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September 20, 2013 | Jim Killock

Say no to the Nomitax!

This coming Monday, Nominet's consultation on a .uk domain ends. We are asking everyone to respond and say 'no'.


Nominet were told to stop creating new second level domains (like .co.uk or .me.uk) because they are a monopoly, and instead an independent consultative group decides when new .uk domains are needed. This group also decides who controls them, to avoid Nominet simply inventing new new second level domains (SLDs). This is important, as many people want to own all the domains potentially associated with their personal or company name. Only really new and non-confusing SLDs should be added, so that this problem is avoided.

Nominet have circumvented this attempt to stop them printing money and demanding new registrations from UK domain owners, by asking to allow anyone to own a top level .uk domain. This means you will now be faced with registering not just mydomain.co.uk and mydomain.org.uk but also, if you want to control the name, mydomain.uk – resulting in a windfall for the cash-rich Nominet, but plenty of problems for everyone else.

For instance, in the future, how will you know if someuniversity.uk is a real Univeristy, or just another commercial outfit posing as an HE estblishment? Will thelawcommission.uk be a government body, or a private entity?

Aside from this confusion, Nominet's consultation makes an extraordinary attempt to argue that it needs more cash because it operates in the public interest, so more cash means more public interest activities for the public.

This is the standard argument for a tax, not a new round of domain registrations. Nominet are not entitled to make such a tautologous argument, their public purpose is to provide a secure and trusted domain registry service.

If their new registry policy does not serve that – and they don't manage to argue that it does – then they cannot simply say that more cash for Nominet is a great reason to charge UK domain owners for new domains.

You can respond using their online form. You can also read their full consultation page and our response.

Say no to the Nomitax!

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Comments (2)

  1. Don:
    Sep 20, 2013 at 05:01 PM

    hi all
    after reading the above (and links) the two words that deeply concern me are "trusted security", which at the moment sounds like they would become responsible fore the issuing of all ssl certificates (https encryption keys) for the domains in the UK. as we already know the UK's internet traffic is being monitored offshore (so it is not covered by UK law, even though GCHQ is doing it) by means of "taps" on the backbone links of the internet. with one UK based company controlling all of the https traffic to UK domains, It would be very easy for the security services to use a secret request on the grounds of national security (so no court order needed) to gain access to copy's of these certificates. (and as they would say they would be used to protect the UK from terrorist attacks, it is unlikely they would be refused or this information made public (we don't know yet if GCHQ is using NSA style gagging orders)) this would mean that HTTPS would be broken to all the UK domains that are in the "security garden" that Nominet provide the ssl certificates for, and the UK government (and its partners whoever they may be) would have unencrypted access to all traffic to and from those UK domains. security needs to be kept separate from the domain providers for this very reason. (remember the Hong Kong post office ssl certificates)
    On a related note with the majority of UK internet users having rotating IP addresses the only way communications can be sent is via a 3rd party server or by use of a domain name (eg ????.uk) Its like your house address keeps changing so no mail can be sent directly to you and you either have to retrieve it from the sorting office (3rd party server) or a PO box (having your own "private" domain)

    The above is based on fact (known information) that is already available in the public domain and not some wild theory, so it has to be a BIG NO! NO! NO! to Nominet. and with them already asking the government for money it sounds like they want the government to pay for whatever the government is secretly wanting them to do.

    I just wish there was more I could do to help defend our digital rights'
    Don

  2. William Hay:
    Sep 26, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    That many people want to own all the domains associated with their personal or company name doesn't make that desire legitimate. Personal names aren't even close to unique so expecting to have exclusive control of all variations of it is a selfish act and you should have to pay through the nose for the privilege. As far as company names go we have trademark law. Rather than restrict the number of SLDs nominet can issue would it not be better to just check any registration requests in those SLDs against a database of registered trademarks and reject them unless they come from one of the trademark owners. The trademark owner might not own all foo.*.uk domains but they can stop others from impersonating them which is all they really need.



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