GoDaddy to start masking some Whois data through Port 43

Masking should limit phone calls, texts and emails based on Whois information.

GoDaddy sent a notice to customers today notifying them that it will start masking some Whois data when it is requested through Port 43 Whois lookups. Port 43 is often used for bulk Whois lookups and is how many of the Whois spammers get their data.

The registrar will begin masking a registrant’s first name, last name, email and phone number.

It’s important to note that this information will still be available if you go through GoDaddy’s web-based Whois. It will also be available for people who have whitelisted Port 43 access with GoDaddy. Also, customers can opt-out of having their information masked.

The move is designed to cut down on the amount of spam GoDaddy customers receive. GoDaddy recently filed a lawsuit against a group of people it says are spamming its customers with offers of web services.

I suspect there will be some pushback from groups that use this data who will argue that GoDaddy is required to provide full Port 43 access. The reaction will be particularly interesting in light of ICANN’s decision to be lax on contractual Whois requirements due to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

The masking will begin January 25.

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