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GoDaddy to start masking some Whois data through Port 43

Masking should limit phone calls, texts and emails based on Whois information.

GoDaddy sent a notice to customers today notifying them that it will start masking some Whois data when it is requested through Port 43 Whois lookups. Port 43 is often used for bulk Whois lookups and is how many of the Whois spammers get their data.

The registrar will begin masking a registrant’s first name, last name, email and phone number.

It’s important to note that this information will still be available if you go through GoDaddy’s web-based Whois. It will also be available for people who have whitelisted Port 43 access with GoDaddy. Also, customers can opt-out of having their information masked.

The move is designed to cut down on the amount of spam GoDaddy customers receive. GoDaddy recently filed a lawsuit against a group of people it says are spamming its customers with offers of web services.

I suspect there will be some pushback from groups that use this data who will argue that GoDaddy is required to provide full Port 43 access. The reaction will be particularly interesting in light of ICANN’s decision to be lax on contractual Whois requirements due to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

The masking will begin January 25.

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  1. onlinedomain says

    How will this limit phone calls, texts and emails based on Whois information? GoDaddy has been hiding all this info for years. The only personal info provided is/was the registrant name. Now that is gone too.

  2. Tom S says

    I registered one domain last week through godaddy and now receive about 15 phone calls a day with made up phone numbers (which I never answer if it’s not on my contact list) which I assume is from “web developers”. I can’t even count how many emails I get after registering a name. It’s made me not want to register anymore names. I am going to be very hesitant to expand my portfolio beyond what I now have. If I read the msg correctly, it will stop the auto-gathering of whois info by bots.

  3. Acro says

    They also throttle WHOIS queries for legitimate purposes.

    I was told that Uniregistry can only query GoDaddy 4 times a minute, when generating domain transfer emails. Can take up to 15 minutes to lookup 20 domains and build the email. No such issues with other losing registrars.

    The “thin registry” principle is the weak point of WHOIS. Change it to a central database and end the charades that GoDaddy has been playing for years.

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