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How To Find the Owner of a Geocities Web Site

Question: How do I find ownership information for a Web site with a Geocities address?

Answer: Assuming you refer to geocities.com, identifying the owner of an individual site could be difficult because Yahoo owns the domain. Web sites hosted under the Yahoo Geocities umbrella do not have to register their own domains. To a certain degree, their owners can remain anonymous.

However, it's possible to track down Web site owners by following the clues they sometimes leave at a site. Look for e-mail addresses, links to and from the Web site, copyright statements, references to employers, family or friends in the text, or invisible information in the source code. If you find an e-mail address, try searching it in both Google and Google Groups. You might find a name to go with it. If the address is active, you might find the domain of an entity you can subpoena.

While preparing to write this response, I reviewed a Geocities Web site that did not volunteer information about its owner. Within about 3 minutes, I found a name buried in the page source text. The name had been coded not to display. I also found an e-mail address with a domain owned by an unaffiliated ISP and a P.O. Box in a city in British Columbia. This gives me sufficient information to launch a focused search for the individual in the British Columbia city.

If the owner of the Web site does a good job of covering his/her tracks, you might have to subpoena Yahoo to obtain his/her name. Good luck!



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Created: 28 April 2005
URL: https://www.virtualchase.com/ask_answer/geocities.com
Suggestions: Genie Tyburski, editor [at] virtualchase [dot] com