What is WHOIS?
“WHOIS” is an online directory service that allows people to look up information about domain names. CIRA maintains a WHOIS directory which permits queries to the .CA (Canada’s country code top-level domain) registry database.
What domain information does WHOIS display?
Upon searching a domain in WHOIS you can view details such as:
- Status (i.e. if a domain is currently available or registered)
- The creation, expiry, and updated dates
- Registrar name
- Registrant name*
- Administrative and technical contact information*
*The Registrant name and administrative and technical contact information of non-individual Registrants, such as corporations, is displayed by default. The Registrant name and Administrative and technical contact information of individual Registrants, such as Canadian citizens or permanent residents is not displayed in WHOIS.
How to contact a Registrant – how the Message Delivery form works
If you wish to contact a Registrant whose information is not displayed in WHOIS, you may use the online Message Delivery form which will allow you to send a message to a domain Registrant with CIRA maintaining their anonymity.
Upon completing the form, your message will be forwarded to the Registrant’s Administrative Contact email address as provided by the Registrant. CIRA cannot guarantee that messages will be received, read and/or responded to by the recipient.
In the scenario that you have a certain, specific dispute with a domain name and you have not been able to resolve it using the Message Delivery form, under specific and limited circumstances, CIRA may disclose certain specific contact information of Registrants that is not publicly available through the WHOIS search tool, via the Request for Disclosure of Registrant Information - Rules and Procedures.
With respect to Canadian law enforcement agencies and the conduct of certain types of investigations, CIRA may also, under specific and limited circumstances, disclose certain specific contact information of Registrants that is not publicly available through the WHOIS search tool via the Request for Disclosure of Registrant Information for Law Enforcement - Rules and Procedures.