GoDaddy review : Recommend I go GoDaddy?? Another intruding feature added by domaintools....Email Search

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I just checked a domain on and noticed they've added another feature - Email Search ! Great.

It shows how many domains a certain email address owns - WTH !.

On the name I checked it showed 2 different emails of the same /img/avatar3.jpg for the one domain.

1) hisemailhere - is associated with about 2,628 domains.

2) secondemailhere - is associated with about 4,330 domains.

I will be seriously P****d if my email address gets indexed on the search engines like certain other information does from their site.

(it looks like an image so hopefully it won't).

Even so - Is'nt this a bit unnecessary and intrusive ? What do you think ?


Comments (38)

Dont think it will get index-ed. Checked that function:.

1. Your e-mail adress is shown in image (coded gif).

2. Link is coded too (i think some kind of MD5 (secure) coding).

So from that side looks ok.


Comment #1

Many domain owners names are getting indexed on the search engines due to the Registrant Search line which is done in text ...and I think it SUCKS.

If I wanted to be world famous I would have went to Hollywood and been an actor ..well, just kidding but I don't see what gives him the right to do what he's doing and making certain information more public than it needs or is legally required to be.

Nobody else seems to be doing it !.


Comment #2

There's a reason why I use privacy on all domain registrations. Idiots, don't they know what happens to an indexed e-mail address? Spam, lots and lots of spam...

Comment #3

Probably been said before, but this should be illegal.

Register a domain, you agree to provide whois data to registrar.

AFAIK: you did not agree to have the information harvested, stored in a third party database and redistributed/resold.

Happy to be corrected on this if i'm wrong.

I don't use domaintools anymore...

Comment #4

A lot of my spam is related to my whois. I mentioned in another thread that I use 2-3 levels of forwarding, with a target address (or several addresses) that is easily changed. That way you can correct addresses for individuals or groups/categories without changing everything. For example, I am getting ready to change one of my main registrar contact email addresses. If you have a lot of domains, periodically changing your whois data will almost eliminate all junk mail for about 3-6 months, then you do it again.


Comment #5

Good idea, I think I will do the same, will save a few minutes spam deletion daily...

Comment #6

Geez, I'm not too comfortable about this "feature" myself, either. Why anyone should know what other domains I own is what I'm quite uneasy about.


Comment #7

What do you mean 2-3 levels of forwarding? Could you step by step some details.


Comment #8

Sadly, It may take a sicko going to someones house to do something bad to a domain owner for this to ever get any attention.

The info. should only be granted involving something similar to a warrant...

Comment #9

And not to mention they make money off it.

Below result is with email search of my email btw, and no one else..

If they only put some commission via paypal..

Comment #10

Could be a dangerous tool in the wrong hands.A Total invasion of privacy.Maybe someone could find a good reason for a class action lawsuit to try and stop it..

Comment #11

Here is some additional info from this thread: What I meant by levels is that you can have intermediate mail receivers/forwarders. When it receives mail it then automatically forwards it to other mail accounts. It can forward to multiple different accounts at the same time. By spreading things out you add a measure of reliability in case a single server has problems. You could "theoretically" do this for multiple levels. Once you have these accounts you then funnel everything down at each level to receiving/forwarding accounts at the next level.

The monitored email address may contain email from hundreds of different email addresses you have with different accounts. The end users/friends see your public address, not the funneled down monitor address unless they do some extreme tracking. Even if they do track down the final address, it takes less than a minute to change the hidden receiving address. I have done this for years, since learning about the wonderful world of procmail (a unix thing).


Comment #12

Some useful tools for setting up something along the lines described by npcomplete are provided by good "ubergeek" email services such as and (as well as a few others - these 2 are the ones I actually use so can talk about from personal experience).

1) aliases / subdomains - for instance with the "enhanced" account you can set upto 33 different changeable addresses using the dozens of domains owned by (such as for example I just setup " and better for their security features - for instance, lets you know about failed login attempts ...)..

Comment #13

I don't like a tool like this either. Who owns domaintools, is it a NP member?..

Comment #14

He's that jay westerdal guy, or whatever his name is..

The one with egg all over his face from his blogging gaffes recently..

At present he's trying to screw more and more money, by selling OUR info.

Its a shame as I think domaintools is a great service. but he's getting greedy and theres a limit to what info is available, especially as it's ours and it's being sold!.

Freedom of info is cool, but not when every crank and his dog can get it and the risk of spammers and scammers too..

Comment #15

This will only encourage more people to put fake information in their whois It is illegal in the UK. UK privacy laws does not allow this...

Comment #16

Yes, I heard is illegal too..

Seeing as it's lawsuit season maybe someone will serve domaintools with one? who knows, probably only way to curb what they're doing..

Comment #17

I don't have a problem with freedom of info, when I registered my domains I agreed to have my full personal details listed on the whois. I did not agree to my name been presented in such a way that it may end up in the Google search results. I can assure you other domainers names have because of Domaintools and it's also exposing other stuff that I won't go into here.

I don't have any TM names I feel the need to hide (although I have about 3 names with whois privacy for other reasons).

I don't want to have to hide my contact details, my names are for sale, buyers need to know how to contact me !.

I don't want my name to be shown on Google Searches, I have no desire to be famous in that way.

I don't want people to think I have way more domains than I have - cos I don't.

I don't want any more spam - I have more than enough !.

I don't want some FREAK confronting me on my doorstep for any reason !.

I agree domaintools has/does lots of EXCELLENT work but with the addition of Registrant Search and the new addition on which shows the owners names (in text) they look like they are being more like than IMHO.

His post on the blog says - Registrant Search, is it right or wrong?.

197 comments by mostly domainers - 1 comment from them !.

I don't pretend to be an expert in Privacy Laws by any stretch of the imagination but I'm pretty sure not all countries are the same when it comes to privacy and I do know that America is NOT the only country in the world !.

As an old friend of mine says - "I am not amused".

Yeah, it's going to cause more harm than good when it comes to his crusade for more "transparency" IMO.


Comment #18

From my point of view it's bad !.



If you have accident you can go to police and ask who is owner of that car..

But you CANT go there and ask, "Hey can you tell me all cars that he have".


If you interested to buy some house. You can go somewhere (i dont know translation of that) and ask who is owner of that. But you CANT go there and ask "Hey tell me all Houses that he have".

So we all agree ... registrant and email search are bad.


Comment #19

Gazzip and others raised some excellent points here. My post was about setting up a good defense, but gazzip is making an excellent point that we should not have to set up these defenses against flagrant abuse of privacy. I believe somebody mentioned in another thread that the whois mining and sales is a violation of TOS, so perhaps the registries could file a civil action.

The issues here, privacy, whois TOS, freedom of speech, international law, etc., would seem perfect for the legal forum here at NP. It would be a break from the usual scam/TM threads in the legal forum, and seems to have all kinds of angles for interesting legal arguments.

Gazzip, as a suggestion, maybe you could ask the admin's to move this thread to legal. I am confident that the people in that section might have comments on the legal aspects. I would love to hear from a few of the lawyers at NP on this.

From my perspective nobody is doing or has done anything about privacy, so I set up my own defenses. I don't like or use spam filters. Perhaps an attack on the flagrant abusers might be effective... but I doubt it.

Edit: or perhaps as a suggestion just open a new thread in legal about the dual issues of privacy raised in the new DT tooling.


Comment #20

Sounds like a good idea to me I would also be interested to see what a lawyer thinks about it.

Where do I ask ?


Comment #21

Any of the NP forum moderators or staff could do it. Just PM one of them and ask.


Comment #22

Good idea Marc; this thread is steering into legalities, so "Legal Issues & Disputes" is a better fit,.

Thread Moved.


Comment #23

Thanks True_Snake & Marc Hopefully some of the Legal Eagles can shed some legal light on this.

Anyone ?


Comment #24

Lawyers can argue either ways. The only way to resolve this is to enact some.

Law specifically dealing with this or have a judge decide the matter.

Unfortunately neither one is guaranteed to produce the "desired" results. And.

If any of the registrars or Registries don't see any benefit in suing for this sort.

Of thing, obviously they won't...

Comment #25

If you think of it in those terms, registrars have much to gain from this; if we all have to pay for whois privacy on each domain, that's a lot of bucks.

On the other hand, if a registrar would offer free privacy (like RegFly did), they would stand to get a lot of business and maybe force other registrars to follow suit...

Comment #26

It's one thing to supply who-is information to comply with the regulations, it's an entirely different thing to have my personal information published by a 3rd party. Although, this has been done for quite some time, Domaintools is definitely adding an entirely new twist to it, that should require my permission.

The question whether this is legal should, and hopefully will be looked at by John Berryhill.

At the very least, there should be an option to EXclude my domains from Domaintools' unethical greed scheme.


Comment #27

Quite a few do, even now. I agree.

However do note, they are just collating information that is publicaly available as it is...

Comment #28

Okay ... also might note: so, ah ... do they have "prior written permission of, Inc" and all the other registrars who put similar restrictions on the use of whois data? Or perhaps they obtained it from some other source .....

Comment #29

True, but just because it's publicly available, doesn't mean there are no rules on it's usage.

So, I guess that means domaintools either have prior written consent, or verisign can't be bothered enforcing it.

Plus, cctlds have their own whois terms and conditions as well:

IMHO, it would be hard to argue that domaintools are using an "insubstantial" part of the whois records...

Comment #30

Yeah it is sort of funny how everyone thinks that lawyers have all the answers about the law, yet no two lawyers agree on anything..

Comment #31

You guys are nuts. Do you really thinks spammers crawl a site that crawls the actual whois index?.

Why bother crawling this site when you can just get the same exact information directly from whois servers? If you think this gives up some privacy you are wrong...

Comment #32

If the part listing a few partners via the link below counts, possibly:

Did the internet guarantee privacy to begin with, anyway?..

Comment #33

I can assure you that you are wrong - ask Craig !!.

Here's an interesting article that touches on Privacy Laws & Domains Domain Name Whois Privacy.

Many owners of Internet addresses face this quandary: Provide your real contact information when you register a domain name and subject yourself to junk or harassment. Or enter fake data and risk losing it outright.

Help may be on the way as a key task force last week endorsed a proposal that would give more privacy options to small businesses, individuals with personal websites and other domain name owners.

"At the end of the day, they are not going to have personal contact information on public display," said Ross Rader, a task force member and director of retail services for registration company Tucows Inc. "That's the big change for domain name owners." At issue is a publicly available database known as Whois. With it, anyone can find out the full names, organisations, postal and e-mail addresses and phone numbers behind domain names.

Hearings on the changes are expected next week in Lisbon, Portugal, before the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, the main oversight agency for Internet addresses.

Resolution, however, could take several more months or even years, with crucial details on implementation still unsettled and a vocal minority backing an alternative.

Under the endorsed proposal _ some six years in the making _ domain name registrants would be able to list third-party contact information in place of their own _ to the chagrin of businesses and intellectual-property lawyers worried that cybersquatters and scam artists could more easily hide their identities.

"It would just make it that much more difficult and costly to find out who's behind a name," said Miriam Karlin, manager of legal affairs for International Data Group Inc., publisher of PC World and other magazines. She said she looks up Whois data daily to pursue trademark and copyright violators.

Privacy wasn't a big consideration when the current addressing system started in the 1980s. Back then, government and university researchers who dominated the Internet knew one another and didn't mind sharing personal details to resolve technical problems.

Today, the Whois database is used for much more. Law-enforcement officials and Internet service providers use it to fight fraud and hacking. Lawyers depend on it to chase trademark and copyright violators. Journalists rely on it to reach website owners. And spammers mine it to send junk mailings for website hosting and other services.

And Internet users have come to expect more privacy and even anonymity. Small businesses work out of homes. Individuals use websites to criticize large corporations or government officials. The Whois database, for many, reveals too much. The requirements for domain name owners to provide such details also contradict, in some cases, European privacy laws that are stricter than those in the United States.

Registration companies generally don't check contact information for accuracy, but submitting fake data could result in missing important service and renewal notices. It also could be grounds for terminating a domain name.

Over the past few years, some companies have been offering proxy services, for a fee, letting domain name owners list the proxy rather than themselves as the contact.

It's akin to an unlisted phone number, though with questionable legal status. The U.S. government has banned proxies entirely for addresses ending in ".us," even after many had already registered names behind them.

Critics also complain that such services can be too quick or too slow _ depending on whom you ask _ in revealing identities under legal pressure.

"Right now there's no regulation, no accreditation, no standards," said Margie Milam, general counsel for MarkMonitor, a brand-protection firm. "Some can take weeks, which can slow down investigations.".

The task force proposal, known as operational point of contact, would make third-party contacts a standard offering. Domain name owners could list themselves, a lawyer, a service provider or just about anyone else; that contact would forward important communications back to the owner.

Details must still be worked out, but the domain name registrant rather than the proxy would likely be clearly identified as the legal owner, unlike the current, vague arrangement. ICANN's staff also pressed for more clarity on to whom and under what circumstances the outside contact would have to release data.

Although that proposal received a slight majority on the Whois task force, some stakeholders including businesses and lawyers have pushed an alternative known as special circumstances. Domain name holders would have to make personal contact details available, as they do today, unless they can justify a special circumstance, such as running a shelter for battered women.

"On the whole, society is much better off having this kind of transparency and accountability," said Steven Metalitz, an intellectual-property lawyer on the task force.

ICANN's Council of the Generic Names Supporting organisation plans public hearings in Lisbon, after which it could make a recommendation or convene another task force to tackle implementation details.

Supporters of the new proposal remain hopeful that resolution is near.

"A lot of public interest groups have been waiting a long time to see if this process actually works or if it's just a charade," said Wendy Seltzer, a non-voting task force member and fellow with Harvard University's Berkman centre for Internet and Society. "If this turns out to have been for naught, you will have a lot of frustrated people." Here's one regarding .ca -

" is noted that the president of the CEO of CIRA had mentioned that this new standard for the domain name and whois privacy is all about protecting the peoples fundamental right to privacy in the virtual reality" and...another one that says the following.. !.

ICANN Whois policy conflicts with national privacy laws, including the EU Data Protection Directive....


Comment #34

...looks like this is too hot to handle eh ? - No lawyers want to share their advice ?


Comment #35

Like I said, lawyers can argue both ways. Google around and you'll find some.

And I doubt the most popular one here finds this interesting anyway...

Comment #36

If you actually want to do something about it (besides taking the legal means).

Organize a mass boycott of his auctions and other goods... just my 2c..

Comment #37

Interesting thread, but I've long ago resigned myself to having my DNS-related emails harvested and harvested and harvested... (though I have never bought any stocks, or pharma products or mortgages thanks to spam. Maybe a bit of subconscious branding over the years, but ultimately it only winds up putting load on my mailservers and client software systems.


Comment #38

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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