Apology for Domain WHOIS Redaction Reporting
Yesterday we posted the below graphic that showed a domain owned by the Church that connected them to $32 billion in the US stock market had the WHOIS information redacted when if previously was not. We further stated that it had been done to all the domains associated with the 13 LLCs tied to the Church and holding the $32 billion. Our publicizing of this information implied that the Church had done so in response to our publication of the information. We also explicitly stated the Church made the change themselves. Upon further investigation, both the implication and statement are not true. We retract the statement and apologize to our followers and to the Church for being misleading.
The change in WHOIS information was noticed by Ethan Dodge, our technical director, as he was preparing for a talk he is giving this weekend on the topic. He noticed that ashmorewealth.com had been redacted for privacy but mormon.org had not. He had overlooked the fact that .org and .com domains list different degrees of identifying information. It turns out that the Church's domain registrar, and many other registrars are redacting information from all .com and .net domains but not .org domains in response to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a European law that governs how private information is handled in the European Union. The day the "before" screen shot on the left side of the graphic was taken several days after GDPR went into effect, which is also why that option was not considered.
Our conclusion was hasty and unprofessional. We sincerely apologize and will do better in the future.