A P.E.I. web developer is shutting down a website that allows people to search for information on shareholders in Island companies after the government blocked him from the site he was using to compile his data.

Peter Rukavina used the province's online corporate registry to create a new site, OpenCorporations.org, that allowed the registry to be searched by shareholder name, not just company name.

The provincial government took exception to the way Rukavina used its web site and password protected the registry, effectively blocking the developer and making it impossible for him to update OpenCorporations.org.

Rukavina said he was surprised by the province's move, because his website isn't showing any information that isn't already publicly available.

"The information is public information," he said. "I'm not adding or subtracting anything to or from it. So it is a sort of unusual thing to do."

Rukavina created the site in order to find more information on a company planning development in downtown Charlottetown, but the site became enormously popular, with people using it to search for information about the province's controversial immigrant investor program.

Users performed tens of thousands of searches. Many were looking for information on what companies had taken advantage of money invested in P.E.I. companies by immigrants through the Provincial Nominee Program. Questions have been raised about the quality of companies approved for investment, and the involvement of companies owned by government MLAs and senior civil servants.

The province said Rukavina's site was "inappropriately using corporate data." Rukavina said he will shut the site down rather than continue to post outdated information.