Domain privacy is a topic that has been contested over the years. Most domain owners leverage proxy registration or third party services to hide their details. When comparing domain name privacy, an example would be an unlisted phone number. An unlisted number is not available in any communication company’s database, phone directory or an online directory.
What does that mean? Well, it means that when you perform a Whois search, the details of the domain name owner don’t appear. Instead, your domain name will come up with the registrant’s details or email forwarding service. This post looks at whether or not hiding your domain identity is legal.
Can the domain name owner be identified through the domain Whois system?
The Whois database contains details of all domain names, which means the details of your domain name can be found in the Whois database. Some of the details you should expect to be listed in the Whois database include your details. However, when you activate the domain Whois privacy protection, you won’t be able to see this information. And that’s why most people ask if the person named as the registrant is the real owner of the domain.
Many cases have come up about that and in most cases; the courts order the release of the domain ownership details. The details are then given to ICANN, which would organize the transfer of the disputed domain name to the real owner.
How can one use domain Whois privacy legally?
Many businesses use domain name privacy legitimately to secure domain name to launch new products in the market or just for business purposes within the organization. News agencies, top journalists, and researchers always want anonymity when buying domain names, which is why they leverage domain Whois privacy.
Now the big question is: Is domain Whois privacy legal?
According to ICANN, it all boils down to what your state or country law states. And they tell people to seek advice from their local law offices. However, while Whois privacy is legal in most states, the authorities require that registrars play a significant role in preventing fraudulent activities using domain names. They also require that registrars be forthcoming when they are undertaking investigations into a particular domain name that is suspected to be doing illegal activities.
Well, now you know whether the domain name Whois privacy is illegal or not. You can use the service, but make sure you’re not leveraging it for illegal purpose because the law will catch up with you someday.
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— 1&1® Web Hosting (@1and1) 30 de abril de 2018