Nominet, the .uk domain name registry, has opened a public consultation period on a number of potential policy changes.
There are three specific policy proposals that they are soliciting feedback on:
- Reducing the use of .UK domain names for phishing attacks
- Implementing law enforcement landing pages following suspensions for criminal activity
- Implementing a .UK drop list to provide a transparent and orderly process for the re-registration of expired domains
They’ve published a briefing paper (PDF) that outlines the rationale behind each of the proposals as well as a more detailed explanation of what’s involved.
Taking each one of the proposals rather briefly:
Phishing is obviously something that causes headaches and has a detrimental impact on the eco system. Nominet is seeking to tweak its policies in order to take action quickly on domain names that appear to have been registered specifically for nefarious purposes.
Law enforcement landers are used in the US and other jurisdictions to clearly indicate that a domain name has been seized. At the moment Nominet is suspending domains but it’s not clear from the outside in my experience why a domain has been suspended and there’s also been a lack of uniformity in how the suspension or interruption works and for how long. Cleaning this up and making it simpler for everyone is probably beneficial.
Expired and expiring domain names feed into a healthy aftermarket in the .uk space. At the moment .uk domains are deleted in a quite hard to predict fashion in terms of timing etc., Some companies specialise in “drop catching” and charge a premium for these freshly “dropped” domains. Moving to a published “drop list” would help to level the playing field, though based on what happens in other markets where this already exists it won’t kill off the drop catch companies entirely, as objectively “good” domains will still attract heavy levels of interest.
The consultation is open until December 16th 2019.