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What is the definition of private domain registration?
June 1, 2011 1:08 PM   Subscribe

What is the definition of private domain registration? I recently registered a domain via gandi.net and was surprised to find that even after selecting their "private domain registration" service my first and last name had been published via whois.

I recently registered a domain via gandi.net and was surprised to find that even after selecting their "private domain registration" service my first and last name had been published via whois. I reviewed the process for registration to find that in collection of personal information a link is available to a PDF that discusses (2700 words) "private domain registration." This document states in only one place "... the following information will be seen in the Whois: Your first and last name ..."

There is also this page, https://www.gandi.net/domain/whois/ but nowhere here does it clearly state that "personal information" is limited to everything else but your first and last name --which is released. I find this horribly inconsistent and misleading.

I've done some googling and read some of the ICANN website but I can't find an absolute, conclusive, or authoritative definition for "private domain registration." I did find that many other registrars make a point of noting that *ALL* contact info, including first and last name will be proxied.

So can anyone tell me where I can find a referenced text on this --the gospel? I'm under the impression registrars are able to spin up their own definition --which in this case seems pretty unfair considering I overlooked the passage in the document.

Also, what can I do at this point? I've exchanged a couple of tickets with their support staff but they are neither very speedy nor forthcoming. I've been told "we have chosen in any rate to not hide the owner's name, as we feel that it is important that the domain's owner be very clear for domains registered at Gandi. "

I'd like to have a civil discussion with someone at Gandi about this but no telephone numbers are available. None.
posted by ezekieldas to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Every host will handle this in their own way.

Have a look into transferring the domain to nearlyfreespeech.net. Their RespectMyPrivacy service is really good.
posted by Solomon at 1:22 PM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Have a look into transferring the domain to nearlyfreespeech.net. Their RespectMyPrivacy service is really good.
I can second this.

They've kept my personal info safe from a couple of very persistent harassers on more than one occasion.
posted by -1 at 1:25 PM on June 1, 2011


That's kind of odd - even mainstream registrars like GoDaddy offer private registration where your name and info is not exposed by whois searches. Not sure if you just want baseline privacy from marketers, insulation from someone who might have a subpoena, or what, but for gandi to screw that up is kind of appalling.

Personally I would use either GoDaddy or someone like Network Solutions, unless you're doing something where you think you'll get actual legal attention, in which case I have no idea. Nothing against nearlyfreespeech, but in glancing at their privacy policy, even they are going to cave in the event of a subpoena.

Having been burned by a small domain registrar, domain registration is one area where I'm going to typically favor using a large company.
posted by randomkeystrike at 1:31 PM on June 1, 2011


There's probably not much you can do. They've got a published document indicating that your name is going to be published, and their support people have already stated that they're not going to help you. Time to take your business elsewhere.
posted by DWRoelands at 1:38 PM on June 1, 2011


Thanks for the excellent responses here. This issue concerns me because 1) my work involves IT consulting, which often involves privacy and security matters. I would never advise anyone to allow personal information like this to be published. I can't practice that exposure myself. 2) although I will be transferring the domain once I'm able (unfortunate 60 day period) there's a principle here that I've been misled and I feel obliged to mark that shortcoming for others that may follow.

That being said, can anyone recommend a means for me to escalate this issue? I've called ICANN but they're not concerned with the issue. Is there a forum that discusses this type of thing more specifically?
posted by ezekieldas at 2:12 PM on June 1, 2011


Network Solutions' private reg also lists your first & last name, or at least they did as of a few months ago. When I called to ask why they did and many other registrars did not, the CSR claimed it was "to be fully compliant with ICANN requirements." I found it easier to switch to another registrar (namecheap) rather than to fight about it or wade through ICANN docs.
posted by jamaro at 2:13 PM on June 1, 2011


I have a domain registered at Gandi and I confirm there is a checkbox somewhere to hide your WHOIS record. This is enabled for my domain, although I can't seem to find it again.
posted by knz at 3:29 PM on June 1, 2011


Several weeks after asking ICANN whether they've had any discussion on this I get the following response...

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: define "private domain registration"
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 15:35:38 -0700
From: ICANN

Thank you for your inquiry.

Information about who is responsible for domain names is publicly
available to allow rapid resolution of technical problems and to permit
enforcement of consumer protection, trademark, and other laws.
Registrars are required to make this information available on their
websites. The following contact information is to be provided pursuant
to section 3.3.1.1 – 3.3.1.8 of the Registrar Accreditation
Agreement(RAA):

The name of the Registered Name;

The names of the primary nameserver and secondary nameserver(s) for the
Registered Name; The identity of Registrar (which may be provided
through Registrar's website); The original creation date of the
registration; The expiration date of the registration; The name and
postal address of the Registered Name Holder; The name, postal address,
e-mail address, voice telephone number, and (where available) fax number
of the technical contact for the Registered Name; and The name, postal
address, e-mail address, voice telephone number, and (where available)
fax number of the administrative contact for the Registered Name.

It is however possible to register a domain in the name of a third
party, as long as they agree to accept responsibility -- ask your
registrar for further details.

Kind regards,

ICANN Services

posted by ezekieldas at 4:36 PM on June 22, 2011


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