> WHOIS shows the reserved domains owners perfectly. But some ICANN approved
> comanies such as Dotster and Godaddy offer "privacy" option which prevents
> the display of owner data such as name, address, and email.

That sounds ideal for my purposes. I don't need to know who the domain is 
registered to, just whether or not it's registered. Which leads to the 
obvious question of how to make a whois query programatically.

I've done a little (so far) poking around in the relevant RFCs, and making 
the actual query looks relatively straight forward. What I'm not sure about 
is what server(s) to query? To date I've only every used web based services 
like samspade or whois services hosted by domain registrars, so I've no idea 
whether they query a central service or their own proprietry servers or...?

Any suggestions or pointers would be much appreciated!

Rob Ashburn. 

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