Here is how any domain name owner that has a domain name registered at GoDaddy can Opt-out of domain name WHOIS masking.
On January 25, 2018, GoDaddy began masking (blocking) the Registrant name, phone and email on all bulk WHOIS requests at Port 43.
GoDaddy thinks that all whois requests at port 43 are automated and/or bulk lookup requests. That is simply not true. There are people that use the command line manually to lookup whois for less than 5 domains daily.
Anyway the point is that GoDaddy is breaking ICANN rules and I have said it not once but twice, yet no one at ICANN seems to care. And very few people in the domaining industry have shown any interest. At least some registrars like Namecheap are now realizing the consequences.
I will say it once again. GoDaddy is clearly violating the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RRA) and specifically section 3.1.1.
So now we are up against 2 different problems. GoDaddy will either throttle WHOIS access at Port 43 and/or Godaddy will serve masked whois data like this:
So Godaddy tried to give its users an opt-out for whois masking. On January 12 they said that if you preferred to keep your domain information unmasked, you could opt out at any time using one of the options below:
- Contact our Customer Care Center
- Send a written request to firstname.lastname@example.org from your email of record. Additional information may be requested through this channel for verification purposes.
I sent an email requesting an opt-out on the same day and after more than 2 months I got no reply and no opt-out.
Now I see that GoDaddy is saying that if you are sending a written request, you must follow these tips to help expedite your request:
- Email request must come from the email associated with your account (email of record)
- Please use Subject Line: Opt-out of WHOIS masking
- In the Body of the email, please provide the following:
- Customer Number(s)
- “I certify and understand that by opting out of Port 43 masking, I approve of GoDaddy continuing to provide the Name, Email and Phone number associated with all domains related to the Customer Number(s) provided.”
Note: Your customer number can be found if you click on your name in the top right corner when you are logged into your GoDaddy account, and the email of record can be found on the Account Settings menu under My Profile.
It may take up to 24 hours to process the opt-out request.
As you can see you can only request an opt-out for the whole account and not for individual domain names. This is really unfortunate but something you should expect from GoDaddy where nothing is done fully, properly or on time.
I have sent another request today. Let’s see if something is get done over at GoDaddy.
But of course even if you opt-out of whois masking you will have to deal with whois throttling on port 43. Godaddy claims to have a solution for that too: “WHOIS consumers who are now receiving masked data may send in an email request to Port43@godaddy.com requesting to be whitelisted.”
Of course they give more further details on how you can get whitelisted. For example if whitelisting is based on an IP then this will not be useful to people (like me) using a dynamic IP. Also this whitelisting didn’t help much in the case of Namecheap. Guess how it will work for the rest of us.
GoDaddy claims this was all done to protect its users from spam. As we saw in the case of Namecheap this was simply not true. At this point domain name transfers require an authorization from owner’s email found in whois records. If a registrar can’t connect at port 43 to get whois data a transfer is not started.
There are many unforeseen (at first glance) problems for all domain name owners and in conjunction with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) we are heading for a disaster.
ICANN is totally unprepared for the May 25, 2018 GDPR deadline. Not only that but they also postponed the roll out of the Verisign thick whois for .com and .net that had the potential to MAYBE (if done right) solve a few (not all) of the problems.