UK - Police lets 1200 domains delete - without court oversight!
[link to www.nominet.org.uk] This week Nominet received an instruction from the Metropolitan Police's Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) to take down around 1200 .co.uk domain names. These domain names have been under investigation for criminal activity.
[link to www.out-law.com] The body responsible for the .uk internet addresses disconnected over 1,200 websites without any oversight from a court. The much-publicised action last month was based only on police assertions about criminal activity on the sites.
Two Nominet executives have told technology law podcast OUT-LAW Radio that it severed the connection between 1,219 domain names and the sites that lay behind them without the kind of court order that web hosting companies would usually demand.
The dramatic action was unprecedented and attracted publicity last month, but some website owners may be surprised that Nominet was prepared to disconnect so many sites on the evidence of police claims alone.
"We were approached by the Police Central E-Crime Unit, which is a division of The Met, and asked to take down about 1,200 .uk domain names that were involved or under investigation for criminal activity," said Eleanor Bradley, Nominet's head of operations. "The Met asked us to take these domain names out of action so we suspended them, meaning that the websites were no longer available but that they couldn't be re-registered and used again."
Hosting companies will usually refuse requests, even by police forces, to take down websites without a court order demanding that they do so.