Can I Get Someone’s Name and Address from Their IP Address?

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I have the IP address of someone who’s causing me some problems. Can I get their name and location from that?

Yes and no. But mostly no.

This is perhaps one of the most common questions I get. Unfortunately, people’s expectations have been colored — often dramatically — by popular television shows and movies.

Unfortunately, this is real life, which isn’t nearly as easy or exciting.

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I’m being abused by email. What do I do?

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I gave my email to someone and now, I’m being abused both verbally and emotionally. From my email address, they were able to get my domain sites and that gave them my phone number and my address from Whois. I have since made the domain sites private, but the cache on Google has a snapshot of that page. Even though Whois has removed my information, what’s cached is still live and streaming daily. I was stupid to give my email address although I thought it would be safer than giving my phone number. This man has several porn sites and is now stalking me. The police have said that there’s nothing that they can do unless the man physically puts his hands on me. Thanks, Leo, for any help you can give me.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve received questions like yours fairly regularly. Unfortunately, there’s very little that I can do.

Let me begin by talking about information sharing and the potential for abuse.

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Why Did this Site Go Away? And How Do I Contact the Owner?

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I used to freely access a blog simply by using the web address [redacted]. This web address now takes me to a Google blog site, which does not appear to allow me to access the original website. As the original site was purely cookery based, I don’t understand why this restriction has been imposed.

There are many reasons why a site may suddenly change. Let’s look at why sites disappear and some ways to track down more information.

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What if the forwarding service goes away?

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Some years ago, I subscribed to an email forwarding system by the name of forevermail.com. This allowed me to change the ISP without changing my address. However, forevermail itself appears to have gone out of business. It has obviously left the forwarding addresses functioning on a server somewhere because the few users’ emails from users that have not changed to my address still arrive in my Outlook system. Do you know how I can remove this old address? I’ve tried mailing the domain owner, but I get no reply. With your advice, I have  purchased my own domain and therefore, I control of my own address now.

In your scenario, there’s practically nothing that can be done. If a service that you rely on goes away, you’re basically out of luck. There really isn’t any protocol or particular leverage that you or I might have to do something with a company, website, or service that disappeared.

But I do have some suggestions on what you could do.

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