Domain names are attached to the people who purchase them. This is standard procedure by domain name registration services and companies to provide the information to the “WHOIS” query and response protocol that is designed to prevent fraud and provide necessary information for lawful and appropriate interests. This information is also useful for a variety of other reasons such as contacting the owner of a website or domain to inquire about purchasing the website.
Anonymity of Domain Owners
A domain owner may wish to remain anonymous and have privacy with their information.This service is offered by a variety of domain registration services which instead of offering private information will provide alternative information which helps to protect the identity of the person from abusive individuals.
Of course, this shield of information is not permanent. Depending on the hosting company, release of the information can be made as a request by law enforcement or from a court mandated order. A cease and desist letter or a phone request can also make it possible to get the privileged information by other individuals. There are a wide variety of top level domain extensions which are capable of providing domain privacy. Although this is possible with all top level domain options, some are restricted from using domain privacy such as the top level domain extensions “.US” and “.CA”. This means that a client needs to research their top level domain extensions before they decide to purchase if they need domain privacy.
This can make it difficult for people who are trying to remain anonymous who wish to have the ability to voice their views without being attacked by the public. Those with a political agenda or deal with free speech as governed in certain countries may not have the same freedoms in another country.
Although technically illegal, it is not impossible for someone to purchase a domain name to be used by someone else. This way, false information will be shown when people attempt to access the information. Some people have even gone to great lengths to have deceased people making the purchases of the domain names. This is a falsification of the contracts with the domain registration companies. This can void the contract and have the domain names revoked from the purchasing party. People who perform this type of fraud often use the domains to host illegal content or content which is designed to attack others or cause damage.
True privacy is not possible with any type of domain. Since accurate information is required by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in the form of mailing address, phone number and email address. Some domain registration can bypass providing information when someone uses a registration service overseas and uses approved options to pay that have no personal information attached to them. This means that they can use payment forms which are devoid of information or have inaccurate information when making the purchase of the domains to only include information which is not useful to the public.