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
    Richard (profile), 7 Apr 2011 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I disagree. It disrupts infringement, and it gets out the message that copyright, trademark, and child porn laws are being enforced by Uncle Sam on the internet. With the addition of COICA, websites that merely shift to a non U.S.-based domain name won't be able to hide. I think as a deterrent, it is effective. We'll see.

    We've already seen! Look at operation ORE. The police leapt in with both feet and pursued thousands for child porn - result:
    Thousands falsely accused, 39 suicides (I hope you have some words of consolation for their relatives - it is virtually certain that some at least were completely innocent) and cases pursued against innocent people that have cost the police millions in court costs - and will likely cost millions more in compensation before we are done.

    I hope you can explain yourself to the poor taxpayer who has to fund all this madness. It was bad enough wen done with relatively solid looking information (although in the end it turned out to be false) in respect of child porn - but when it is done on behalf of private interests it is indefensible.

    Following the law of your land at the time is all well and good but in the end it doesn't wash when you are doing something that combines immorality with stupidity and ( in the latest cases ) greed.

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