The requirement for valid contact info in your domain whois information is an ICANN requirement, not a requirement of our TACOS. Although historically this requirement was only enforced in response to complaints, that is no longer the case. In response to pressure from the world's law enforcement agencies, ICANN has expended no effort at all defending your online privacy and quite a bit generating new procedures for validating domain contact information.
Anytime you transfer a domain or modify its contact information, a verification email will be sent to the registrant's contact email address containing a verification link. If you do not verify the email address (by clicking the link) a couple of reminders will be sent, but if verification isn't completed within 15 days, the domain is required to be suspended. This is really bad. Even after verification is completed, if the domain has been suspended, it can take up to 48 hours to restore full functionality.
If you have RespectMyPrivacy service for your domain, the verification email will come to your member contact address.
This is not a policy we have control over. We can't make exceptions, override it, or change how it's done. It applies to all domain registrars equally.
Related to this, there are a couple of other situations where domain contact information problems can crop up:
- An ICANN-mandated message is sent to the registrant of each domain once a year, six months offset from the renewal date. If this message bounces, it is considered indicative of incorrect contact information.
- ICANN has also streamlined the process for members of the public to report inaccurate whois information. As has always been the case, if you use invalid contact information on your domain, especially if you host any controversial content, you're handing people who disapprove an easy way to cause trouble for you.
Usually in these cases, since the registrar can't reach the domain contact, they alert us before suspending the name, but the steps vary based on the circumstance.
It has always been important to maintain valid contact information for your domains. With these changes, it is more important than ever.