Feeds

Nominet appoints itself web policeman

Domain name suspensions to order

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Nominet has announced it will suspend the domain name of any .uk website suspected of being involved in criminal activity.

Registrars who receive "credible reports" about their domain names can now use a Nominet tool that will immediately "lock" it while they investigate the website.

The lock means suspect websites will still be available if the content itself is not taken down, but only by typing in the IP address.

"Registrars may gather their intelligence from several different sources including police reports, information or complaints from the public and information that they hold themselves," said Nominet.

"The types of checks registrars are able to do include contacting the customer directly, looking at other domain names or sites held by the customer, re-checking the credit card details or even checking the originating IP address from which the domain name purchase was made."

The move follows Nominet's recent mass suspension of 1,200 domains allegedly selling counterfeit goods following a request from e-crime police.

The domain industry has been under political pressure for some time to take a more aggressive approach to criminality on the web. While websites involved in e-crime are often hosted abroad, out of reach of UK police, they often use .uk domain names to target British internet users.

Since Nominet controls the .uk registry, it can effectively pull the plug. Forthcoming laws to allow the government to take control of the non-profit firm if it believes the interests of all UK internet users are not being looked after are in part motivated by concerns over rising e-crime.

Nominet's operations director Eleanor Bradley said: "Nominet is committed to making the internet a safe place for all users. This lock is one of several new services we are offering to help our registrars respond to evidence that .uk domain names are being used for illegal activities."

The announcement is however likely to prompt worries about the apparent lack of independent oversight of the suspension process and the standard of evidence registrars will use before contacting Nominet. ®

Nominet has asked us to clarify that its members will be suspending suspect domains themselves. It is providing the tool for them to do so.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.