Nominet has had an open policy on domain registrations since 1996, which has played a key role in promoting a dynamic and open internet in the UK.
However, concerns over this approach have been raised by an internet safety commentator and subsequently reported in the media.
We wish to take the opportunity to ensure our own policies remain current and in the public interest. In light of this, we are planning to review our approach to registrations, to establish where policy could or should evolve.
We are launching an independently-chaired policy review and will call for contributions from stakeholders in September. We will share further details in due course.
In the meantime, we are looking closely at what further practical steps we can take to play our part in keeping the .uk internet safe. For example, in the last week, we have worked with the Internet Watch Foundation to check the key words they associate with illegal content against the domain names under our management.
It is important to take into account that the majority of concerns related to illegality online are related to a website’s content – something that is not known at the point of registration of a domain name.
Tackling this issue is a collaborative effort and we are committed to working with relevant authorities, and taking responsible action with regard to .uk domains associated with illegal activity. We already have a dedicated support team at Nominet to respond to instructions from the relevant authority, such as the police or, should the need arise, the IWF. We operate a rapid suspension process where necessary.
We have been contacted by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in relation to this issue and are keeping them informed of our actions.
Domain names are one of the key building blocks of the internet – an essential component of every email address and website. Millions of businesses and consumers now depend on Nominet’s services, which underpin a critical part of the UK Internet economy.
Nominet is a private, not-for-profit business, responsible for the smooth and secure running of the .uk internet infrastructure. We have over 2,800 members and are committed to acting in the public interest.
Nominet has also recently been chosen by several brands and communities to launch and manage new top level domains; wales, .cymru, .bbc .bentley, .comcast and .xfinity.
With the proceeds of their successful registry business, Nominet set up and supports the Nominet Trust, an independent charitable foundation focussed on increasing access, safety and education on internet issues.
As part of a commitment to making the internet a more trusted space, Nominet has also developed an information and advice portal – www.knowthenet.org.uk – which helps internet users to get the most of being online by staying safe, legal, and informed.