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Removal of Domains Without Court Order Opposed

Nominet is set to approve a draft proposal which could mean that allegedly illegal websites are suspended from the World Wide Web without a court order. According to Nominet the policy "must be proportionate in scope" and recognise that registrants and users have the rights to fair and legitimate interests. The powers would only be used as a "principle of last resort" to "reduce harm to individuals". The lack of a clearly structured appeals process is a concern. The civil society Open Rights Groups (ORG) has been joined by the UK Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) and London Internet Exchange (LINX) in requesting that Nominet to not adopt the proposal. ORG's Jim Killock wrote that he believes the proposal would contravene with the European Convention of Human Rights as "it is an Article 6 right under the Convention to have an open fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law." The basic premise of the proposal is positive and only websites that are alleged to be trading illegally, such as those "directly involved in the criminal distribution of counterfeit goods" would be targeted. Making it easier to clear up the internet and making it safer for users would be a great step forwards but it is important that anyone wrongly caught up can appeal and have their site reinstated. You can view the full proposal here.

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