Domain Name Commission wins first step in lawsuit against US company
New Zealand’s Domain Name Commission has today won a motion for preliminary injunction in a US lawsuit against the
This is an important victory for the .nz domain name space and for domain name holders wanting to keep some of their
personal details from public view.
Earlier this year, the Domain Name Commission mandated that a privacy option be offered for all .nz domain name holders
that are not in trade. This means people can now withhold their address and phone number from publicly appearing in the
online registration data search. More than 20,000 domain names have already taken up the privacy option.
DomainTools is a digital intelligence-gathering company in the US and has been scraping registration data from New
exposes details of domain name holders who choose to have their details kept private. This is because DomainTools makes
available historic records which show the now withheld information.
Domain Name Commissioner, Brent Carey, says winning this lawsuit is good news for .nz domain name holders and their
"The ruling allows the Commission to continue balancing online accountability with respect for individual privacy. The
ruling temporarily puts to an end DomainTools’ bulk harvesting of .nz domain holders’ personal information and selling
that data for a profit.
"This is a step in the right direction to ensure that any person or company looking to build a business on domain name
Managers of other countries domain name systems across the world will want to pay attention to the judgment. This may
DomainTools argued that this lawsuit may cause an avalanche of litigation as other registries attempt to protect the
privacy of their registrants - and Judge Lasnik stated they may be correct.
"We look forward to presenting our full case to the Court, as we seek to permanently prevent DomainTools from ever
building a secondary .nz database offshore and outside the control of the Domain Name Commission," says Carey.
In court, DomainTools requested more than 5 million NZD in bond to compensate for reworking database files to ensure
that .nz data is not provided to its customers. However, the judge ruled that a nominal bond of only $1,500 NZD is