Monday is the deadline for your views on rebuilding trust in .UK

At the beginning of October Nominet launched a consultation on the potential introduction of a new service known as The logic behind the proposal is that .UK should give a reasonable measure of confidence that the registrant is physically located in the United Kingdom and not the Ukraine, Uzbekistan or “Uniwhere”.

The background is the need for Nominet to put its house in order before BIS, DCMS, Home Office or the European Commission take control of Internet Addressing, perhaps via Ofcom or Trading Standards, the proposed EU regulation on electronic identities or the electronic signatures directive, in response to the growing pressures from law enforcement, tax authorities and others around the world.

The most vocal opposition comes from those seeking to preserve business models based on creating IPR in domain names to sell to the highest bidder. There are, however, also a number of practical issues to be addressed and some genuine concerns over the small print and the implementation plans.      

There are a number of ways in which to respond to the consultation either by completing an online form, by downloading the consultation and emailing your comments to If you require any further information please email the .uk Policy Secretariat.The closing date for the submission of responses is Monday 7th January 2013.

I have just circulated the draft Conservative Technology Forum submission to confirm that we have sufficient agreement for this be a collective response – as opposed to a personal response from myself and those of the other officers willing to be attributed. As an affiliated party group the role of CTF is to make suggestions for future Conservative policy.

The key message in the draft CTF submission is that .uk should be developed as a trust mark with realistic quality control if it is to have value. Perpetuating a situation where .uk  may refer to organisations based anywhere in the world will sooner or later render it value-less.

Even if the CTF submission is agreed by the executive it will have no official status – but we may do a press release listing naming those who have agreed that their support can be publicised and agreed to help organise political activities in support of implementation. Please visjt the CTF website and join if you would like to participate – including in a policy study to look at the implications of basing policy on on-line identity and trust on the assumption that we have copyright in our personal information and identities. 

The issue of the “right” to be anonymous over the Internet is rather different.  There is a need for a .anon that really is what it says on the tin. The current routines for disguising identity are wide open to abuse at the same time as giving false confidence to those who have good reasons for wishing to conceal their identities.

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A timely reminder.

We were pleasantly surprised to receive one also from Nominet this morning although we know they have still not contacted their (at October 31) 10,276,759 stakeholders which we deem to be an outrage.

At the end of last month after, we believe, some prompting following Phil Kingsland's (Nominets Director of Marketing & Communications)article on the Guardians Media Network/Technology Blog they issued a news release indicating that they had received 650 responses to date.

Like you we attended one of their meetings (in Cardiff) where 3 stakeholders attended. The Belfast meeting was cancelled due to no attendees.

Back in June re the new gTLD's Nominet issued the following Press Release:

"Majority of British businesses with a website unaware of impending changes to the domain name landscape"

Such a survey amongst the 4 million businesses with existing .uk domains would we are sure show a greater lack of knowledge of Nominet's current proposals.

Their other stated stakeholders the UK public have not even had the courtesy of a single advertisement explaining their proposals.

The lack of more vocal responses is entirely due to the wholly inappropriately low key and inept communication process undertaken by Nominet.

Even the news release referred to above was only released more generally after much prompting.

Whilst you may be right in the longer term about about the .uk domainspace we believe that Nominet have no basis for making any such radical changes without engaging their stakeholders, which they have totally failed to do.

They have no mandate for change

We also have been encouraging all stakeholders to respond throughout the process - There is still time you have until (presumably) midnight on Monday January 7!