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Nominet may let police close down websites over criminal activity concerns

UK police seek powers to close .uk domains?

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UK domain name registry Nominet is considering allowing the Police to close down websites that are being used for criminal activity.

At present Nominet doesn't have any terms and conditions that state a domain name must not be used for any activity that breaks UK law. However, following a request from the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) the UK domain name registry is considering adding conditions that will see domain suspend if there are "reasonable grounds to believe they are being used to commit a crime".

Nominet said reasonable grounds would include a request from UK law enforcement agencies.

"There are increasing expectations from law-enforcement agencies that Nominet and its members will respond quickly to reasonable requests to suspend domain names being used in association with criminal activity and Nominet has been working with them in response to formal requests," the group.

The move comes nearly two weeks after police closed a website that offered advice to students who were photographed taking part in the riots at Millbank Tower.

In the past year, Nominet has taken down more than 1,200 websites that break UK laws with the help of the Metropolitan Police's Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU).

Nominet is calling for web users with thoughts on the issue to share them with the domain name registry.



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