UK Proposal Would Allow Police To Seize Domain Names Without A Court Order
from the taking-ice-up-a-notch dept
We’ve noted in the past that as with Homeland Security’s questionable process of seizing domain names without an adversarial hearing, law enforcement in the UK wanted to be able to do the same thing. In fact, reports came out that the .uk registrar, Nominet, had already helped police seize thousands of sites, but mostly on a technicality involving false contact details. However, they’re now taking it up a notch, with a new proposal that would let police demand that a domain be blocked without a court order.
While Nominet insists that this should be limited to cases where it was needed “to prevent serious and immediate consumer harm,” as we’ve seen with ICE’s domain seizures, law enforcement (at the urging of the entertainment industry) likes to claim “serious and immediate consumer harm” from things like blogs that promote music. It’s not difficult to see how this amorphous standard would be widely abused. Nominet also claims that this would only be used for “serious crimes” — but the list includes: fraud, prostitution, money laundering, blackmail and copyright infringement. Ah, yes, copyright infringement. Forget due process, the UK police will just start shutting down sites on the say-so of the entertainment industry — the same industry that says that the Internet Archive is a pirate site.