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September 17, 2011 | Jim Killock

Nominet and domain suspensions

Last year, Nominet wisely started a process involving a range of organizations including ORG to consider how to handle requests from law enforcement agencies for suspension of domain suspected of involvement in criminal activity.

These requests – or perhaps notifications – had been made by law enforcement and acted on by Nominet ad hoc for around a year prior to the issue group meeting. Although only a handful of complaints had been made, suggesting most of the suspensions were reasonable, there are obvious concerns with allowing suspensions to take place without court orders or independent appeals mechanisms.

Over the summer, Nominet published a draft report (PDF) from the Issue Group they created to consider domain suspensions. The draft was produced by their secretariat, from notes made at the meetings, so reflected many of points made at the meetings, but was not an agreed draft that had been circulated to issue group members beforehand.

The draft as it stands is not, in ORG’s view, sufficiently precise and reasoned to be backed by us. While it gives plenty of indications of the approach Nominet might take, we feel the final document needs to be very precise, as well as robust and well-argued in order to convey truly useful advice to Nominet’s Board.

We will therefore work with the issue group to produce a document that is closer to what we feel is needed.

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