Feeds

Mandelson to get Nominet reform powers

Just in case

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Ministers have revealed new legislation that will allow the government to take over and reform Nominet, following a boardroom battle over the .uk registry's future.

The reserve powers are included in the Digital Economy Bill, published today by Lord Mandelson's Department for Business.

Officials said they believed it is unlikely the powers will be used, but they were necessary to ensure Nominet took account of the interests of wider public and business interests, and not just those of its members.

"Nominet shows every sign of sorting itself out," said a senior official at a briefing on the Bill this morning.

He added that if the powers were used, officials would go into Nominet, reorganise it, and then return it to the private sector.

The legislation was prompted by an ugly spat in Nominet's senior ranks last year, which saw resignations from the board.

Some in the domain name business believed the not-for-profit firm should drop its prices to return its multimillion-pound surplus to members.

Jim Davies, a domain solicitor, was elected to the board on that platform, prompting concern from others in the business, and outsiders including the government, that Nominet might not continue to look after wider interests.

He and another board member resigned after months of accusation and counter accusation, amid personal animosity and legal threats. All parties denied any wrongdoing.

"There have been reported abuses of the domain name system in the UK, largely regarding the .uk country code Top Level Domain, such as cybersquatting, drop-catching, pressure sales of domain names, domain names used for phishing and distributing malware, and instances where foreign owned (and hosted) websiteswith a .uk domain dupe people into believing they are British," the government said today.

When told of the boardroom battles, the government demanded Nominet justify its independent status. In response it appointed an independent governance reviewer. He suggested changes to the composition of the board, which members are due to vote on in April.

Nominet chairman Bob Gilbert today said: "We believe that the reserve powers set out in the Digital Economy Bill will not be needed and that together with our membership Nominet will be able to introduce the constitutional reforms needed to allow .uk to continue to be operated responsibly and in the public interest.

"We remain committed to an industry-led model for the operation and management of this important national resource and recognise the responsibility that this implies." ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.