Friday, 2 September 2011

Nominet want to take down domains without due legal process.

Well, yes, I should have posted earlier. Domain name shutdown without due process. I have to say that due process is starting to disappear.

There are, as ever, two sides to the story. If some crime is being committed and taking a domain down needs to be handled urgently you can see the court process may be too slow. So the answer is have an expedited court process that would allow police to go wake up a judge at 2am to sign an order. You have all seen it on NCIS or CSI.

There should not be a process to bypass normal legal accountability here.

That said, if we are stuck with such a system it should require indemnity and insurance. i.e. if someone states there is a crime and to take a domain down, OK, do it, if they are a competent authority and if they have in place necessary insurance to cover liability for being wrong.

If they are wrong - e.g. if they fail to obtain a conviction or court order to back up their request within 3 months then they should pay compensation, IMHO. They should even have a clear minimum like £1000/day with higher damages if proved to be more loss. If they have insurance to cover this and liability to pay it, then fine.

That way, when they are right and it is illegal, everyone is happy - justice is done - action is taken promptly and efficiently.

When they are wrong they have to claim on insurance and properly indemnify the wronged party. That way they avoid being wrong so as to not have high insurance premiums. They take more care. And the wronged party is properly compensated.

Surely all this needs is Nominet to make part of the contract terms that they compensate for wrongful suspension of a domain. Then, when police ask for it, they just say, certainly providing you cover our contractual costs if it is indeed wrongfully suspended. No problem. Sign here officer.

That is just my view.

1 comment:

  1. The whole process also fails if the offending site also has a .com, .org, .net, . registered - alternative domains pointing at the same server.