Government to pursue Nominet take-over powers

The government is to push ahead with its efforts to reserve powers to itself to take over the management of the .uk internet domain.

The move comes...

The government is to push ahead with its efforts to reserve powers to itself to take over the management of the .uk internet domain.

The move comes despite members of industry-owned non-profit organisation Nominet, which is the present registrar, voting for constitutional changes to accommodate the government's wishes for the body to be more accountable to the public.

"The government welcomes the results of Nominet's extraordinary general meeting yesterday and the membership's decision to change the registry's constitution.," said a government spokesman, who went on to say that the government had "no plans to scrap the provisions on domain names from the (Digital Economy) Bill".

The government wants the right to appoint a manager if Nominet or its agents act unfairly, misuse domain names or fail to resolve disputes in good time, thus harming the reputation or availability of public communications networks or services.

Nominet members voted for changes to its constitution to ensure that it conducts its business for the public benefit; has a fully representative, business-oriented board to act in the public interest; that it can set prices for registrations and renewals; and that it will work with its members to include other stakeholders in business decisions and policy development.

Nominet CEO Lesley Cowley said that the changes to Nominet's constitution that had been voted through meant the bill's clauses to allow the government to take over management of the .uk domain and related dispute resolution were unnecessary. The UK internet domain name industry should continue to self-regulate, she said.

Cowley noted that the bill was still going through parliament and said that Nominet had been in touch with MPs since the first reading.

"We'll wait and see what develops," she said, adding that scrapping the reserve power clauses in the bill would be "ideal".

She said some MPs believed that self-regulation of the internet sector was in keeping with what the UK had been promoting in overseas forums. "We should be practising what we preach," she said.

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