UK Domain Seizures: Nominet Admits It's Helped Police Seize 3,000 Sites

from the global-issue dept

While we've been mostly focused on US-based domain name seizures and attempts to expand them using something like COICA, we've also noted that similar issues are being discussed in the UK, where Nominet has now admitted that it's helped police seize about 3,000 domains based simply upon a request from law enforcement. Unlike the US, there isn't even a formal process with a judge rubber stamping the requests. Instead, the police ask, and Nominet is compelled to suspend the domain. In fact, some law enforcement officials are claiming that if Nominet refused their requests, then it would automatically become liable. In other words, police have a fantastic tool for censorship of any website if they want to use it that way. What isn't explained is why law enforcement on both sides of the Atlantic are so damn afraid of actually having an adversarial hearing before seizing a domain. If they're so sure that these sites are illegal, why are they so afraid of facing the site owners in court?

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  1. icon
    Christopher Gizzi (profile), 7 Apr 2011 @ 6:54am

    Re:

    Interesting you called IP a commodity.

    I agree it is from a certain point of view. But commodities, in the classic sense, are still scarce goods and bought & sold on the open market.

    But if IP is, in fact, property as its proponents suggest, you can come up with a CME, NYBOT, ICE, NYMEX style of exchange around it just like the do coffee, sugar, oil, & nat gas.

    If you tried, you'd see how quickly the prices would go to zero.

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