Feeds

Mandelson to get Nominet reform powers

Just in case

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.