The international administration of domain names is provided by ICANN, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN has delegated the administration of top-level domain names – like .com, .info, .pk – to registries. The .pk is for example managed by PKNIC, the Pakistan Association for Internet Naming in Cooperation.
Clarification: Top-level domains are commonly referred to as extensions. For example, the domain name mdmtwebhosting.com is made up of a top-level domain “.com” and a second-level domain “dmtwebhosting”. The whole is, by abuse of language, called a domain name.
While PKNIC administers the .pk, it does not allow users to reserve domain names. These are companies or organizations called domain name registrars that fulfill this mission. Some registries may sell domain names themselves.
PKNIC, like all registries, has among other tasks to maintain a database recording all the reserved domain names and the contact information relating to them.
Clarification: The expression “buy a domain name” is also a misnomer. It is only possible to reserve the right to use a domain name for a given period, from 1 year to 10 years depending on the extension.
Domain name databases are called Whois, whose translation is “Who is this?”. They are freely available on the register’s site. The owner of a site can thus be easily found to settle, for example, a possible dispute.
If each register presents its Whois in a different way, the following information is always present: name, address, telephone, and email address of the owner of the domain name, the addresses of the DNS servers, the dates of creation, modification, and the expiration of the domain name, contact details for technical and administrative contacts.
If the registers are required to know all website owners, it is however possible to hide their personal information in the Whois.
This can only be done by registers. The latter has the possibility of replacing the information relating to the owner of the site on his own.
PKNIC can have also abode by the rules set by GDPR policy ensuring the WHOIS is not shown. However, you may request them to get a customized copy of the whois upon providing them with legal documents if required.
Companies and organizations cannot benefit from this masking. If you search for the domain name dmtwebhosting.com in the Whois, for example, you will find contact information relating to the company.
The anonymization of a Whois allows the owner of the website to no longer sees his identity publicly associated with a domain name. While this protection can be beneficial in certain regions of the world, it generally assures website owners of the concealment of their email, postal address, or telephone number. This prevents this information, for example, from being exploited by commercial companies or malicious people.
The anonymous Whois is possible only for historical extensions like .com, .net, .org, .info, .mobi, .biz, .tv or.cc. Registrars allow anonymization to be activated before or after the domain name is reserved. In addition, this operation is reversible. Finally, this data protection is open not only to individuals but also to companies or more generally to organizations.
Many registrars offer their clients à la carte anonymizations. It is thus possible to request only the protection of the identity, the email address, the telephone number, or the postal address.
Once protection is in place, the registrar guarantees the owner of the domain name the transmission of any messages, generally with the implementation of spam filters.
Anonymous Whois is not suitable for all situations
While anonymous Whois can be protective for individuals, it is not recommended for businesses. Informed Internet users can indeed decide to verify the seriousness or even the existence of a company by consulting the Whois of its domain name. Hiding owner information is not a source of trust.
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