No more WhoIs lookups on Google

Looks like the folks at Network Solutions don’t want to loose their business to Google. WhoIs leads to domain name registrations, so this is all about money, no matter what Champion Mitchell says. If you don’t want spam you can hide your WhoIs info. Come on, come up with a real reason to block Google.

Domain name registrar Network Solutions has a message for Google: don’t mess with our Whois. The issue cropped up about two weeks ago, when Google quietly launched a service allowing visitors to look up data on domain name owners from public databases collectively known as Whois run by registrars worldwide. Although largely unpromoted, the service generated enough traffic to surpass Network Solutions’ (NSI’s) daily Whois use limits, which aim to stop spammers and other undesirables from harvesting information about its customers. With NSI blocking most of its Whois queries, Google pulled the feature and information about it from its FAQ after a couple of days, replacing Whois queries with ads from registrars, including NSI. “This is a public service that we’re required to do, but it’s been drastically abused” by spammers, said Champion Mitchell, chief executive of Network Solutions, the largest registrar of domains ending in “.com” and “.net”. “We’re not going to enable people to violate the privacy of our customers easily.” The tussle highlights a growing problem for Google as it seeks to be all things to all people. The company’s challenge is to offer visitors helpful new search services without alienating the Internet operators that it relies on for advertising or partners that may have different priorities.

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