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How does WHOIS work?

WHOIS allows you to look up the name and contact information of whoever operates any website's generic domain name. As part of the registration process, you must provide your registrar with accurate and reliable contact details and promptly correct and update these details as necessary. The willful provision of inaccurate or unreliable information, or a willful failure to update information provided to a registrar, can be the basis for cancelling your registration and the loss of any right to use the domain name. The registrar that you select will ask you to provide contact and technical information, some of which is required by ICANN. The registrar will keep records of the contact information and submit certain technical and contact information to the entity, known as the registry, which maintains the central directory for that TLD. Each top-level domain has only one authoritative registry, which provides other computers on the Internet with the information necessary to send you email or to find your website. The Public Interest Registry, for example, operates the .ORG registry. As part of the registration process, you will be required to enter into a contract with the registrar that you or the reseller has selected. That contract sets forth the terms under which your registration is accepted and will be maintained. Once you have successfully completed the registration process, you become the registrant of your new domain name.

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