domain owner against spammers,hackers.We do not lose control if we avail a whois protection
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