Nominet Sucking Up To Law Enforcement With New Proposals?

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Nominet, the registry for *.uk, has opened a public consultation on the re-introduction of .uk domain names ie. domains directly under .uk such as

The proposals from the registry, however, sound like they’re heavily influenced by the law enforcement “asks” during the current RAA negotiations.

They also ignore the recent Article 29 Working Party letter which deemed a lot of ICANN / Law Enforcement’s demands to be illegal. (Though admittedly the Nominet proposal seems to be more aimed at business than personal users, there is of course the “grey area” of sole traders).

Nominet’s consulting on this, so hopefully that means that they aren’t planning on just introducing this without taking into consideration the issues it raises.

As a registrar based in Ireland I personally have serious issues with the entire proposal as currently framed and have submitted my comments to them on this.

See below for each proposal and my issues with it

Virus / Malware notifications:

I don’t have an issue with the registry offering notifications, but I do have an issue with them pulling down domain names based on this. This is something that the registrar / hosting provider should be able to resolve with their clients.

“Trust Mark” for registrants:

Nice idea, but last time I checked Nominet was neither a CA nor a consumer protection agency. Considering that Nominet won’t take ANY action against its own registrars who gouge registrants for a change of registrar this seems almost hypocritical

Mandatory DNSSEC

I’m not a big fan of DNSSEC. Sure, it can help, but I don’t think it’s “the” solution for security. A DNSSEC signature will not make your website’s code or your users’ activities any more secure. It will stop “man in the middle” attacks, but that’s assuming that it’s setup correctly and that the resolvers are able to handle it properly

UK only registrants

So basically Nominet want to ignore the rest of the EU with this? Is this even legal within the EU?

Pre-resolution verification

Bad idea. Does not scale and causes a LOT of headaches for everyone

Re-validation / verification of registrant data

Bad idea

The entire registrant data verification / validation debacle is a hot topic at the moment. Personally I think it’s a bit of a red herring. Overall data quality should be improved, but accuracy is a different matter entirely

Sub-domain restrictions

Bad bad idea. If I want to create subdomains and I’m not breaking the law it’s none of the registry’s business.

Reserved / protected names

Minimal restrictions make sense and Nominet already has a very robust dispute service in place.

Dropping domain notification

Unless Nominet is going to completely change their entire policy and process around deleting domain names I don’t see why they should be even considering this.

Channel limited to subset of registrars

I can see that causing headaches. If Nominet is having issues with its registrars then it needs to address this in a different manner. The inference from this suggestion is that some registrars aren’t “good enough”. If that is the case why isn’t Nominet dealing with them already?

You can read the full consultation documents and download or complete the survey online here.

Make up your own mind, but personally I think that Nominet has seen how the GAC and LEA are trying to bully ICANN into making really bad decisions and rather than make positive changes and improvements is basically trying to pacify them with the introduction of this mess.

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10 Responses to Nominet Sucking Up To Law Enforcement With New Proposals?

  1. Nic October 2, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    Thanks for helping me understand why I was feeling uncomfortable with the proposal, ie good post.

  2. Nic October 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    The thing that I dislike most in the plan, from a purely subjective standpoint, is that while maintained UK trademarks get propriety, even if you have the corresponding second level domain, you have to fight it out at auction with other trademark holders. domain + trademark should = slam dunk, in my view.


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