Nominet, who oversees “.uk” domain names, has said that it is “looking into a new expedited process to enable law enforcement bodies to suspend domain names if they are involved with serious crime.”
The news follows the suspension this week of over 2,000 “.uk” websites – presumably by obtaining a court order - by the Metropolitan Police E-Crime Unit for selling fake goods and non-existent products. The crime unit says that some of the sites sold fake branded products such as Nike and were used to illegally obtain customers bank details for other criminal purposes.
At the time of writing, the police force have not revealed the list of websites that have been suspended and have yet to issue advice to consumers who may have been affected.
With the process of obtaining a court order currently a lengthy affair, the police force will no doubt welcome power to shut down sites quickly. However, the new measure will only grant immediate intervention if the site poses “serious consumer harm,” examples include the sale of unlicensed medicines, fraud and phishing.
More information on the new measures can be found here: http://www.nominet.org.uk/digitalAssets/51980_Draft_Issue_Group_Recommendations_on_Domain_Names__Criminal_Activity.pdf .