UK internet regulators could be set to follow the lead of the US by seizing domain names used for illegal activity.

Over the last year, the US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has been taking control of domain names used to perpetrate fraud, copyright infringement and other crimes.

Opinion over the ICE enforcement strategy may be divided, but it appears a similar approach could now be taken on the other side of the Atlantic.

Nominet, the British domain name registrar for .co.uk, is currently consulting on proposed rules concerning “domain names used in connection with criminal activity”, reports inforjustice.org.

Crucially, an “expedited process to suspend domain names” would be included as part of the rules.

Under Nominet’s plans, suspension of domain names would be seen as a last resort measure for the regulator, and only as a “proportionate, necessary, and urgent” response.

However, the fact that other domain name regulators are considering interventionist tactics may, to some extent, vindicate the ICE’s approach.

Domain name seizures ‘could occur in the UK’
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