Finding owner of domain name

Recently I tried to look up the owner of a domain name using whois.net. Instead of contact info for the owner or the owner’s hosting service I got just the Registrar name, whois server, referral url, name servers, and dates, plus the standard boilerplate about terms and condition. Has there been some change to the law about domain name registration? I thought it was required that there be public information to contact an owner or owner’s representative.

Contact the Registrar if you have any question regarding the domain.

There are a couple possibilities.

First, if the domain is registered through other registrars, sometimes the full data is not shown on every whois inquiry. However, it will tell you where the domain was registered at. By going to the registrar the domain was purchased at and doing a whois search, that may bring up more information, including contact info.

Second, you do have the ability to make your domain name private now, which will hide your contact info from the public. Usually that means it will replace the information with the registrar’s information and keep yours only in their personal records (to avoid spam and phishing).

While the whois lists the registrant instead of the owner, if you wish to contact the owner you may send your email or letter, etc to them through the registrant who will forward it to the domain owner.

Part of the problem is that many normal people have websites who perhaps aren’t that equipped to understand their own security so registrars offer protection to which their own information is put in place of the client (which technically makes the registrar the legal owner and licensee of the domain - not the consumer), but it’s a popular choice for people who perhaps don’t want someone finding their home address and paying them an unfriendly visit. If you find the host of the website (should be in the name-servers) you could put in a formal request to ask for the details of the user or how to get in touch with them. :slight_smile:

Thanks, everybody, that helps.