WHOIS is an Internet Protocol that is used to query databases to obtain information about the registration of a domain name or IP address. The original purpose of WHOIS data and the WHOIS query protocol and web services created to deliver public access to that data was largely technical. What does it do for us today? What are the benefits of WHOIS?
Learn more about WHOIS here: http://www.icann.org/en/resources/policy/background/whois