How to find domain owners using WHOIS

How to find domain owners using WHOIS

WHOIS is a system that all owners of domain names, website managers, and social media marketing managers must have familiarity with. Contrary to popular belief, this is not an acronym. This is just WHOIS, something that answers the most basic online question: who is responsible for a particular domain name or IP address? Anyone who registers a domain name, be it individuals, business, nonprofit organizations, government etc.

are obliged to provide contact information identifying them as their owners. The basics include:

� Personal and / or business names
� Business address (physical)
� Email address
� Phone number
� Administrative and technical contacts

In this article, we'll see what it is WHOIS, how WHOIS is used, and some of the privacy issues associated with domain ownership in an increasingly digitized world.

A Brief History of WHOIS

WHOIS can be traced back to 1982 when the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) introduced a protocol (service directory) for ARPANET users (note: ARPANET can be considered the precursor of the Internet today). From a humble beginning, the role of WHOIS has evolved with the Internet to serve the needs of individuals, businesses, registers (see below), intellectual property owners and trademarks, and increasingly government and law enforcement agencies.

WHOIS properties

WHOIS is not a centralized database. Instead, the information you provide is managed by a group of name markers designated by Internet Corporation for Assigned and Number (ICANN). These registrars (or registries) have specific responsibilities, and their accreditation allows them to operate top-level domains such as .org and .com.

For example, the company from whom you purchased the domain name in accordance with ICANN, is obliged to "implement measures to maintain timely, unlimited, and accurate WHOIS access to complete WHOIS information ...." This is why you receive an annual reminder to confirm Accuracy of your information: registrants must provide public access to data on registered names. You are also expected to update your contact information whenever it changes. The public is allowed to use the WHOIS protocol to search its database and identify the registered name holder or "registrant" of a domain name.

How to access WHOIS

Like Google and other search engines, all you have to do to use WHOIS is to visit, enter the domain, and click "Lookup." The WHOIS record on the ICANN site is relatively easy. The raw data is indexed by contact data (i.e. registrants, administrative, technical) and includes other details such as Administration Bureau, Domain Status, and Important Date.

Use of WHOIS

In accordance with the ICANN agreement, WHOIS may be used for legitimate purposes and thereby exclude spam, automatic queries of registries, and all unethical marketing practices. Along with the domain name identification, it can be used:

� With network administrators and others to find and fix system problems and maintain Internet stability.
� To determine the availability of domain names.
� To address spam or fraud and identify trademark infringement
� To Increase the accountability of domain name registrars.
WHOIS data can be used to track and identify suspicious applicants who post illegal content (such as child pornography) or engage in phishing scams.

WHOIS and Privacy

Some registrars offer an individual domain name holder a proxy or privacy service that protects the owner's information from a public view. In many cases, it is understandable that people do not want their information to be exposed. However, personal anonymity is not guaranteed, since the registrar's legal requirements may require that they distribute the true identity of the registrant regardless of any privacy request.

U.S. and Canadian laws, for example, are increasingly moving toward restricting WHOIS access to your identity. On the other hand, registrars or registrants in countries whose privacy laws prohibit the collection and publication of personal data are not required to violate the law to satisfy WHOIS. They are also entitled to apply for ICANN for WHOIS abandonment.


WHOIS plays an important role in maintaining the stability and health of the internet. Increasingly astonishing, so few people are aware of it in today's increasingly digital-based economy. Beyond the confirmation of your annual information that may only require clicking links, take a little time to investigate what ICANN has for this service in the coming years.

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