No current obligation to shut down illegal sites

Nominet consults on domain takedown

The UK Internet registrar, Nominet, has called for input into the non-profit organisation’s policies regarding seizure of domains used for criminal activity.

Nominet said that it currently doesn’t have a clear obligation that a .uk internet domain cannot be used in connection with "activities that would constitute an offence under UK criminal law" as opposed to registrars for .org and .biz.

"We believe that formal policy advice is needed to underpin proposals for a change to Nominet’s

Terms and Conditions to give a contractual basis to suspend domains where Nominet has reasonable

grounds to believe they are being used to commit a crime (e.g. a request from an identified UK Law Enforcement Agency)."

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) had proposed a policy that Nominent would be empowered to take down web sites if police or nominet suspected that the domain was being used by criminals. 

Some of the issues being discussed include what burden or proof would be necessary in order to shut down a web site with the Open Rights Group criticising any move to grant police powers to seizes domain names without due process.

Nominet’s formal call for comments will close on the 23rd of February.

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