The Tiered Access Directory is Tucows’ “gated” version of the Whois directory. It allows accredited third parties, such as members of law enforcement, to view the contact data of domain registrants who use our platform.
Up until May 25, 2018, the registration data for all domain names was by default published in the public Whois directory, where it was visible to any party who performed a “Whois lookup” on a domain.
With the advent of the GDPR and other similar privacy laws, however, the public display of this personal data has become problematic. This lead Tucows to the decision to redact real contact data from the public Whois. Alongside this change, we implemented our gated Tiered Access Directory as a means for parties with a legitimate legal interest to access this personal data, while ensuring data is not unnecessarily exposed through display in the public directory.