Feeds

Nominet puts the squeeze on rude members

Scammers, speculators warned

Security for virtualized datacentres

Nominet, which runs the .uk domain registry, has proposed a new code of conduct that would ban unprofessional behaviour by its members.

The new draft Members' Code would enable the organisation to strip members of their privileges if they're caught scamming customers or being rude to Nominet staff.

It would also force its members to notify Nominet if they have financial links to other members, to help prevent votes being captured by front organisations.

Nominet CEO Lesley Cowley told El Reg today that the decision to create the new rules now was not in response to any specific recent incidents.

"During all my time at Nominet, I can think of only two or three cases where it would have been appropriate," she said. "This is about the industry being seen to be responsible."

She cited a case in which a Nominet member was scamming internet users a few years ago. Nominet took the member to court but had no mechanism to revoke its membership.

Cowley had stern words for domain name speculators – many of whom are also Nominet members and registrars – in August 2010, when she complained about abusive behaviour and told them to "grow up", but today she said that this is no longer a big problem.

The rules would only apply to Nominet's paid-up voting members – mainly consumer-facing domain name registrars and domain speculators – not to everyday punters who merely own .co.uk addresses.

The code would also have no impact on the contract that all registrars must agree to, Cowley said.

Registrars can get wholesale discounts on .uk domains if they are also members, and the code does not currently envisage stripping them of these rights, she said.

Because Nominet would be able to publish details of membership suspensions, the possibility of public embarrassment could ensure adherence to the code.

The code also envisages forcing members to tell Nominet about their affiliations with other members.

According to Matt Mansell, CEO of DomainMonster, some Nominet members use multiple identities in order to game the system and increase their chances of catching desirable expiring domains.

Forcing members to disclose their interests in other members could help prevent this, he said.

"Nominet remains a very open and easy participation organisation," Mansell said. "That’s good for consumers by keeping the marketplace competitive and good for registrars to encourage innovation.

However, it does and will continue to attract less scrupulous business models or technically less competent registrars as a result of being so accessible."

Becoming a member of Nominet costs £400, with an annual £100 fee. For this price, members get to vote in elections and can buy domains for the wholesale fee of £5.

Nominet has published its draft Members' Code for comment until 23 February, after which it may be amended one or more times before it is approved.

Nominet reformed itself in 2009 after coming in for criticisms from the UK government over the perception that the organisation was being captured by speculators. Cowley said that today's move is unrelated to that reform, however. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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
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?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
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.