Home > All, General Rants > Will Nominet have the balls of Mozilla? Don’t hold your breath

Will Nominet have the balls of Mozilla? Don’t hold your breath

This recently caught my eye, courtesy of Bev Robb (Teksquisite). Mozilla has refused a request/demand from the US Department of Homeland Security to remove MafiaaFire Redirector from its online catalogue.

Mozilla recently received a takedown order from Homeland Security (DHS) to remove the MafiaaFire Redirector from Mozilla’s online catalogue. This Firefox add-in allows web surfers to bypass US government domain name seizures via redirection from the old (seized) site to the new site. Though Mozilla does comply with “valid court orders, warrants, and legal mandates,” DHS did not provide a valid court order or a clear reason for the takedown.
DHS requests Mozilla to takedown MafiaaFire – Mozilla says NO!

In other words, Mozilla had the balls to reject a government demand that has no basis in law.

Compare this to the UK’s Nominet, ‘the Internet registry for .uk domain names’. It was approached by SOCA, the Serious Organized Crime Agency, to accept a policy of domain name takedown on SOCA’s say-so; that is, without judicial oversight. Nominet went into discussion about this. The most recent meeting was on 20th May; but as of today I can find no report on the outcome. The most recent Nominet document (Issue group on Domain Names Associated with Criminal Activity) says that further discussion is needed on

What sorts of protections would act as appropriate comfort in the absence of a court order?

This should not be up for discussion. The answer is simple: nothing other than a court order is acceptable. Any police force should be required to seek a court order; and on presentation of that court order, Nominet should be required to take down the domain. Not ever otherwise.

Put simply, Nominet just doesn’t have the balls of Mozilla. And as a Brit, I find that tragic.

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