Port 43 WHOIS Service

ICANN requires registrars to provide whois on “port 43” in addition to web-based queries.  This is a specific protocol to request records.  These servers are notoriosly unreliable.  Some registrars, such as Godaddy, give out truncated data and others scramble the fields to try to prevent harvesting.

ICANN periodically audits whois port 43 compliance but they are often slow to do anything about it.

ICANN’s 2010 – 2011 port 43 whois audit

ICANN’s 2006 port 43 whois audit