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back to article Mandelson's dept mulls UK internet power grab

Ministers led by Peter Mandelson are considering a power grab at the independent company at the centre of UK's internet infrastructure, The Register can reveal. Mandelson's Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has asked Nominet, which is in charge of the .co.uk registry, to justify its independence …

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Can't kick the habit...

Looks like New Labour have become nationalisation junkies and are busy looking for things they can take into 'public' ownership without upsetting their gazillionaire friends and donors.

Brown's lot are getting like the Attlee government - albeit without the competence, decency, intelligence, sense of purpose or flat caps.

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A tax on the internet?

Why else would uk.gov be looking to take control? Oh, wait....control...

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Joke

Exclusive behind-the-scenes eavesdrop

David Hendon: "What arguments would you employ to convince my Ministers that the present relationship between government and the and the company is appropriate in ensuring that public policy objectives in relation to the management of the domain name system and the standing of the UK in the internet community are are understood and taken into account?"

Bob Gilbert: "Wot? Was there even a single comma in that sentence? I didn't understand what you said."

David Hendon: "Aha! Gotcha! You don't know the answer. All your Internetz are belong to us."

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Pirate

The less the government controls...

The better.

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Dan
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Losing count

How many government departments want to do a power grab for the Internet now? Off the top of my head Culture, Home Office, and now BERR. Any others?

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Stop

Oh God! No!

there are no words in the English language that adequately describe what a bad idea this is.

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Does Lord Mandy approved this article?

* user hits send

Thank you. Your coment has been read and approved by Her Majesty's Government. You will now be asked to provide your National Insurance Number and tax code. This is in order to allow us to post the comment that you have made to the approproate third party.

* user sends email

It looks as if you are trying to send an email to a third party without it being vetted by the Govt. This is to ensure that your email will not be hijacked by terrorists or does not contain material which may be considered to be offensive by the Govt.

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Stop

Control freakary

Not a fan of nominet.... but I sure as hell do not want NuLabour to have control of them. NuLabour using anti-terrorist laws to freeze Iceland’s assets proves that they cannot be trusted at all. It is more fascist blairite control freakary.

I can just see any website that dares to criticize the NuLabour government would have their .co.uk registration pulled. And there is so much to criticize.

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Re: A tax on the internet?

Nothing new there, the government are always looking for new things to tax, here's some pretty convincing evidence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmOHx5Ftez8

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Alert

If New Labour take control...

They'll leave the entire DNS registry on a train seat or in the back of a taxi.

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Go

Youth control, not government

Get those who have grown up using the Internet, the young people who use it every day, to set the policy, not civil servants or Ministers, neither of whom are qualified to govern it.

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.gov.off

How about they do what they like with .gov.uk and leave the rest of us out of it ?

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Black Helicopters

What could possibly happen...

Any sites that contain any information that goes against the government then suffer at the hands of main DNS and refused renewal?

Failure to be able to register domain names that contradict the current government?

Control of the Internet in general... When did we become China?

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which Russkie wants it?

Because Mandy is there to do the will of his paymasters^H^H^H^Hpoliical friends and allies. Does nobody in Lulab blink at the eye-watering corruption hat surrounds this man?

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Si
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Oh dear...

I feel a twat-o-tron worthy rant coming on about this sort of government involvement.

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I'm confused...

Even the Reg article isn't very accurate - as well as .co.uk, Nominet also controls .org.uk and .me.uk, all available to the general public. AFAIK it also controls .sch.uk, though it restricts these registrations to genuine schools, under it's own strict terms, so they can't be hijacked by "domainers". So Nominet has shown itself capable of responsibly managing a public-service namespace - in exactly the same way as the government has shown itself totally INcapable of managing anything whatsoever to do with IT.

But I thought the government already controlled its own .gov.uk, .police.uk. .mod.uk etc namespaces directly..? Does Nominet have actual control (via DNS) of the entire .uk namespace including .gov.uk, and could a Nominet board vote theoretically take tbe government subdomains over and use them commercially? Anyone know?

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Black Helicopters

First the massive communications db...

Then the realisation that all those billions of IP address pairs they've captured are going to be no good unless they have complete control over the DNS and can keep a full audit trail of any changes made to it. Like domain registrations.

All they then need is to add a mandatory ID card check before you can register your .co.uk web-site or mobile phone and they've got you coming *and* going.

No2ID anyone?

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O
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This has got to stop .....

... the Government are completely out of control. By the time the election rolls around in 2010, the Tories or Lib Dems will be inheriting what was the charred wreckage of the UK.

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don't worry

lets have a whip round and get some cash together to bribe Mandelson with. After all he's not elected, and likes the Russian's money well enough.

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Black Helicopters

Bring in the clowns...

In answer to David Hendon's question "What arguments would you employ to convince my Ministers that the present relationship between government and the company is appropriate in ensuring that public policy objectives in relation to the management of the domain name system and the standing of the UK in the internet community are understood and taken into account"

My answer:

"It is inconceivable to me that an organisation (HMG) that has - so far - shown a staggering lack of basic competence in handling their current data, be allowed access to more data. On the other hand, the current registrar (Nominet) whilst suffering some issues (so I understand) seems to have a - comparatively speaking - a spotless record.

Therefore the proposed move from Nominet to BERR would not benefit "UK Internet" in any way. Furthermore it could conceivably leave the DNS registrar open to accusations of undue interference, politically inspired bias, cronyism, and Big-Brotherism while not delivering any improvements to the customer base, (of which I am one). In fact, it would be a relatively safe wager that the level of service will decrease."

In summary - if it looks like that weasel Mandelson will get his hands on my registrations then I'll close them and try and get non .uk alternatives! What an a-hole that guy is! :P

Black copter icon in tribute of obvious BB overtones in this story.

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Noooooo !

Nominet works well enough! We don't want politicians in charge, they will only screw it up, make it cost more, introduce extra red tape, ... I'm not happy at the thought.

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IT Angle

Why coudn't..

Ross and Brand not have pranked called Mandelson instead! this would have gotten more coverage in the media, or more likely totally ignored and swept under the carpet (Which is probably 20 foot off the floor in places by now!).

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Stop

I'm from the government and I am here to help

yeah, right.

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Black Helicopters

BERR?

This doesn't sound like a BERR initiated approach. Spooky timing if you ask me.

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Flame

(untitled)

Perhaps we should be asking BERR and their cronies to justify *their* existence - we pay their salaries, after all. As for Mandelson, it's a pity that he exists at all - it's proof that if there is a higher power then he/she/it has a pretty sick sense of humour.

Just waiting for the announcement that there'll be a national firewall set up (a la Oz) to protect us from the terror du jour.

Bunch of fuckwits.

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Double Plus Ungood

Hey look, we've found a bit of the country that we haven't yet trashed. Better grab it quick!

What next, spend millions on consultants to 'improve' it into a smoking ruin?

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Wait...

True, I don't live there any longer, but I haven't noticed this government nationalising much.

Oh wait, yes... there is the little matter of them now owning a percentage of the high street banks. Nationalisation? You mean you'd rather have seen locked doors at the bank when you went to draw you beer money?

Is this El Reg? or the BBC? It's often hard to know the difference.

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Boffin

Bunch of…

… datatards.

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Jobs Horns

And as importantly ,what about ........

the fact that it appears that Nominet is being run by a SHADOW DIRECTOR called "Mandy"

or UK Gov ?. I asked BT today whether after they were Privatised the Government wanted to control them. They said now and expressed surprise that here was the UK Govt trying to control a Private Company called "Nominet" . I would not let this Government run a piss up in a brewery because they would probably get it all wrong and serve lemonade by mistake.

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Stop

Dear Mr Hendon

What arguments would you employ to convince myself and my fellow voters that there is any good reason why we should allow you to control our domains? Terrorism and paedophilia need not be mentioned, as straw men do not constitute arguments.

I have a much better idea. Piss off and get your nose out of things which do not belong to you. Just because the government does not have control of a thing does not mean that the thing must justify its existence to a bunch of bureaucratic control freaks like yourselves.

Yours sincerely,

A (former) Labour voter of 24 years.

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Coat

Tell sid

But if the goverment takes it over then it could sell shares to us!

Nationalise banks + privatise air traffic control; did somebody get their notes the wrong way round?

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Anonymous Coward

The simple answer is...............

The simple answer is..........."To remain free from Political Interference"

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Stop

Oh dear!

no! No! NO!

HMGov leave this alone. It's independent from you. That is good. It's free from political interference. That is good. Government and IT does not mix. We do not want the Labour power junkies/control freaks interfering in matters such as this. It will end up terminally broken, corrupt or both.

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Anonymous Coward

Nominet adopt an old NuLab strategy...

The Nominet Board didn't get their own way at the AGM when the vote for C6 didn't get passed.

Therefore they go jolly up their chums in HMG to put the frighteners on - effectively scaring Nominet members with F.U.D. and therefore falling into line.

What's that smell Captain Bob?

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CD encryption is difficult

For the gov' so actually running something as fundamental as DNS is to the web must be totally alien to them. Mengelesson being involved tends in my mind to indicate that there's money in it for him after the next election,otherwise why would this corrupt lowlife be involved?

He obviously has no sense of embarrassment having made more comebacks than Frank Sinatra , who, I have to say, I would prefer in British government (even dead) than mandy. At least with his mafia connections he would be more efficient and he could sing the ex PM's tune `They did it my way´.

Incidentally, how does one blackmail a government into giving one a peerage and a ministerial position?

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feck off

just feck off.

i'm sorry. it's all i can manage i'm so angry.

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Stop

Government go heal they self!

It appears that HMG want to rescue more "control" over the internet... let us ask a couple of questions...

Q1. Since when was Nominet (or any other private company) supposed to implement Governmet "public policy"? Public policy is a matter for government and nothing to do with Nominet... There is nothing wrong with Nominet's governance... it just isn't what the Government wants... which appears more involvement/more control...

Q2. Before UK HMG goes throwing its weight around and attempting to "power grab" from Nominet for the TLD's that Nominet are in charge of... shouldn't they get their act in order and run their own bits of the internet name space properly first?

Take a look at the "gov.uk" TLD... it is dependant on the DNS servers from UK academic sites and Holland for its operation! Where are the government's own DNS servers? I do not see any entries like:

ns0.gov.uk or dns.gsi.gov.uk

root# dig gov.uk soa

; <<>> DiG 9.4.2-P1 <<>> gov.uk soa

;; global options: printcmd

;; Got answer:

;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 45663

;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 8, ADDITIONAL: 12

;; QUESTION SECTION:

;gov.uk. IN SOA

;; ANSWER SECTION:

gov.uk. 86400 IN SOA ns0.ja.net. jips-nosc.nosc.ja.net. 2008102960 28800 7200 3600000 14400

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:

gov.uk. 40836 IN NS auth50.ns.de.uu.net.

gov.uk. 40836 IN NS ns1.surfnet.nl.

gov.uk. 40836 IN NS ns1.cs.ucl.ac.uk.

gov.uk. 40836 IN NS auth00.ns.de.uu.net.

gov.uk. 40836 IN NS ns2.ja.net.

gov.uk. 40836 IN NS ns3.ja.net.

gov.uk. 40836 IN NS ns4.ja.net.

gov.uk. 40836 IN NS ns0.ja.net.

;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:

ns4.ja.net. 62535 IN A 193.62.157.66

ns4.ja.net. 59438 IN AAAA 2001:630:0:47::42

ns0.ja.net. 59983 IN A 128.86.1.20

ns0.ja.net. 59983 IN A 193.63.94.20

ns1.surfnet.nl. 59438 IN A 192.87.106.101

ns1.surfnet.nl. 59438 IN AAAA 2001:610:1:800a:192:87:106:101

auth50.ns.de.uu.net. 59438 IN A 194.128.171.99

ns2.ja.net. 145838 IN A 193.63.105.17

ns2.ja.net. 59439 IN AAAA 2001:630:0:45::11

auth00.ns.de.uu.net. 59438 IN A 192.76.144.14

ns1.cs.ucl.ac.uk. 59437 IN A 128.16.5.32

ns3.ja.net. 145838 IN A 193.63.106.103

;; Query time: 23 msec

;; SERVER: 127.0.0.1#53(127.0.0.1)

;; WHEN: Wed Oct 29 22:10:23 2008

;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 488

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Without too much effort...

...they could've called themselves either BEER or BER (Beyond Economical Repair).

Fail.

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Nominet or the Government?

I'm afraid I trust Nominet more than I trust this government on running the .uk registry. Nominet do at least try to do it on a not-for-profit basis, whereas HMG would probably charge us at least three times as much for a much poorer service. You probably wouldn't be able to register thisgovernmentsucks.co.uk (someone has...) if HMG was in charge.

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Alert

The way I see it...

You have three choices:

1. Nominet as is - run badly by vested interests in the commercial world to their own agenda

2. Government takes over directly - run badly by vested interests in the government to their own agenda

3. Create a body like the BBC - government but divorced from obvious government influence with independent guarenteed funding - run badly by vested interests in both the government and commercial sectors.

Fun! Isn't it?

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Black Helicopters

What arguments would you employ?

1. We have fulfilled our obligations under UK law

I think we should restrict a political party's ability to choose the pm to a maximum of 2 terms. After that, governments run out of harmless things to do and start to really mess things up.

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Flame

You trust a bunch of tossers already

If you Muppets had any clue about Nominet you would not be so scathing of the Gov on this one.

Why should we trust a bunch of self elected puppets ? (I am talking about Nominet - for you "All Things Gov are Bad" people who wander around like sheep following the other guy who hates the Gov because he is following another guy who does the same.)

The good thing about the Gov is that pretty much everything ends up on public record for your inspection (if you can get the time between cussing them down!), the other good thing is that feck off when we choose (and we get the other gang back in to undo everything... bit of an endless circle I know, but hey you chose democracy!) They are also accountable to public opinion (otherwise known as the Tabloids).

I say nationalize the fecking thing then they can STFU winging about this that and everything else that they currently do.

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HMG? You sure?

So... remind me again what the UK royalty is good for? All this f*k-up from Whitehall and I can't recollect a single "tut-tut" from Windsor.

At least the US Presidents (f*k-up as *that* political system is) have the power to veto stupidity. Not that they exercise it much.

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What a good idea!

Complete control of UK DNS in the hands of our elected representatives? Brilliant idea - I'm all for it.

They have proved we cannot trust them to run the country.

They have proved we cannot trust them with securing our data.

They have proved someone with no constituency and no voters can have a major say in the way the country is run (despite being kicked out before - not just once but TWICE).

Soon we will not have to worry about our greenhouse emissions because they will have completely destroyed the UK's infrastructure.

My answer to David Hendon would be..: "I do not need to prove to you that the system works - just look out your window. See those crowds of angry people complaining they have no internet access? Any businesses going down the tubes because their websites are unavailable? No? Then run back to your master with your tail between your legs and leave our service alone, you interfering little twit. See you next Thursday."

I tried to think of a short word or phrase to express my real opinion of this wunch of (mis)Government bankers, but could find nothing of suitability for putting into "print".

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Bids are being accepted now

For your domain names.

If Mandy and co nationalised Nominet they would be running auctions for domain names the way the DVLC flogs personal number plates with vastly overvalued prices and the cash getting lost in the coffers of govuk. Business and enterprise are for enterprising businesses not greedy self seeking gov' departments.

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Jobs Halo

Who owns the Internet?

The users of the Internet, that's who; not Government. There is no need for regulation; if ain't broke don't fix it.

So there! You can go bury your but somewhere else Mandleton.

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Unhappy

The internet...

Enjoy it while you can - learn what you can while you can.

Setting up web sites will soon be like getting a book published. Open to those sanctioned by the liberal elite and openly favouring lightly witty fiction. Everyone else can go take up muttering in parks and waving badly written banners.

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