A public database of domain registrants' information.
For some reason, some people think that being able to do a WHOIS lookup makes them internet supersleuths, and that nobody but they know how to find this publicly accessible and easily used information, and they will try to use it as some magical trump card in disputes.
Many other people, however, have no idea whatsoever that their registration information is available to the public, and when they find out that someone has accessed the information, they will throw fits, scream about their "private" information being viewed, and call those who know how to do a WHOIS lookup "stalkers" and threaten to sue them.
Those who want to keep such 'private' information safe can easily bribe the domain sales people into hiding it for an extra 5 dollars.
|WHOIS is part of a series on Language & Communication|