Domain name registration information is required for a variety of purposes. Public Interest Registry provides Whois information through a standard text-based network protocol on port 43. Whois information may also be viewed on the registry's website using a standard web interface. Both interfaces are publicly available at no cost to the user and are reachable worldwide.
The information displayed by the Whois service consists of not only the domain name but also the relevant contact information associated with the domain. It also identifies nameserver delegation and the registrar of record. This service is available to any Internet user, and its use does not require prior authorization or permission.
Access to Public Interest Registry Whois information is provided to assist in determining the contents of a domain name registration record in the registry database. The data in this record is provided for informational purposes only; Public Interest Registry does not claim accuracy. This service is intended only for query-based access. Public Interest Registry reserves the right to modify use terms at any time; by submitting a Whois query to the Public Interest Registry shared registration system (SRS), users agree to abide by the Whois Access Policy.
Abuse of the Whois system through data mining is mitigated by detecting and limiting bulk query access from single sources.
Queries by non-authorized parties will be limited, and all unauthorized queries will result in responses that do not include data sets representing significant portions of the registration database.
Public Interest Registry will employ a blacklist to block access to Whois by those found in violation of the Public Interest Registry policy. At Public Interest Registry' discretion, individual internet protocol (IP) addresses or IP ranges will be prevented from accessing Whois data.
Users accessing the Public Interest Registry WHOIS service must agree to use the data only for lawful purposes, and under no circumstances use the data to:
- Allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission by e-mail, telephone, or facsimile of mass unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations to entities other than the registrar's own existing customers.
- Enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that send queries or data to the systems of Public Interest Registry or any ICANN-accredited registrar, except as reasonably necessary to register domain names or modify existing registrations.
When using the Whois service, please consider the following:
- The Whois service is not a replacement for standard EPP commands to the SRS service.
- Whois is not considered authoritative for registered domain objects.
- The Whois service may be scheduled for downtime during production or OT&E maintenance periods.
- Queries to the Whois services are throttled. If too many queries are received from a single IP address within a specified time, the service will begin to reject further queries for a period of time to prevent disruption of Whois service access.