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. identicon
    abc gum, 7 Apr 2011 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re:

    "Right, just like if I was to peacefully resist arrest, the police have a choice to do a few things available to them, they could manually place me under arrest or they smash my skull with billy clubs until I am in a coma and place my limp body under arrest. But, they would eventually have to justify their use of force on me."

    Only if someone leaked the video - which would be taken down using the same methods and tools being discussed here. Then it would pop up somewhere else and that would be taken down too, etc ...

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