Private Domain Service Pretty Free About Giving Out Your Info

from the not-so-private-after-all dept

There’s been a lot of talk recently about being able to put up a website anonymously. There are different ways to go about it, but popular registration/hosting company GoDaddy has been heavily promoting its “Domains By Proxy” offering, whose only selling point is that it will register your domain for you in order to keep your information private. However, a few Domains By Proxy customers are suddenly discovering that this one selling point isn’t taken too seriously by the folks at GoDaddy who seem perfectly happy to give out their customer’s private info as soon as people ask for them. Admittedly, the terms of service say that they can give out the info, but they make it sound like they’ll only do so when legally required to do so. However, it appears that a few complaints from people who don’t like your site will lead to GoDaddy coughing up your info to those complainers. Obviously, it’s their business and they can do this if they want, but considering that the one selling point is the privacy feature, the fact that they cough up the info without so much as letting the customer know certainly seems like a pretty bad deal for customers looking to stay anonymous.

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Comments on “Private Domain Service Pretty Free About Giving Out Your Info”

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Dave says:


I’ve had domains registered “anonymously” with both GoDaddy and – same basic service. The GoDaddy domains had the info released within two months – the NameCheap domains were never disclosed. And for someone who works on building alternate-reality games, it’s handy to be able to provide some anonymity…

Sc00t3r says:

Re: NameCheap

There happen to be laws by which Godaddy or any other domain registrar obides.
Read the laws before you point fingers.
Any registrar will provide your information upon request. That’s why they are _registrars_ not secret keepers.
Also, it is illegal to have a domain name registered and provide misleading contact information.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: NameCheap

If there is a law that they are following that says you cant keep the registering name private, then they should be taken to the cleaners for selling the service in the first place.

So take your pick. They are cheating the customer by:
a. selling a service they dont provide
b. selling a service that is illegal to provide

I dont need to read the laws to know that if I buy something for 19.95 and I dont get it, that it is somehow okay.

Sc00t3r says:

Re: Re: Re: NameCheap

What they are offering is exactly the same as what your phone company offers – not listing your details on publicly searchable places. And just like your phone company, your details can be obtained on request.
What you, as a customer, of a registrar, or a phone company for that matter, gain by paying them extra is the right to know who had requested your information. So if someone starts sending you spam to the address (phone #) you provided you can request their details from the registrar or phone comapny and then go sue the spammer.
Is that fair? Probably not. Does it work? Well GoDaddy has been around for a while and has been the biggest domain registrar in the world (measured by number of domains registered) since last year.. I believe that shows that their business model works great.

bturds everywhere says:

No Subject Given

This is totally unethical on godaddy’s part. They are charging 19.95/year to keep your information private and then give it out if someone asks. Um, what is the point of the service if all that is needed is to ask? I hope they get taken to the cleaners for this fraud.

What a waste of money. Everywhere you look is snake oil.

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