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Many Domains Registered With False Data 401

Posted by Zonk
from the seekrit-webmaster-conspiracy dept.
bakotaco writes "According to research carried out by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) many domain owners are hiding their true identity. The findings could mean that many websites are fronts for spammers, phishing gangs and other net criminals. The report also found that measures to improve information about domain owners were not proving effective." From the article: "The GAO took 300 random domain names from each of the .com, .org and .net registries and looked up the centrally held information about their owners. Any user can look up this data via one of the many whois sites on the net. The report found that owner data for 5.14% of the domains it looked at was clearly fake as it used phone numbers such as (999) 999-9999; listed nonsense addresses such as 'asdasdasd' or used invalid zip codes such as 'XXXXX'. In a further 3.65% of domain owner records data was missing or incomplete in one or more fields."
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Many Domains Registered With False Data

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  • by Kelson (129150) * on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:02PM (#14211932) Homepage Journal
    I work at an ISP. We've had customers in the past whose domain names expired because they didn't update their address and phone number with their registrar, the person whose email address was on the record left the company, and they didn't get the renewal notice.

    It doesn't happen as often now as it used to. Either businesses are getting better at remembering that their domain names need to be updated along with everything else, or the registrars are better at finding other ways to notify them of renewals.

    But I ran into one case (with Network Solutions, IIRC -- it was a few years ago) where I personally updated the contact information associated with a role account and discovered, a year or two later, that the registrar had somehow resurrected the old, deleted contact info.
    • by Alaren (682568) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:12PM (#14212055)

      I work for a major industry player in the domain name registration business (though of course my words here in no way represent the way the company owner or company controllers feel, I'm sure). We offer privacy (for a fee, and since I'm in no position to change that particular policy I am not trying to start an argument about whether we should be charging for it) on domains, but a large number of customers (in my experience) want the benefits of private registration without the cost.

      Yes, the "junk" information may hide spammers and whatnot, but in my experience it's just people who want to post pictures of their kids online without worrying about "Internet weirdos." What upsets them is when some domain hijacker comes along, reports the "invalid WHOIS," gets the domain revoked and then purchases it themselves.

      Personally, I think that the best answer is to require the registrar to have the right contact information, but don't make it publicly available. Just like an unlisted phone number, your domain should be linkable to through proper legal channels but it doens't need to be everyone's business. This would cut WAY down on the amount of mail I get as a domain owner, as well.

      In practical terms, this means requiring the registrars to all offer free privacy services, and that might be a bone of contention as it's a pretty lucrative add-on for some. And then there's the .US "no privacy allowed" problem to contend with.

      So it's a tricky issue, but I think jumping to the conclusion that junk WHOIS means "hiding spammers" is premature and probably inaccurate. I would guess it's more just people trying to maintain some modicum of privacy.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I agree completely with not having the information publicly available.

        My site has photos of lots of quite expensive art that I own. I am not particularly happy that anyone who sees it can simply look up my name and address and find out where I live.

        There needs to be something better.
        • by NormalVisual (565491) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:29PM (#14212221)
          If you're in the U.S., register the domain(s) with a P.O. box for the address and a cellular phone number. I've been doing that for years, and have had exactly zero problems with people harassing me in any way. Of course, it means that you have to periodically go to the P.O. box to pick up any domain-related mail, but I already was having a fair bit of mail delivered to the box anyway.

      • Personally, I think that the best answer is to require the registrar to have the right contact information, but don't make it publicly available. Just like an unlisted phone number, your domain should be linkable to through proper legal channels but it doens't need to be everyone's business. This would cut WAY down on the amount of mail I get as a domain owner, as well.

        I agree with this completely.

        I get an amount of spam from my domain, and it worries me that as a private domain owner, I'm required to have

        • I don't object to the people who legitimately need this information being able to access it -- I don't think it should be held 'in the clear' for just anyone to see.

          Please define, in advance and universally, who the "people who legitimately need this information" are. If I get a phishing expedition message that uses a compromised website as a hiding place, how does a registrar differentiate between my wanting to contact that person to inform them of the compromise, and Bob The Spammer's desire to send that

      • Yes, the "junk" information may hide spammers and whatnot, but in my experience it's just people who want to post pictures of their kids online without worrying about "Internet weirdos."

        In my case, I take advantage of the registrar's confidentiality for my personal domain because I had started getting snail mail, email, and phone calls that resulted from the info presented in the domain registration record. I get enough of that crap without handing my info to those scum on a silver platter.

        • That's why I pay the fee for the private registration. My Snail Mail box was filling up with Internet related spam. The fake info method used to be the only way to be private, so those who cared got into the habit early. Once a habit is established, it is difficult to change.

    • Here's my situation:

      I want to register a domain name which was used by a business that went under. The whois data points to a nonexistant business. I called several registrars and explained the situation and they all told me that I will have to wait until the name expires (which is years from now).

      Can someone help me out here?
      • Rent the office where they used to be. Get registration-changing info sent to you in the [snail] mail.

        Piece of cake.
      • "they all told me that I will have to wait until the name expires"

        And what is wrong with that?

        Someone obviously paid to reserve the domain and there isn't a legal requirement that anyone actively uses the domain...I know I have worked with one business that has failed and the owners are waiting for a time to restart again...all the while folks are *DEMANDING* that they sell the domain name to them because they liked the name and started a business elsewhere with the same name.

        So why your want of something s
      • Just an idea - back-order the domain name through a registrar that allows you to do that, then submit the appropriate information to http://wdprs.internic.net/ [internic.net] with the hope that when InterNIC determines that the WHOIS info is invalid, they'll revoke the domain registration. I've not ever had to do that, so I can't speak as to how well it would work.
    • by bcrowell (177657) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @03:27PM (#14212800) Homepage
      I did run into an interesting case recently where the domain owner's info was fake, and it was clearly because he was a crook. This was someone who had plagiarized a bunch of information from a copylefted physics book I wrote, posted it on his own web page without the copyright, licensing, or authorship info, and was using it as a way to lure web surfers to his site, which had some very scary looking obfuscated javascript on it -- presumably it was designed to exploit some security flaw in IE. The contact info was bogus, although not obviously so (nonexistent street in Atlanta, phone number not connected). I contacted his webhost, who are a bunch of Russian guys living in London... draw your own conclusions :-)

      The article doesn't make much sense to me for several reasons: (1) it assumes anonymity on the internet is a bad thing, (2) it assumes the federal government should be getting involved in people's free speech activities, (3) as a gazillion slashdotters have noted, it ignores the legitimate reasons for doing this kind of stuff.

      Personally, I use a single-purpose hotmail address for my domains, and I have a note on my calendar to log into that hotmail account once in a while so the account doesn't get canceled. It's a hassle, but it saves me the money of paying my registrar for privacy.

  • by cprael (215426) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:04PM (#14211943)
    Including the spammer who was trying to forge email from my domain a few years ago. Registered his domain with a non-existent yahoomail account, amongst other false data. Backed off when I lit up the yahoo account and seized control of his domain.
  • God forbid... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    God forbid that anyone would do that to simply protect their private information.
    • Re:God forbid... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:09PM (#14212007)
      Yes. And the disturbing trend is that anyone wishing to do so is presumptively considered to be a criminal, or a potential one (or better yet, a "terrorist".) Given how many "spammers, phishing gangs and other net criminals" end up in my Inbox every day I'd say I have a good reason for wanting to keep that information secret. After all, I pay for the disk space used to store my domain information: I should be able to do with it as I will. And considering that domains are essentially a disposable commodity to "net criminals" any effort to require accurate information will, as always, primarily penalize legitimate users.
    • At the same time, do the ICANN not need to have some ability to contact users of the domain name system? Perhaps this information, or at least mailing addresses, shouldn't be public to begin with, but that's a distinct issue from entering information you know to be false when it is a condition of the service you are purchasing.
  • It has been found that a/s/l data is not always truthful.
    • I swear I really am a 19/F/Nextdoortoyou measurements 36-30-32 with no moral standards. I also can't get enough of scrawny little nerds, they make me so hornaaaay! And my name really is Aicrules, I'd show you my birthcertificate, but I wasn't born to a human mother!
  • by luvirini (753157) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:04PM (#14211951)
    It does not allways have to be with criminal intent.. can also be simply not wanting the assocaiated spam.
    • No way are the "obviously fake" records they're looking at spammers. If you're a spammer or a phisher, you can pretty easily use some of the many available plausible addresses to throw into your registration. You don't need to fill the phone number with nines. Criminy. The (999)-999-999s are all people like you and me registering small sites. Like everyone is saying here, we just want to avoid the spam and physical junk mail from whois harvesters.

      If the GAO's inquiry here results in some sort of crackdown

  • You Think? (Score:4, Funny)

    by TechJones (781168) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:06PM (#14211969)
    Maybe some people just want to be Anonymous Cowards.
  • It could also mean (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DrXym (126579) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:06PM (#14211972)
    The findings could mean that many websites are fronts for spammers, phishing gangs and other net criminals.

    Or that a great many domain owners see no reason to post their personal data up on the web where it is available to spammers, phishers or other net criminals. Not to mention random psychos who have some beef with the site's contents.

    • by Nichotin (794369) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:18PM (#14212115)
      Instead of using your name, they put their company info in the whois of your domain. Some registrars provide the service for free, while others charge (mine charges 2.99$ per year).
      • A) why does my private information need to become public just because I register a domain? I most certainly should not be required to provide a home address and telephone number let alone my real name just because I like to have a domain.

        B) why should the registrar or ISP get to make additional money on top of the already outrageous costs associated with registering a domain name just to protect my information that shouldn't be required anyway?

        C) My domain information is fake. Fuck em.
    • Not to mention random psychos who have some beef with the site's contents.

      That's it exactly. I mean, hell, you can get that happening just on irc. You say something and someone floods you for hours. I don't want to have people showing up at my actual door, for sure - so I have masking turned on.

  • by Sp00nMan (199816) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:06PM (#14211973) Journal
    I have a domain, and I use false information. What to know why? Because when I had my email and real address on my domain name, I got junk mail to my house, and spam to my email address! Until they can hide the contact info from the general public, I will keep falsifying my public information.
    • But Information wants to be Free! Surely the Slashdot mob will now string you up and lambast you for daring to try to hide information.
    • Just turn on or go to a registrar who has privacy filters.

      I have it activated on my domain and I don't get all the crap you're talking about...
    • There is a way, I use Domains By Proxy [domainsbyproxy.com]. I got on all my domains I registered at GoDaddy and its like a 7-9 dollar fee per domain per year. Basically you put in your real information, and they post the "fake proxy" information on the whois. Any incomming spam to the contact information is filtered out by their service, and I even think you can deny any incomming emails to that "fake" contact email unless it comes from Domains By Proxy or GoDaddy (your registrar in my case GoDaddy). I have had the service
    • I have a number of domain names registered. I have received a total of 3 pieces of junk mail in the 5 years I've held the domains. Oddly one for for a corprate credit card. I have a separate email acount for the domains and it gets almost no spam.

      I feel the benifits of having someone contact me due to forgoten registration/ problems and other reasons outweigh the anonymous aproach.
  • "Net Criminals"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gravyface (592485) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:06PM (#14211976)
    Perhaps these domain owners are just concerned with their privacy. One of my domains is an absolute ghost town, with zero visitors besides me, and absolutely no chance of someone linking to it. However, I receive regular spam, simply because I provided an accurate email address that can be fetched by any number of WHOIS lookups on the Web. Next time, I'm putting up fake data.
  • When you KNOW spammers "harvest" mailing addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses from WHOIS databases, would you give your information out if the registrar says they will share this information with anyone?

    I will never use registrars who do not implement some form of anti-spam measures..

    Just my $0.02...
  • by ThomasMis (316423) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:07PM (#14211981) Homepage
    What about us regular folk who have a domain? I don't want the world knowing where I live, especially if I'm somebody who runs a blog with unpopular political views.

  • by saboola (655522) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:07PM (#14211986)
    I happen to be at the home of (999)999-9999 on asdasdasd street in XXXXX area code and I get so much junk mail/telemarketing calls you would not believe it.
  • Fuzzy math? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by k3s (920880)
    300 sites times 5.14 % = 15.42 sites.

    How is 0.42 of a domain clearly fake?

    • 300 each of three TLDs = 900 domains.

      900*0.0514 = 46.26.

      Truth is, though, that the GAO report (highlights here, pdf: http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d06165high.pdf [gao.gov]

      don't say that 5.14% of the sample used incorrect info -- the GAO estimates that 5.14% of all domains use false info.

      The sample showed results of 45 false data sets (out of 900 domains), which is exactly 5%. Given the figures shown on the highlights I've linked above (especially the chart), I'm thinking that the 5.14% comes from having to
  • Or maybe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by isaac (2852) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:09PM (#14212003)
    Maybe, just maybe, domain owners are sick of being spammed at their listed contact info. I know I am. It comes in all forms, too - email, snail-mail, telemarketers.

    Pardon my English, but that sucks rocks.

    Fortunately, some registrars offer privacy proxy services allowing you to list the registrar as the contact in the whois info. Unfortunately, not all registrars offer this service.

    It may also be the case that people using obviously fake whois info do so for the legitimate purpose of free speech to avoid repressive governments or private institutions. The implication that all anonymous speech is fraudulent is unwarranted.

    -Isaac

    • Re:Or maybe... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dwight0 (513303)
      I made the mistake of changing my info from 000-000-0000 to my real cell phone number and i get alot of calls from marketers telling me my site is ugly and they can redo it for a fee. I asked them which site and they dont know the name or what it looks like. they still continue to call my cell after is said DO NOT CALL.
  • by crabpeople (720852) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:09PM (#14212011) Journal
    "The findings could mean that many websites are fronts for spammers, phishing gangs and other net criminals."

    or they could mean that many people - who dont run comercial businesses - do not want all of their personal contact information available to anyone on the internet. Just because you have a domain does not mean that you want everyone around the world to have your personal address and phone number.

    You'd be a fool to put that much info in the public domain.

  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:09PM (#14212013)
    If noone is enforcing these domain registration rules, then apparently you are allowed to put in anything you like. I guess that will be changing soon.

    Also, why does everyone need to know that information? Is there a privacy concern here?
  • WHOIS guard (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dreadlord (671979) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:10PM (#14212023) Journal
    I use a WHOIS guard service for all my domains, for a fee the company I registered my domains at lists their email/phone/address instead of mine, and forwards whatever they receive to me.

    This way my domains have valid info but at the same time not everyone out there can get my address or phone number.
  • by stlhawkeye (868951) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:11PM (#14212038) Homepage Journal
    I have been threatened and harassed from people who do a "whois" on my web site address and then come find me. When you've got a family and children you become a little touchy about that kind of stuff. Not that finding me is really that difficult but I see no reason to make it any easier. So my domain registration info is garbage.
  • No, really. What do they expect? Unless there will be a normal (unabused) policy about keeping such information only to contact domain owners by their registrants or in case if any law is broken, people will keep suplying false data.

    I certainly DON'T feel comfortable to publish my home address, name, phone, e-mail in a public way that closely relates me to my domain names or online identity on a public poster or a front page of my site. Even if I'm not doing any mischief. I JUST DON'T LIKE IT.
  • Start taking them down one by one until real information and accurate contact information is provided. This should have been done from the very start. Anyone who doesn't have proper information loses their URL until they comply and anyone who fails to comply loses it permanently. If you don't notice that your website is gone then you weren't using it anyway.

     
    • And yes, I understand that privacy and spamming are a concern. That information should have been far better protected from the very start. It should be possible to find out who owns a domain without having a database available for anyone who wishes to gang-bang whenever they please.

       
  • by shaitand (626655) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:11PM (#14212042) Journal
    Personally I would rather let the terrorists (cyber or otherwise) win than give up my privacy. Domain owners are justified in wanting anonymity.
    • I completely agree.... and the simple fact is that if we lose our anonymity and our ability to HAVE free speech, then the terrorists win.

      The only way to win the war on terror is to defeat it without giving up any of the rights that make this a great nation anyway.

      Now excuse me, I have to go wave the flag a bit more, do an hour of saluting and play "God Bless America" on my electric guitar until the apple pies are done baking.
  • by WaxParadigm (311909) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:12PM (#14212049)
    "many domain owners are hiding their true identity [and could be] fronts for spammers, phishing gangs and other net criminals."

    I hide my mailing address and use a rarely-checked email address to reduce the SPAM and physical junk mail I have to deal with. The scammers/SPAMmers don't want me to know who they are...I want to limit the information they have about me. Go figure.
  • Why is this news? Burglars don't leave a card with their name and address printed on it after cleaning out your house. Why expect online criminals to do the same by registering their throwaway web addresses with details that can be traced back to anywhere near them? We should be asking why registrar companies appear not to make even the most basic checks on the details of an application. It couldn't be that hard to check in real time for names like Mickey Mouse and phone numbers that are all 9s.
  • Yeah, ok... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Inaffect (862616)
    Maybe some people do not have the funds, or the willingness, to pay additional fees to make their information private (like the service that GoDaddy.com has for this). I had a domain a few years ago and after I got so many telemarketers calling me I put my local pizza place down as my phone number... just because you want some privacy makes you the sum of all evil?

    Why is the GAO - Government Accountability Office, scanning the Internet for invalid phone numbers on domain names? Did they get too much mone

    • "Why is the GAO - Government Accountability Office, scanning the Internet for invalid phone numbers on domain names? Did they get too much money one year? We'll need a GAO Accountability Office to find out..."

      Because the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property asked them to. The GAO is where House Subcommittees turn to when they need statistical information to compare to that provided to them by private sources.
  • Anonymity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by _pi-away (308135)
    I frequently use fake contact information for domains that are for personal use. If I don't wish my name, address, and phone number to be publicly available why should I have to? The registrar knows who I am (I had to pay with a valid credit card), so it's not like Uncle Sam couldn't get the info on me if they need it, I just don't see the reason to put it out in the world and encourage unwanted solicitors and/or spam.
  • Entering false information is a clear violation of the terms of service agreed to with the registrar (and illegal, if I'm not mistaken). If the registrar finds obviously false information (555 area codes, etc), they should drop the registration. It might be nice to send a 30 day notice to whatever bogus-sounding contact info they entered, just in case, but after that, they can promote their server by IP address alone if they can't play by the rules.
  • I think most individuals would be crazy to put their phone number or specific mailing address in their records (I would advise only the street name without the number). I personally don't want to receive strange calls from marketeers and other idiots who scooped up my number and want to place a crank call.

    However, anyone who doesn't use a real email address is also crazy, as the owner needs to have some way of being contacted.

    With the U.S. cantankerously and arrogantly imposing its control over the Interne
  • People want to remain anonymous on the net. I don't see why registering a domain should force them to give up that right. I have Semi-accurate contact information for my domains, but I don't want to give out my phone number and address to anyone who requests it.

    Several services exist which will register the domain for you and put in their contact information to protect your anoniymity.

    Yeah, if you're trying to track down the owner of a domain for some reason and their whois info is bogus, it sucks. But I
  • Amusingly (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NanoGator (522640) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:20PM (#14212136) Homepage Journal
    Admittedly, I'm one of these people that owns domains with false info. When I registerred my first domain, I wrote down 'Supreme Commander of the Universe' as my name. Before long, I started recieving mail addressed to 'Mr. Supreme Commander of th'. Not sure I wanna put my real address down.
  • What's to stop me from using someone else's info (especially if I'm a phisher and I *have* this stuff lying around) and framing them? Domain contact info is kinda like the Slashdot polls: it's interesting and nice to have on hand, but if you really trust it as a source of accurate information, you're nuts. (Also, if I were a phisher, wouldn't I just copy the registration information from the website that I was imitating so I'd look even *more* legit?)

    I think the government is really over-reacting to thi
  • I once registered a domain with true addresses and names. About a week later I'm getting 10+ letters in the mail for one service or another.
  • ... so that they are not victims of bots that harvest Whois information and use it to mass-mail. My whois information is correct (i.e. not intentionally falsified), and I get all kinds of junk mail for my domain(s) that is, I'm sure, a result of this practice.

    So, I can't say as I blame these people, at least, those of them that are in the right. Sure, it opens the door for phishish, scamming and all kinds of maliciousness, but there are also those people that are simply attempting to hide from the exploit
  • by karl.auerbach (157250) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:27PM (#14212200) Homepage
    Perhaps a lot of those names with bogus contact info are being used in the domain parking business - that's where people register thousands of names and monitor the traffic for a couple of days to deside which ones are getting hits and which are not. The good ones might then be paid-for and updated with better contact info while the poor ones are released without payment.

    But there is a bigger issue: Why should those of use who buy domain names be forced to reveal our contact information to the world?

    The reason is that the intellectual property industry, which dominates ICANN, forced this down our throats.

    It is an ICANN rule that is in violation of the privacy laws of many countries.

    Some lazy law enforcement types claim that they need an open "whois" to enforce the law. That is not true. Law enforcement types have tools (subpoenas) to open closed databases, and, moreover, allowing access to law enforcment does not require that the public be granted the same access 24x7x365.

    There is a claim that "whois" data for DNS has operational value, yes it has some, but it is of much lower value operationally than the value of the whois data for IP addresses, a separate and disinct database.

    The other week I met an attorney for a large company (very large) who routinly registers domain names anonymously - so as to avoid giving notice of the company's actions. Yet at the same time he watches new registrations and has a tool that automatically sends out cease and desist letters to names that offend his regular expression. Fair? Not really. An exercise in economic bullying? Yes.
  • put your contact information on your website.

    I fail to see a strong valid argument why domains themselves should have publicly accessable contact information.

    Sure the companies who register them should know who actually paid for the service, but that's all stored in their local databases anyhow (which can be kept private to the company). The only information I can see being useful in a WHOIS report is possibly when it was registered, when it will expire, and what company registered it.

    There are a lot of

  • The first domain name I bouht, I used all my real information.

    I had to give up an email address because of spam. I started getting tons of (physical) junk mail.
    THis was years ago before good spam filtering, and I just couldn't keep up.

    I'd be much more tempted to use real info if it was harder for the spambots to find.

    When do we start the death penalty for spammers?
    • I found that even worse than registering a domain, is registering official port numbers or organisational unique ID's with IANA.

      These guys still live in the previous century, and publish lists of assigned numbers complete with e-mail address.
      Copies of these lists also live on many systems (e.g. /etc/services)
      I am buried under viruses and spam on the addresses once given to IANA and still valid (I had to make some invalid as well).

      Indicative of the virus problem is the fact that I receive many viruses "from"
  • by artifex2004 (766107) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:28PM (#14212215) Journal
    http://wdprs.internic.net/ [internic.net]

    Note that complete and accurate whois information is a prerequisite for maintaining a domain registration.
    All accredited registrars have agreed with ICANN to obtain contact information from registrants, to provide it publicly by a Whois service, and to investigate and correct any reported inaccuracies in contact information for domain names registered through them.


  • I had a stalker... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gsfprez (27403) * on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:31PM (#14212249)
    I actually had someone use the data from my domain registration to stalk me and my wife...

    thank God i set the address to an old address where i used to live. How do i know that he used that data?

    in his emails to us, he talked about how he was watching our apartment and described the old apartment i used to work at perfectly.

    so - get fscked if you think i'll ever use my real personal data for my domains.
  • by ajlitt (19055) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @02:32PM (#14212257)
    ... a new study finds that 99% of anonymous FTP users give out 'foo@bar.org' as their email address.
  • Under ICANN rules the domain with intentionally false whois information should be terminated immediately. Not after 2 weeks notice. In addition, if someone uses false whois information, the billing information should be made public.

    If a registrant uses a domain name protection service and then spams, then that information should me made public!
  • Thanks. Now that 'asdasdasd' is in the open, I'm going to have to change my passwords. Probably to the one on my luggage...
  • > The findings could mean that many websites are fronts for spammers,
    > phishing gangs and other net criminals.

    The findings could mean any of a number of things, but choosing this one option and saying, "It could mean X" is extremely misleading.

    At least in my case, my info is often blurred to avoid getting 100 letters from companies wanting to (a) list my domain on their stupid search engine, (b) transfer me to another registrar, (c) "renew" my domain with them (even though they aren't my registrar, th
  • by Rolan (20257) * on Thursday December 08, 2005 @03:10PM (#14212627) Homepage Journal
    I find it more likely that these are people trying to AVOID the spammers (both internet, and other) that strip e-mail address, phone numbers, addresses, etc from whois and send them all kinds of crap.
  • Can you blame ME (Score:3, Informative)

    by macdaddy (38372) on Thursday December 08, 2005 @05:10PM (#14213793) Homepage Journal
    Yes, I mean to emphasize "ME" because I'm one of the millions of domain owners that uses fake information to keep from being spammed to death (electronically or physically) on either my role email account or mailing address. Yes, I'm well briefed in the ways of various registrars privacy options. I even utilize GoDaddy's on a couple of my domains. Why would I want to pay another $10/yr for privacy options? It's just not worth it. I'd rather let people contact me through my websites where I can prevent the use of spiders than freely hand out my details via WHOIS.

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