Go Daddy’s ‘Domains by Proxy’ Hands Over Personal Details of “Pirate” Site Owner

TorrentFreak.com posted an article today about how Go Daddy handed over the personal details of a domain name owner. Responding to an inquiry from the Motion Picture Association (MPA), Go Daddy shared his personal details although the domain name was behind whois privacy.

The website owner was using ‘Domains by Proxy’, as the domain name was registered at Go Daddy, to hide his whois details as many users do around the world.

The whois details were shared with the MPA without a subpoena, or any form of due process.

“We have received a possible legal complaint regarding your domain name xxx.com,” Domains By Proxy informed the site owner.

“Since we were provided with proof the complainant owns a potentially applicable copyright, we have disclosed your identity for the limited purpose of this complaint so that the complainant can communicate directly with you to seek resolution.”

The site owner, who prefers to remain anonymous, was shocked when he received the message. He says his website doesn’t host any copyrighted material and assumed that Domains by Proxy would at least notify him before sharing any personal details.

Needless to say, the domain owner does not agree with Domains by Proxy’s action. He says that the MPA obtained his personal details without providing actual proof. In addition, he doesn’t understand why his personal details had to be handed over, as all emails directed to the email listed in the WHOIS are forwarded to him anyway.

“Domain by Proxy automatically adds yourdomainname@domainbyproxy.com, so any organization can contact the domain owners directly. There is no need to ask personal details from the WHOIS service without any proof of copyright infringements,” the domain owner tells TF.

“We will disclose any information about you to government or law enforcement officials or private parties as we, in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate to respond to claims and legal process, to protect our property and rights or the property and rights of a third-party,” the privacy policy reads.

So the lesson here is that if you want to have whois privacy don’t use Go Daddy. Go Daddy has no respect of it’s customers and their private data.

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About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

4 comments

  1. Agreed, Konstantinos.

    They never take the side of their customers from what I have seen.

  2. Not nodaddy in particular, there is no whois privacy service that is bullet-proof.

    I mean what do you expect for $10/year ? Client-attorney privilege ?

    Privacy is not anonymity.

  3. even VIP clients got bad treatment from Godaddy … GD built their empire by big discount campaign but now most of their prices are high or the same others …and they forget to support and protect their clients right after they got money

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