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WHOIS, pronounced as the phrase �who is,� is a query and response protocol that is widely used for querying databases that store the registered users or assignees of an Internet resource, such as a domain name, an IP address block, or an autonomous system, but is also used for a wider range of other information. The protocol stores and delivers database content in a readable format. But the WHOIS service is not a single, centrally-operated database. Instead, the data is managed by independent entities known as �registrars� and �registries.� Any entity that wants to become a registrar must earn Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) accreditation. Similarly, registries are under contract with ICANN to operate a generic top level domain, such as .COM, .ORG, or one of the new ones that may soon be under operation. WHOIS was standardized in the early 1980s to look up domains, people, and other resources related to domain and number registrations. As all registration was done by one organization at that time, one centralized server was used for WHOIS queries. This standardization made looking up such information very convenient. By 2005, there were many more generic top-level domains than there had been in the early 1980s. There are also many more country-code top-level domains. This has led to a complex network of domain name registrars and registrar associations, especially as the management of Internet infrastructure has become more internationalized. In essence, performing a WHOIS query on a domain requires knowing the correct, authoritative WHOIS server to use. Tools to do WHOIS proxy searches have become quite common. To perform a WHOIS lookup, users only need to go to a WHOIS networking tool website, enter a domain, and click "Lookup." WHOIS records on the ICANN website are fairly easy to look up and interpret. The raw WHOIS data is organized by contact data (Registrant contact, Administrative contact, and Technical contact) and also contains information such as the Registrar, Status of the domain, and Important Dates. Registrants play a key role in ensuring the accuracy of WHOIS. As a registrant, you are required to provide accurate WHOIS contact data, and maintain its accuracy throughout the term of your registration period. When registrants register a domain name, they must give registrar-accurate and reliable contact details and correct and update them promptly if there are any changes during the term of the registration period. This obligation is part of the registration agreement.