back to article Should Nominet ban .uk domains that use paedo and crim-friendly words?

Nominet - currently pushing its plan to let people shell out for .uk web domains without the .co, .org and other second-level labels - now wants to know if certain words should be banned from any .uk registrations. In July, the UK domain registry once again pushed to unleash a tidal wave of second-level domain names on the web …


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  1. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Grubby little hands

    rubbing grubby little gears, all churning away at a "non profit" to increase revenue. If only they would concentrate on doing their job, which is to not fuck up .uk

    1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

      Re: Grubby little hands

      But, if they don't increase revenue how can they give themselves the bonuses and pay rises they obviously think they deserve?

  2. M Gale

    for example, it's known that paedeophiles have code words, such as "hobby" which refers to a child

    And some of them are even known to disguise themselves as whole schools!

    I think I can respond to this with "give me a fucking break".

    1. NomNomNom

      and if you see a man standing in a shop rapidly clapping his hands behind and in front of him, it's means he's a pedo. It's a secret signal to other pedos that there's an unattended child in the vicinity (typically 120 meters)

      Another code word they use is "bush2bush pipeman"

      Must be true because I saw it on the news

      1. Spoonsinger

        re: Another code word they use is "bush2bush pipeman"

        But "Well, what about the juniper bushes over there?"

        1. Matt 4

          Re: re: Another code word they use is "bush2bush pipeman"

          I'm suddenly reminded of brass eye.

          1. frank ly Silver badge

            they are one step ahead ....

            (Use Tor or a VPN) -

          2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: re: Another code word they use is "bush2bush pipeman"

            "There's no evidence for it - but it is scientific fact"

            That used to be a joke before Theresa May

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hobbycraft anyone??

      I'll let myself out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hobbycraft anyone??

        Of course there's a historical precedent. Last time officialdom banned someone from using the word "hobby" he switched to using Subbuteo instead.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "And some of them are even known to disguise themselves as whole schools!"

      And whole religions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Theresa May, Jackie Smith in a rubber mask?

  3. Colin Millar
    Big Brother

    Banning words

    Yes - how could that go wrong

    Next week - lets go out and burn some books cos they have the banned words in them

    1. andreas koch

      @ Colin Millar - Re: Banning words

      Well, if we get CP* to have a word in it, book burning will only be the start.

      I think she read "1984" and "Fahrenheit 451", but thought they were official guidelines. I suspect that as soon as she had her dinner with Jimmy Wales (he volunteered to enlighten her a bit about web filtering) she will put a proposal for a moderated, mirrored and change-locked UK-net whitelist to the House of Whoever. Since she can then actually guarantee that there's no smut whatsoever (not even anything that mumsnet could object to, they most likely being on the control board) on there, she'll probably even get it through.

      Well, see it this way: Freedom of information was nice while it lasted. Time to move on, and maybe move out.

      * Not Child Porn, Claire Perry, MP.

    2. andreas koch

      . . . and another thing - Re: Banning words

      Something completely related.

  4. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    Put them all on the sex offenders Register



  5. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge


    So admirers of hobby hawks are suspicious.

    Deary me, what has the world come to.

    If you ban innocuous words which are used by some as code words, they will simply use other code words. Ban those, and you will iterate the whole English Dictionary away very soon

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      hobby hawks

    2. yossarianuk

      Re: Hmm,

      This is just silly, Its like Chris Morris has been put in charge.

      However, I heard that people who want a 'Conservative Party' share the most filth that degrades society - ban that phrase for sure.

      By 'Illegal' does that mean weed, wikileaks, Snowden will be filtered?

    3. Rukario
      Big Brother

      Re: Hmm,

      > you will iterate the whole English Dictionary away very soon

      More like the Ninth revision of the Eleventh Edition of the Newspeak Dictionary, in which the only word remaining is "crimethink".

  6. Crisp Silver badge

    Code Words

    Yet more words that are kept secret from us and would cause a search on Bing to get flagged up.

    Those are our words! (probably, I don't know what they are) Just because some elements of the criminal underworld have co-opted them doesn't make everyone that uses them a criminal.

  7. Spoonsinger

    Stop this filth!

    1. UncleDave


      Now with improved Undercoat Raking and Horse Grooming! I shudder to think what Hand Stripping could entail,

    2. JDX Gold badge


      I saw a sign "Dog grooming this way" and was shocked they'd be brazen enough to advertise. Children is bad enough, but dogs?

  8. Lamont Cranston

    I could see banning offensive words,

    although you then wind up with "scunthorpe" becoming proscribed, so that's probably unworkable, but compiling a list of otherwise innocent words that may (or may not) be used by undesirables to refer to illicit activities? Would this see being banned, as it might possibly be a page about mephedrone, rather than kittens?

    Still, maybe paedos are as thick as Nominet seem to think, and forcing them to rethink their vocabulary will drive them off the internet? Mumsnet will be thrilled, I'm sure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I could see banning offensive words,

      Ah the good okd days of Microsoft chat where using totally innocent words like Scunthorpe or Cockermouth or jaffa cake would get you booted off.

      Has the world learned nothing?

      1. WonkoTheSane

        Re: I could see banning offensive words,

        The world has learned plenty.

        Politicians... not so much.

      2. Crisp Silver badge

        Re: I could see banning offensive words,

        Why is Jaffa Cake offensive?!?

        Did the Goa'uld put in a complaint?

  9. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Quite the opposite

    > considering rejecting registrations if they feature keywords linked to criminality

    As anyone who's worked with Microchip's PIC processors will know, doing a web search for "pic" throws up millions of pages of garbage [ using the standard internet definition, garbage: anything not related to what I want to see ] and makes the name PIC a positive pain to find stuff for and presumably a liabilty for their marketing department.

    So maybe instead of banning words that, at present have an association with dubious activities, but which tomorrow could have changed their meanings completely and been replaced by other "naughty" words - maybe Nominet should be positively encouraging as many people as possible to register sites with those words, close spellings or them, combinations and other possibile dodgy terms. That way the baddies, to some extent, be thwarted in their quest for naughtiness and might accidentally stumble upon something that's pure and good and right and might learn to mend their evil ways.

    The only problem might be if you find that your mum has logged on to your honeytrap website ...

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Quite the opposite

      It's an interesting concept, but I can't help feeling that 'pure and good and right' and 'PIC' should not be in the same sentence.

      Thirty-five instructions, and each and every one of them *wrong*!

  10. fridaynightsmoke

    I knew those bastards at "Hobbycraft" were up to no good,

    along with a local supplier of fuels and 'lubricants', "CP Petroleum". We're on to you!!!!1!

  11. OvAl

    They jest surely

    This is pretty bone-headed. I'm sure they can't have thought it through...

    Do they think that banning such words will stymie the pervy perpetrators? As if it's the keywords themselves that carry the power of the act?

    Or is it more likely, as has been suggested above, that new words will be adopted and the world will continue as before.

    Or perhaps I am missing the point, and they merely wish for words tainted by this association not to be present on a url...which seems rather unfair to the 99.9999999% of people who might wish to use them for non-nefarious purposes.

    1. Matt 21

      Re: They jest surely

      Could be any of those but it does at least help in furthering the myth that child abuse is largely carried out by strangers. As opposed to the sad truth that it is mostly family members and family friends who do these things.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They jest surely

      All it would need is the crims to use some new words like Cameron, Microsoft, Nominet as "secret" codewords for particularly unpleasant acts and the whole concept would get dropped like a hot potato.

      1. JoshOvki

        Re: They jest surely

        Or even better, get them to use the word "Google". That what way they won't be able to search for it without brining the who internets down!

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: They jest surely

        > Cameron, Microsoft, Nominet as "secret" codewords for particularly unpleasant acts

        Steady on now - even criminals have standards

    3. Steve Renouf

      Re: They jest surely

      "This is pretty bone-headed. I'm sure they can't have thought it through..."

      Since when did politicians think anything through - that would take far too much time and encroach into "golf time".

  12. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

    On the contrary...

    Do not ban such words, especially if they are/could be linked to child molesters. Rather, we should allow them.

    The sites would make great dragnets/honey pots.

  13. sparkeh9

    "paedeophiles have code words, such as hobby"

    That's it - I'm never going to hobbycraft again

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's go round again...

    ... that's all we'll do if it's a negative opinion on direct .uk registrations again. They'll keep going until we all get sick and tired of telling them what an incredibly bad idea it is and give up and just let them have their way.

  15. Graham Marsden
    Big Brother


    ... Double-plus good, Proles!

  16. envmod

    dodgy bastards. ban the website AND the play.

    and fiddlers.

  17. Robin Bradshaw

    Shift the offensiveness 1 to the left

  18. Greg 24

    Careful what you search for...

    Reminds me of the time my wife was looking for a well known outdoor equipment shop and searched for "blacks"...that's what she claimed anyway.

    1. rurwin

      Re: Careful what you search for...

      There was this time I was looking for a font. I'd got it in TTF and liked it. It was (and is) called Bizzaro. Every glyph is made of one or more strange creatures like something from Italian carnival or a nightmare fairyland.

      Although I had it in TTF, I was writing a book in TeX, well LaTeX to be exact, and that doesn't play nice with TTF. It needs the font to be built specifically for it, and I was wondering if anyone had done the work before.

      So I googled "bizzaro latex".

      The defense rests m'lud.

  19. poopypants

    Does anyone remember

    Pen Island? (

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does anyone remember

      Our company firewall blocked "game lan" - until the Java developers screamed about losing access to "gamelan" sites.

      1. Yet Another Commentard

        Re: Does anyone remember

        I believe there is also a psychology website called too.

  20. thesykes

    So, are they also going to ban any possibly offensive words that may be French, German, Spanish etc. in origin? Or words that foreigners may find offensive, but, which are perfectly acceptable in English? Maybe foreign language translations of suspect words too?

    Apparently apple is a code word for a mass murderer's next victim. Allegedly. Maybe. Not at all.

  21. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Roll up, roll up

    I've got 2 kilo of nominet I need to shift fast. Usual contact number.

  22. auburnman
    Black Helicopters

    I'm starting to suspect

    That media and state have come to an understanding: The media don't publish the atrocious shit they already know about MP's and various quangos that could bring down the entire government, and in return X absolutely batshit mental policies are launched every week specifically tweaked to be as outrageous as possible for the purpose of selling newspapers.

  23. Oninoshiko

    code words, such as "hobby"

    Hrm... does that mean I should worry about this site?

    1. Steve Renouf

      Re: code words, such as "hobby"

      Most definitely! Did you not see those pictures of kids?!? We must think of the kids!!!




      Oh... They were making things with their mother...



      not so much "Eat this" as things blown completely out of proportion, as usual!

  24. Gavin McMenemy

    Since they changed the domain I've not had as much fun on

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Yeah, that one had me smirking for a while when I was considering that their domain name with the dash (-) in it was annoying to type and then realised what it spelt out without it...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Direct experience of this one, worked for a .com that resold subdomains.

    Only they took it one step further, all subdomains were to be clean in all languages because the persons bankrolling it were very puritanical and didn't want the subject coming up at the dinner table of with their names associated, They went the whole nine yards, wildcard engines etc.

    We had a staff of young ladies who were working part time surfing the darkest corners of the net for the most depraved sick twisted terms for various sexual acts. While you couldnt register, there somewhere was some really nice young lady who had come to england as a foriegn exchange student who would be forever tainted by the image. And the profits were miniscule compared to the projection, as without pr0n most of the domain sales disappeared.

    I was on that contract that I realized my irony meter had broken and the world was actually completely mad. I did it because they paid me, but, it was the most stupid idea ever.

    1. plrndl

      I would hope that it's obvious to anyone with half a brain, that if you ban one code word, users will simply replace it with another.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I never knew the only think keeping them from comitting and shareing their abuse was the lack of a domain name with a single TLD ending...

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      More specifically, the lack of a domain name with a single TLD ending which is .uk, and a descriptive name to the left of the .uk for example is a valid domain name with an A record, but the website doesn't appear to be working at the moment. If there is a valid website there, I'm guessing it is more likely to be owned by some organisation who helps victims of paedos or campaigns against them rather than someone who offers the stuff for sale.

  27. ukgnome Silver badge

    Sorry, is this a Viz Top Tip

    Seriously, banning the word hobby will stop the paedophiles?

    How about making it law for paedophiles to always have the online handle of nonce1 etc

    That way we should easily spot them.....

  28. Christoph Silver badge

    Nice business you've got here, guv

    Be a shame if some criminal types started using the name of the business as a code word and got your domain banned.

    1. Trainee grumpy old ****

      Re: Nice business you've got here, guv

      Surely "Mail" must be a code word for something?

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Nice business you've got here, guv

        I think some urban dictionary listed it as "double-standard puratanical nimby zombie-sheep". Or something like that, I'm now too scared to search for it in case out illustrious thought police come calling.

  29. JDX Gold badge

    What about the Cook Islands?

    Their domain is .ck.... Woe betide anyone running "Happy Children Company" and wanting a website.

    Although owning the website would be pretty awesome.

    1. Robin

      Re: What about the Cook Islands?

      Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker were waaayyy ahead of you :-)

  30. RobHib

    Oh Dear: Déjà vu—Shades of Lady Chatterley and the 'F'-Word All Over Again!!

    The move follows pressure from the Ministry of Fun over the summer to ban domain names "containing offensive or abusive terms"

    Oh Dear! It's déjà vu—shades of Lady Chatterley and the 'F'-Word all over again!!

    Heaven forbid, haven't we all grown up yet? Isn't this worrying over words all a bit precious? After all, they're just words—not a kilogram of plutonium.

    I grew up in a totally sheltered environment completely free from all those sleazebags who've now gotten us all paralysed with fear by their internet presence, and for that childhood naivety I'm forever grateful. However, ridding these horrible cretins from the net is clearly a totally separate issue to the use of 'naughty' words in domain names.

    Why can't everyone see this? Even Blind Freddy would have perceived that easily, I'd have thought.

    The point that nominet's Lesley Cowley makes in his letter to Vaizey about the issues (together with the implied stupidity) of overseeing and vetting domain names because of possible difficulties arising from various permutations and combinations of letters, in my opinion, makes sense. His citing of the, domain, which contains an offensive term, surely is illustrative of the ludicrousness of the issue.

    We're not in Victorian England circa 1850 anymore, and we've not been there for a very long time.

    Surely, it's time we grew up and behaved like adults.

    Perhaps we all need a cold shower!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh Dear: Déjà vu—Shades of Lady Chatterley and the 'F'-Word All Over Again!!

      "We're not in Victorian England circa 1850 anymore, and we've not been there for a very long time."

      The problem is that people only live for about 70 years. Every newborn is a tabula rasa. They then get imprinted with an unpredictable set of information by their parents', peers', teachers', media etc. Then they start to think for themselves. Which usually means following one of those influences without much thought - or following someone who has "discovered" a magic short cut to 42. Possibly after a few decades experience they start to question things - and find no one is apparently listening.

      It is a slipping drive belt on a wheel. It is frustrating that many of the "new" views that have occurred to me in nearly 70 years are the same as The Enlightenment and J S Mill articulated some three centuries ago.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh Dear: Déjà vu—Shades of Lady Chatterley and the 'F'-Word All Over Again!!


        "[...] by their parents', peers', teachers', media etc influence.

      2. RobHib

        @A. C. - Re: Oh Dear: Déjà vu—Shades of Lady Chatterley and the 'F'-Word All Over Again!!

        The problem is that people only live for about 70 years. Every newborn is a tabula rasa.

        Oh how right you are. Tragically, our leaders (today's warmongers)—those who've been quite prepared to send young 20-somethings into Iraq and Afghanistan etc., have very little concept of, say, what happened at Normandy/Omaha in 1944, let alone do they have experiential memories of that horrific and terrible event indelibly imprinted on their minds as do those who were actually there. They may think they have, but in reality, they've SFA idea; thus, when they undertake similar activities they do so only from a conceptual framework rather than from actual experience.

        Thus, when things go wrong, as they so often do, they're genuinely surprised that the engagement didn't go as planned and that the outcomes were much worse than expected.

        We humans are very bad at conveying the ethos and Zeitgeist of a former time into the present, and we're even worse at conveying personal experiences from that time in any meaningful way. Despite hundreds of books, films, and even firsthand accounts, we've only vaguest emotional understanding of such past events.

        (Thanks to an unwelcome lottery win courtesy of the Government of the day; I came within a hairbreadth of ending up in the Vietnam conflict, to which I was politically opposed at the time. That experience set me on course for four decades thinking about why so much of the harrowing and traumatic experience from the 1940s had dissipated from society by the mid to late 1960s. In fact, it's remarkably hard to step back and put oneself into one's parents generation. Still, even after all this time, I've only the lightest grip of an understanding.)

        Possibly after a few decades experience they start to question things - and find no one is apparently listening.

        Putting myself into the previous generation's shoes has proved difficult but I've at least thought and read about the issues a great deal. And it constantly amazes me how few people ever try to do so; it seems that seriously thinking about causality, the past and even back just a generation is a rare phenomenon. The corollary is that very few do listen. My conclusion is that humans have little innate ability step outside their own experience. Whether it's good or bad is moot, but to me it does seem we'd all be better off if the drive belt slipped somewhat less.

        It is frustrating that many of the "new" views that have occurred to me in nearly 70 years are the same as The Enlightenment and J S Mill articulated some three centuries ago.

        Whilst the conditions of The Enlightenment don't appeal, that time does fascinate me. Unfortunately, in just my adult lifetime, I've seen once-revered Enlightenment issues become significantly less relevant. We're now in a pragmatic and technological age, but it's hardly one of ideas and intellectualism where questioning orthodoxy is the norm. Millian ideas and those of Bentham and Rousseau, Social Contract etc. ultimately made our time but we seem hardly interested in them these days. One only has to look at the almighty sell-off of utilities across the world over the past 30 years or so to realise that utilitarianism is essentially dead, same with the social contract, between state and citizen—again one only has to look at the spying by governments on the citizenry to realise that.

        Shame really.

        1. RobHib

          @RobHib - Re: @A. C. - Oh Dear: Déjà vu—Shades of Lady Chatterley and the 'F'-Word All Over Again!!

          Bit carried away there. I meant to add that the Lady Chatterley reference was because I lived through that farce. I'd imagine that most who did would agree with me.

          Besides the farcical news reports, all this government censorship stupidity did was that for many of us (including the likes of me and my friends) was for us to obtain and circulate clandestine copies of the work (which we eagerly read--the naughty bits first of course).

          Not to mention, that in the days before piracy, it enormously increased royalties to D.H. Lawrence's estate!

  31. El Presidente

    I'm starting a hyperlocal ..

    Child protection advice website based in a Northern town.

    Which bit of that would the censors dislike most?

  32. btrower

    What I told them.

    Please tell us if you consent to us publishing your response by selecting from the options below:

    Yes I am happy for Nominet to publish my response with my name and organisation only

    1. General Comments

    The fact that this question is even being tabled shows that the participants do not understand the Internet and related issues such as this.

    An entity entirely ignorant of the subject matter should not be a major participant in discussions about making law.

    2. Do you believe that some terms and expressions should be blocked completely, and if so, how do you propose such a list could be drawn up and maintained?

    No. Absolutely not.

    There *are* legitimate reasons a domain name should not be issued to an entity. However, we already have ample legislation to cover any eventuality. We already have too much. Adding more restrictions on privacy and freedom will not help.

    There will be circumstances where names will be disallowed, but they will be disallowed pursuant to a court order which hopefully has been made lawfully and sensibly.

    You have no business at all getting involved in such a list. Such a list should not exist.

    3. If you do not believe that any restrictions should be introduced at the point of registration, should a post-registration complaints procedure be introduced, and if so, what should the criteria be for a complaint to be upheld, and what remedies should be available?

    Yes. Post registration complaints procedure.


    - Error that the registrant agrees should be corrected.

    - Error pursuant to a legitimate court order with subject matter jurisdiction.

    Remedies: Removal or correction of name from TLD if removal is legitimate. The utterly clueless crew tabling this discussion should be absolutely prohibited from any control beyond following lawful directions from others.

    4. Any further comments on this topic?

    When you attack the fundamental human rights of *anybody*, you attack the fundamental rights of *everybody*. You have mounted an attack on my rights. Stop it.

    I am aware that people find the majority of these things difficult to understand. However, their fundamental ignorance should not be incorporated into public policy.

    I am no fan of child predators but putting up roadblocks all over cyberspace will do nothing at all to stop them without entirely crippling the rest of us.

    I can't stress this enough. Opening and fostering the discussion means that you are intellectually and morally incapable of contributing to the conversation.

    1. Trainee grumpy old ****
      Thumb Up

      Re: What I told them.

      > Opening and fostering the discussion means that you are intellectually and morally incapable of contributing to the conversation.

      If only I could up-vote this more than once.

      This will have to do ====>

      1. Scott 26

        Re: What I told them.

        and I'll give you ======>

  33. btrower

    Santorum anyone?

    If they were really worried about children they would direct their efforts where we know it could and would help:

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, that's an end to Cheese Pizza then, isn't it

    as well as any other words that have the initials "CP".

    Half of me wonders when politicians will learn about this stuff, and the other half thinks many of them already understand but this is mostly a political maneoever anyway.

    1. andreas koch

      @ AC 1707h GMT - Re: Well, that's an end to Cheese Pizza then, isn't it

      Claire Perry!

  35. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Surely it would be better to let all domain names be registered no matter what terms they used and then if a domain is reported as being used for illegal purposes it can be reported to the police or is that too complicated now?

  36. KBeee

    Well, AOL banned "Breast" which upset the Breast Cancer Support groups, and I got banned from a forum for talking about the Japanese legend/historical figure Yoshitsune.. So what could possibly go wrong?

    On the other hand, if (when) needs Daily Mail "Think Of The Children" headlines, then maybe they can say "We did a Consultation..."

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This ain't rocket science

    Do you really need to ask such as silly question?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How about ?

  39. Vociferous

    Seriously, when did the UK get so prissy?

    Victorian morals used to be laughed at, not emulated.

  40. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Hierarchial naming structure? Yay! Let's flatten it out of existence.

  41. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    How do they know these are code words?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why bother?

    Of they want to stop paedos, they should suggest the government ask GCHQ (who capture every packet through the UK, and can apparently crack the crypto, and compromise any VPN) to identify where the paedos are, then they could send the black helicopters around to get them.

  43. ddgriff

    Perhaps not a popular view, but rather than ban the registrations, would it not be better in the long run if they registered anything requested of them, but the WHOIS details of anything interesting got forwarded to the police? registered by NSPCC => No further action hosting something illegal, lets see if we can investigate and either take action if in the UK or inform corresponding authorities and the IWF if hosted abroad.

    Blocking the registration only reveals to the criminal that you are on to them, with the possibility of collateral damage. Permitting the registration accompanied by an investigation as to what is on the site may lead to bringing criminals to justice.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm disgusted by this talk of it being a bad idea

    Won't you all think of the children!!?? You're either with them or against them1

  45. raving angry loony

    Is there a "" yet? Or a ""? Or ""? Would they be banned by this rule? Why not?

  46. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Given that most child abuse is carried out by members of the child's family or somebody who is very close to the child's family (as in a close family friend), how is blocking arbitrary names on a single TLD going to help?

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If a domain is being used to host illegal content then the domain name owner should be held legally responsible, for that Nominet need to ensure buyers are not hiding behind false identities and are subject to UK law.

    Nominet should also be able to reclaim names being used for illegal content so if you use a name including "hobby" for paedo content you lose it but it's fine if used for legitimate purposes.

    This won't stop the dodgy content, it will just appear under a different TLD. What it would do is improve the "brand image". It would mean that if a domain name is in address space then it's subject to some quality control, you have a reasonable level of confidence that isn't going to give you a nasty surprise.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree, in fact I don't even like the idea of 'blocking' the content, why can't they track down the uploader/site owner, then track down from them the original source of the image, and finally get the abuser and lock them up, preferably after they are castrated...

      The images are not the problem, its the sick individuals that do the abusing that are the problem...

      But of course this is the UK, where our laws on Porn, Sex & everything related are just totally retarded.

  48. M7S

    Future bans?

    I'd no idea hobby was a code word, but I guess that's the point.

    If, for example, "hobby" (or something akin to it) were to be banned now, and I set up a legitimate business with a name and a website, let's say ""*, if after a few years that becomes a code for something nefarious, will my domain be pulled? What of the cost to my business, branding etc. In fact why stop there, I could have a newsletter that goes out, perhaps even in hard copy. Would that be stopped by the post office as a potentially obscene publication?

    *Yes, yes, I KNOW. "Weapons of Maths Instruction" and all that, (sigh)

  49. rurwin

    Those who do not learn from history...

    I collected this apocryphal tale a while ago; it isn't by me, but it is apropos...

    This reminds me of a story from the dark ages of computing - when the Computing Center at a major university had both a monopoly on computing resources and a policy of "no frivolous use of the computer(s)".

    The CC, in its unchallengable wisdom and power, had decreed a single file-and-compute server for a university with about 35,000 undergraduates. Much of the hardware was purchased with grant money, and the grants included strings that in essence required billing real $ for every microsecond of crunch, and guaranteeing the granting agencies a usage fee no higher than that charged any other user. (So the No Frivolous Use bit wasn't JUST puritanism - the guys who kicked in the megabucks were likely to get irate.) And the sysops didn't realize how popular the first text-only Startrek game would be until it was well-known and chewing up significant computer resources. You can imagine what came next.

    They removed it.

    It reappeared.

    They removed it again.

    Several users had made copies, and some of them announced where copies could be found.

    They wrote a program to search the entire filesystem for copies.

    Several encrypted copies were announced on the grapevine.

    They upgraded the program to search for these encrypted copies.

    And the war continued, with progressively more redundant copies using progressively more of the disk farm, and the encryption methods evolving under the selection pressure of the system administrators' decryption efforts.

    Like any war, it began to have effects outside the actual battle. (One observer placed a line to the effect of "Kirk Spock Enterprise NCC-1701 klingon phaser photon torpedo Federation" in a datafile used by a perfectly legitimate application, blasted the administrators through channels when the file vanished, and gleefully showed me how the usecount of the restored file kept rising, as the Startrekfinder kept finding it, and the CC administrators kept examining it to see if it was part of a hidden game.)

    But, also like any war, destruction befell innocent bystanders. And, like any crusaders out to destroy sin, the staff didn't catch on from the early, minor incidents, and kept increasing their efforts. What finally ended it was a pair of almost simultaneous hits on valuable files.

    The lesser incident was the destruction of a file named "Kirk", owned by a student nicknamed "Kirk", and containing coursework completely unrelated to the Great Interstellar War. The greater was medical.

    It seems a drug company was in the late stages of testing a new drug, and had paid the university over a half-million (1970's) dollars to run one of the tests.

    The drug in question had an effect on the endocrine system, and one of the measures of this effect was the length of the penises of male rats who had matured under influence of the drug. The project was near completion, the (rather large number of) rats had been grown, and as they were retired from the experiment, during its carefully-scheduled last few weeks, measurements made on each were filed on the exceedingly-well-maintained-and-backed-up central computing utility.

    One day the researcher logged on to enter the latest set of measurements, and found that the contents of the file named "RAT_PENIS_DATA" had been replaced by a short tirade about improper use of the computing center resources. You can imagine what hit the fan.

    The center staff, of course, in their War on Fun, had not taken care to preserve the latest state of the file they had blasted. Indeed, the file name had been, in their minds, a minor side-issue during their assault on the Startrek Plague. Yet the research was to prepare the drug for use on humans - with potential liabilities far exceeding the half-meg-plus pricetag of the research - and potential damage to the big U's reputation resulting in loss of lucrative research contracts ditto. Would error-corrections applied to the file between the last backup and the destruction be re-applied correctly? Was the CC prepared to pay for the extra costs incurred by Biochem as it completely re-entered the data from the notes, re-ran the experiment if it couldn't resolve any differences to the satisfaction of the FDA, and pay the drug company for the lost sales if it delayed the introduction of a useful drug?

    Thus, goes the story, did the war end.

    But the repercussions didn't stop, of course. The war had left lingering fallout, in the form of alienated clients of the Computing Ceter, and the center's destruction of valuable data provided an extra round to be used against the Center whenever a department was trying to obtain computers of its own, over the Center's opposition.

  50. MrZoolook

    Do I need new friends?

    My friends tell me I need to get out more, find myself a hobby!

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