Plans to allow Blighty cops to "switch off" websites used by criminals have been delayed following pressure from internet firms and campaigners, who claimed such a move would hamper freedom of expression online. "We had hoped to submit a proposed policy to the [Nominet] Board in December, but following some recent public …
Isn't it more about reacting to take down powers without over sight?
Having had a web server hacked myself (one customer was running a very out dated CMS and that was their way in - no real damage done other than server space and bandwidth used without permission), could easily have been the victim of a take down action as a result of the actions of others. I would prefer to see checks and balances.
Agreed, Mr Otron
There needs to be more than just 'reasonable grounds'...that has always eventually turned into "Because we say so". There needs to be
* A certain standard of proof to back up the 'reasonable grounds'.
* Possibly an 'attempt to contact the owner of the site first' stage. This would cheaply sort out genuine criminals from the hacked
* A fast appeal procedure
* An established compensation structure if the police bugger it up.
More and more businesses are increasingly reliant on a website. Hacks happen. Turning sites off "Because we feel like it" is no longer good enough. Also, turning off the site would also stuff any email for that domain which could cause many companies and individuals some serious damage.
We don't really have much freedom of speech round these parts
That's no reason to let the executive branch of the government operate without any sort of judicial oversight. Both the US and UK have been entirely too keen to move in this direction for years, and the more we resist it the better.
Getting a court order isn't an onerous requirement. If the police can't convince a judge that taking down a website is a good idea, then they're either doing a lousy job or acting irresponsibly or illegally.
Just stick to court orders already.
Pressure the govt to speed up issuing them if you must, perhaps electronically and digitally signed for all I care, but don't go about reinventing the justice wheel, eh. There's a reason we require them in the real world. That reason hasn't changed, and worse, the plod generally have less clue in this domain (pun inevitable).
I hope this sticks with in the bounds of court order needed for all cased and it has to be a criminal matter. It shouldn't be some forum where a user posted a link to by something illegal (after all the sites not illegal its the user thats posted objectionable content).
It also has to be very clear on it being criminal only, I could see certain groups trying to abuse this for civil matters, oh block that site they have a link to something we think is copyrighted (then suspended without any investigation or change for the site to disprove the claims). Could you imagine if the patent wars got mixed up in this apple trying to get samsungs website taken down and visa-versa it would be a right mess.
Reread the article replacing "switch off" websites with shut down businesses...
You better be damn sure you are in the right before doing that.
For many entities, losing their domain would amount to not just the seizure of the "weapon" used in a supposed crime, but the imposition of punishment before trial. Unless there is immediate clear and present danger to persons, it should require not just a court order but a court case. Otherwise you hurt or at least chill whistleblowing and genuine criticism.
Where the h3ll have LINX & ORG been
The discussions, reviews, public comments, and reviews have been going on for MORE THAN 6 monts.
Where te h3ll have they been - as one of te people reviewing the nominee work and drafts, LINX's absence has been observed but they've certainly not Posen up much until now.
Re: freedom of speech [...] takes precedence
It doesn't, but Rule of Law does.
The danger with allowing take-downs without judicial supervision is that the cost of taking down the wrong site is borne by the innocent victim and not those who made the mistake. Obviously *someone* has to decide whether to take that risk and civilised societies use "judges" for making judgement calls. The clue's in the name.
Letting the police shut down web sites at whim assumes that the police will not misuse their powers.
The police have repeatedly demonstrated that they cannot be trusted. They will not restrain themselves, they will grab every possible extension of their powers that they can, legitimate or not. They have proved this over and over again.
But... But.... But...
Surely this would even make the Newzbin block illegal, let alone the take-down of sites??
What do we feel about US police shutting down .com addresses?
I mean... if it is okay for UK police to shut down .uk sites, could we complain if they shut down .com or .net domains?
Well, not if you're a UK entity, no - you spurned your own country's TLD, here's where it got you. Blaaargh.
If you're a US entity, then complain away, but haven't you got a SOX compliance audit to be getting on with? :P
I've been sending feedback to Nominet ...
... at every step of this process. In each of the e-mails, I have made it clear that injunctions are required to do what they are proposing, that the burden of proof has to be "beyond reasonable doubt" (because of the limitation to criminal offences), and that merely having "evidence of a prosecutable standard" is insufficient. If it is serious enough, it should be possible for an interim injunction to be granted, and then let the owner know and fight it. In all other case, the owner gets his day in court first.
Nominet have shown themselves to be willing to respond to input, and this latest draft is a *huge* step forward from the previous ones. It just needs that final change to recognise the principle "No injunction, no take-down". It isn't as if this is mature law, or anything ...