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Digital Economy Bill – One step forward

The Digital Economy Bill has been taking up a lot of my time since the start of the new year and I’m pleased to report one result. The Bill gives the Secretary of State powers to intervene in the operations of a DNS registry where a serious failure of the registry is likely to affect […]

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DNS Logs for Incident Response

A number of talks at the FIRST conference this week have mentioned the value of Domain Name Service (DNS) logs for both detecting and investigating various types of computer misuse: from users accessing unauthorised websites to PCs infected with botnets to targeted theft of information (see, for example, Google’s talk). DNS is sometimes described as […]

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Blocking “Internet locations”

I had a meeting with Ofcom this morning as part of their review of section 17 of the Digital Economy Act 2010. That section, if enabled by the Secretary of State, would allow courts to order a service provider “to prevent its service being used to gain access to [an Internet] location”. This power could […]

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Closed Consultations

Nominet Domain Suspension Paper

Nominet have published an interesting analysis of the legal issues around any possible process for suspending domains associated with criminal activity. This raises the rather worrying issue that the legal position is not clear if a registry is informed of unlawful conduct somewhere in their domain and decides that the evidence is not strong enough […]

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Domain suspension – when might it be justified?

Nominet have published an issues paper asking whether there are circumstances in which it might be appropriate to rapidly suspend a DNS domain involved in criminal activity, and the processes that would be needed to ensure such action did not create too great a risk of unfairness. I’m writing this in an attempt to sort […]

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.ch and .li domains promoting malware clean-up

An interesting news item from SWITCH, the Swiss NREN and also operator of the .ch and .li TLD registries, on how they are alerting website owners to malware and, if necessary, taking action to protect customers from being infected. Swiss law allows the registry to suspend a domain for five days, or longer if the […]

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DEA progress report

The Chief Executive of OFCOM, Ed Richards, gave evidence to the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee last week, in which he reported on progress on the copyright enforcement and web blocking parts of the Digital Economy Act 2010. He first confirmed that the Initial Obligations Code was completed and passed to the […]

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Domains with Criminal Purpose

Questions about my last posting on Nominet’s DNS domain suspension discussions, have got me thinking a bit more about my idea of “domains registered for a criminal purpose”. My suggestion is that these should be the only domains that a top-level registry can remove on its own, rather than asking for the decision to be […]

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Website Blocking: Alive or Dead?

Last year’s Digital Economy Act 2010 created a power (s.17) for a court to order a service provider to prevent access to a “location on the Internet” if that location was being used, or likely to be used, to infringe copyright. That power has not been brought into force and last January Ofcom were asked […]

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Nominet Criminal Domains Update

Nominet’s Issue Group on dealing with domain names used in connection with criminal activity has published its draft recommendations, which seem reassuringly close to the JANET submission to the original request for comments. Expedited suspension of a domain is regarded as a last resort, to be used only where alternative approaches via the registrar or […]