Nominet Consults On Reducing Phishing, Reducing Criminal Activity and Drop List For .UK

Nominet has opened a consultation process that will see the
.uk registry seek feedback on reducing phishing, law enforcement landing pages
for domain names suspended for criminal activity and implementing a drop list
for expired domains.

The 2019 consultation invites feedback on three important
issues:

I. Reducing the use of .UK domain names for phishing attacks

II. Implementing law enforcement landing pages following
suspensions for criminal activity

III. Implementing a .UK drop list to provide a transparent
and orderly process for the re-registration of expired domains

On phishing, since 2018 Nominet has used Domain Watch, an
anti-phishing initiative. The initiative operates as a risk-based enhanced
verification of registration data for all newly-registered domains. It uses a
combination of technical algorithms and manual intervention to highlight
suspicious domains. Of the 3.6 million newly registered domains in the 12 month
period July 2018 to July 2019, over 1,500 domains were blocked in the DNS as a
result of our Domain Watch initiative.

Nominet are asking if they should update their policies to
specifically allow them to prevent resolution in the DNS where they have
identified a high risk of phishing use.

On implementing landing pages following suspensions for
criminal activity, while Nominet does not have the means to remove content or
alter websites, they can disrupt the impact of criminal behaviour by removing
or suspending a domain name. So Nominet is now seeking views on what should
happen following the suspension. One option proposed is an informational
landing page.

And lastly, on a drop list, Nominet is consulting on
implementing a .uk drop list to provide a transparent and orderly process for
the re-registration of expired domains. They also want to know if there is
support for the publishing of official information for registrars to clarify when
expired domains will become available for general registration. They’re also
asking if Nominet should encourage competition in the .uk secondary domains
market?

Looking forward, in the consultation paper Nominet raises
several other issues they are considering to improve the .uk namespace
including:

  • Moving to an inter-registrar transfer system that is more widely adopted across the industry
  • Standardising domain name renewals, expiry and cancellations in line with generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) by implementing RFC 3915 and a life cycle to match gTLDs
  • Removing the option for direct registration of domains with Nominet, without operating through a registrar.

“We are committed to running a world leading registry and
are always looking for ways to improve,” said Eleanor Bradley, MD of Registry
Solutions and Public Benefit at Nominet. “As the environment in which we
operate evolves, we actively engage with a wide variety of UK stakeholders to
ensure that the policies we maintain reflect emerging threats, changes in
stakeholder expectations and new industry practices.”

“This consultation sets out ambitious ideas to ensure .UK
maintains its position as a vibrant and trusted namespace and provides an
important opportunity for the UK internet community to provide input. We
believe open consultation creates better policy so I encourage all interested
parties to engage and look forward to hearing from you.”

Since 1996 Nominet has operated .uk, developing policies that
provide the framework of principles for the .uk namespace. They are developed
in consultation with a wide variety of stakeholders and aim to ensure a
connected, inclusive and secure space for the UK internet community.

The .UK Policy Consultation invites feedback from all interested stakeholders by 16 December 2019. A roundtable event towards the end of the consultation period will be held on 4 December 2019. Interested parties can find out more and submit responses here.

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