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This question was put on hold as off-topic at Webmasters, so I'm hoping it's ok to ask here.

I've read up on the (outrageous) costs of becoming, maintaining and operating a registrar, but I cannot find any useful information about the nature of the third-party companies who offer whois privacy or proxy services, how they are set up and function.

When I click the web proxy link on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_privacy, it forwards to a page describing proxies as in the alternative to VPN, there is not one mention of WHOIS.

What does it take to become a provider of a whois proxy or privacy service—-financially, legally, and what hardware is required? I've been a web designer for 15 years, but actually know very little about networking and infrastructure. If this is not the correct SE to ask this is, please let me know. Thanks in advance.

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The ICANN says:

There are two general types of these services:

  • A Privacy Service lists alternative, reliable contact information, like an address or phone number, in WHOIS while keeping the domain name registered to its beneficial user as the registrant.
  • A Proxy Service registers the domain name itself and licenses use of the domain name to its customer. The contact information of the service provider is displayed rather than the customer’s contact information. The Proxy Service provider maintains all rights as a registrant (such as to manage, renew, transfer and delete the domain name), and assumes all responsibility for the domain name and its manner of use.

As well as:

Proxy and privacy services are among the least developed of the WHOIS policy areas. Until the adoption of the 2013 RAA, there were few ICANN rules or policies applicable to these types of services, which at times resulted in unpredictable outcomes for stakeholders affected by these services. The 2013 RAA includes an Interim Specification that describes a minimum set of requirements for privacy and proxy services offered by a Registrar or its affiliates. These requirements were adopted on a temporary basis (expiring on 1/1/2017), to allow for the GNSO to recommend appropriate policies to apply to the provision of these services. In conjunction with these policy development activities, ICANN is committed to establishing an accreditation program for privacy and proxy service providers to establish a contractual framework for enforcing these new rules and policies on a consistent basis, across all commercial providers of these services. For information on how to participate in these policy development activities applicable to privacy and proxy services, please visit the Get Involved section of the site.

  • Wow, thank you, that was very fast and informative. I take it the last sentence's reference to the "get involved" section was to ICANN's site? – Moscarda Mar 29 '16 at 11:20
  • It Is linked in the source link I provided:) – Tobi Nary Mar 29 '16 at 11:20

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