I have a question that falls outside the boolean question. Is there a way to find info on a web registrant who has opted to to keep their info private?
For example if I go to whois.com and type the domain name and hit search, the results show private, are there alternative methods of uncovering the contact info via deep web search, other websites etc?
The answer is "maybe, depending on how much you are willing to pay". There are a number of services that keep track of these things, and may have information about even privately registered domains. For instance domaintools.com.
However, private registration is a paid for service that many registrants receive from their registrar, so it is in the registrar's interest NOT to release this. They may, in fact, have some premium service to let you see private registrant data (in which case, they are pretty shady - playing both sides like that).
One thing that sometimes works is to look at the IP address - the ARIN whois for IPs can help you narrow down where the site is being hosted. If the registrar and hosting company are one and the same, you may be out of luck, but for registrants who get their domain name from one firm and their hosting services from another, you might be able to get info about them from the hosting service that you can't from the registrar.
Hmm... what else? If the domain name in question is being used for something - hosting a website, offering a product or service, then likely there is contact info associated with same. Try e-mailing - then if they reply, check out the headers! Or if they have a phone number, you can try to track down who is assigned that line. Of coure, if you are trying to report malicious activity, you have a better chance - the registrar might even help you in that case.
There may also be other ways, but if someone is THAT interested in hiding who they are, it is usually not worth my time to try to track them down in this way.
What have you tried so far? In addition to what Dave has mentioned you may try searching for references or links to the domain on the web. People will often reference or include a link to their domain in their signatures/profiles on forums, social networks, etc. The linkdomain command on yahoo is very useful for this, i.e. linkdomain:site.com
Next you might try to search for and/or guess common email addresses for the webmaster. Search on Google using the "* domain.com" email and/or contact on Google. If nothing pops up, run common email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com through Mailtester.com to see if you can identify a working email. You might also check the source code of the site to see if there are any hints or contact info embedded in there.
Thank you for the suggestions, I have actually tried your suggestions before. I have been pretty good at getting contact info from most websites. My question was how to get the info if the person has elected to be hidden, more specifically their phone number.