back to article Nominet is back to 'the same old sh*t' says Public Benefit campaign chief as EGM actions grind to halt

The founder of a campaign to return dot-UK registry Nominet to its public benefit roots has raised the threat of a second EGM if Nominet doesn't “heed the will of [its] members." Simon Blackler, founder of the Public Benefit (PB) campaign to overhaul Nominet, was scathing about what he saw as the registry's inaction in the …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the company must be run on a commercial basis"

    So you publicly acknowledge that you are managing Nominet as a commercial entity, and not as a not-for-profit.

    When are you going to officially change status then ? Is there no judge that should take notice ?

    The Nominet Board is rotten to the core. Get rid of them all, it's the only way to be sure.

    1. Blane Bramble

      Re: "the company must be run on a commercial basis"

      Also "Nominet: Firm is 'run consistently with its articles of association'"

      Which of course is not a denial of the accusation, but misdirection.

      1. John Riddoch

        Re: "the company must be run on a commercial basis"

        Ranks the same as "we pay all tax we are legally obliged to". Translation: "we're following the letter of the law, but not necessarily the spirit".

        1. RuffianXion

          Re: "the company must be run on a commercial basis"

          Not necessarily - "Run consistently with" ≠ "Run in accordance with".

        2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Re: "the company must be run on a commercial basis"

          Remember that it's been laid down that “No man in the country is under the smallest obligation, moral or other, so to arrange his legal relations to his business or property as to enable the Inland Revenue to put the largest possible shovel in his stores. The Inland Revenue is not slow, and quite rightly, to take every advantage which is open to it under the Taxing Statutes for the purposes of depleting the taxpayer's pocket. And the taxpayer is in like manner entitled to be astute to prevent, so far as he honestly can, the depletion of his means by the Inland Revenue” Lord Clyde, 1929.

          If the rules allow you to legally not pay more tax, then those are the rules. There are too many idiots about making a lot of noise about people legally arranging their affairs within the law so as to minimise the size of the tax shovel. If they think avoided tax should have been paid, then the correct thing to complain about is the rules that permit that avoidance.

    2. HildyJ Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: "the company must be run on a commercial basis"

      From their initial response to the vote proposal, the vote, and the order,

      we should have seen it coming.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Twat Of the Decade

          No matter what your views are on how domain names are sold and managed is, suggesting employees of a company need or deserve kneecapping is premier league twattery

    3. Halfmad

      Re: "the company must be run on a commercial basis"

      10 Instigate purge

      20 Same old sh!t

      30 goto 10

  2. Howard Sway

    Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta

    Because it's much easier to get the "member opinions" you want from a market research firm that you can pay to deliver the results you want, rather than just letting people vote in order to get their true opinions. Honestly, I don't known why these people are still hanging around a mundane domain name registry behaving like this, you would have thought that they'd have made the move into the much larger but equally corrupt and self serving world of the British government by now.

    Is this the common template for how things are going to be in this country from now on? Grubby self enrichment hand in hand with a dislike for democracy, facilitated by lie peddling marketing without a conscience? I know it was always like this in some respects, but it's become turbo charged and in-your-face contemptuous.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta

      > "We feel that the listening process (the project where we are seeking to get detailed feedback from members following the EGM) is a legitimate purpose for data protection law.

      Data protection law also requires informed consent. It's rather hard to argue that that was obtained given that every communication from Nominet said votes were "confidential", and vote handling was out-sourced to a 3rd party (giving the impression of a secret ballot).

    2. Natalie Gritpants Jr Silver badge

      Re: Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta

      "mundane domain name registry" with a £5m per year surplus that was going to charity. I can see the attraction.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta

        "mundate..." For some strange reason, this reminds me of the NHS doctor's patient records data grab.

    3. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
      Meh

      "No, Virginia, ..." [Re: Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta]

      > Is this the common template for how things are going to be in this country from now on? [...] I know it was always like this in some respects, but it's become turbo charged and in-your-face contemptuous.

      No, it's always been like this.

      What's changed is _you_ : you're getting older and the sheer weight of experience of the real world is overwhelming what you've been taught the world is like.

      See, as kids, we're fed a whole pack of fictions to make the world seem more fun or less scary. But as time goes on, hard facts accumulate until they can no longer be denied, and they crack thru another layer of the scales on your eyes and another treasured myth crumbles away.

      First the Easter Bunny dies, then Santa Claus, and then the simple happy childish belief that if you set up a structure to handle something useful or desirable then people will engage with that and do their job ongoingly in a sensible and honest fashion --as opposed to any such structure being progressively infested by parasites then wholly hijacked-- dies too.

      Because every practical real-world experience you have, unremittingly shows instead every such structure being progressively infested by parasites then wholly hijacked.

      Everywhere you look, from the smallest most trivial social club to the largest of whole country and multi-country systems/organisations. From the local footy club's social committee, to corporations, to charities, to the civil service, to the UN. All become over time progressively infested by parasites working the system for their own purposes, and completely hijacked if they can reach critical mass internally or can insulate the system from practical external intervention or even inspection. (Incidentally, moves to create such insulations are major red flags re parasites.)

      Not new; go back as far as you like and you'll see the same pattern.

      The defence is to create the system's rules/structure for 2 completely different outcomes/goals -- 2 sets of rules/structure, if you like. One is the obvious one, the straightforward one, which everyone automatically does: what needs to be in place to get the job done -- task-focus. One is almost never done: what needs to be in place to STOP things being done -- antihijacking-focus.

      And very often strengthening the latter will require that you accept a less-good, sub-optimal, possibly even unsatisfactory, result for the former.

      Example of different weighting/balance between the competing goals: benevolent dictator vs democracy. The latter is a piece of shit compared to the former in terms of getting things done and done well, but the former always goes horribly wrong. Example: totalitarianism (eg communism, real-world socialism) vs capitalism. Again, the latter has all sorts of problems but staggers along moderately well, whereas the former always starts well then goes horribly wrong. A lot of the "somehow"-longstanding structures around you that make you grind your teeth at their dysfunctions, if you look closer you'll realise that the suboptimalities creating those dysfunctions are also stymieing the worst effects of parasitism. Which is why they've survived so long.

      Note that the standard corporate structure has very weak defences against determined parasites. Very quickly, in fact, you're left with nothing but the nuclear option: blowing up the Board. But then also needing to create a new Board which immediately blows up ~all the senior management -- parasites flock together, and unless a post-nuclear new Board takes this executive action and quickly, the end result will be: essentially no change, just a pause, brief setback, in the parasite infestation. Just a bobble in the process.

      Seen it happen too many times...

      1. Glen 1 Silver badge

        Re: "No, Virginia, ..." [Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta]

        " But as time goes on, hard facts accumulate until they can no longer be denied, and they crack thru another layer of the scales on your eyes and another treasured myth crumbles away."

        Something something Brexit

        1. Justthefacts

          Re: "No, Virginia, ..." [Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta]

          Back to topic.....

          We are complaining about the .uk domain.

          What about the the .eu domain. How’s that going? :)

          1. Glen 1 Silver badge

            Re: "No, Virginia, ..." [Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta]

            Pretty well.

            The only problems I can see have been caused by Brexit related paperwork.

            1. Justthefacts

              Re: "No, Virginia, ..." [Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta]

              Hilarious :)

              No, seriously. Obviously the .eu problem isn’t the “Brexit paperwork” such as it is. A monkey with a biro can do it in ten minutes.

              The problem is that it is essentially useless for e-commerce. Germans only put their credit card data into a .de or .com website. Ditto French, ditto U.K.

              Out of the top 100,000 domains in the world, just 0.2% are in that TLD. A typical example is torrentz.eu . And that makes the point most excellently.

              There’s only a million or so active .eu, which is about 3% of total European. Of those well more than half are simple redirects, and half the rest are spammers. 80% of the remaining are duplicate sitting to prevent cyber-squatting. So there’s only 50,000 actual genuine websites. And way more than half of *those* are institutional, just to show willing. There’s more real websites registered in Slough than in .eu. A *lot* more.

            2. Justthefacts

              Re: "No, Virginia, ..." [Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta]

              Actually, I had a second thought as I didn’t want to be purely biased by e-commerce only as the measurement of value of a website. Surely the .org deserve to be taken seriously. So I picked randomly some cultural and civil icons.

              The Louvre

              https://www.louvre.fr

              Nothing at .eu, Haven’t even bothered to stop cybersquat

              The European Space Agency

              https://www.esa.int/

              .eu redirects, but incompetently because it reports a security certificate error, which on most browsers prevents you going there.

              The European Medicines Agency

              https://www.ema.europa.eu/en

              Aha! yes! Although sadly.....

              The company they are relying on, Biontech:

              https://biontech.de/

              Nothing at .eu

              The German government website. As you’d expect, the proper German version:

              https://www.bundesregierung.de

              And it’s redirect https://www.bundesregierung.eu

              But the French?

              https://www.gouvernement.fr/

              *nothing and no redirect*.

              That’s right, *even the French government* don’t think that a .eu website is worth maintaining.

              1. Glen 1 Silver badge

                Re: "No, Virginia, ..." [Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta]

                *shrug*

                Perhaps "well" was overstating things, its certainly not a problem. As you amply demonstrate. Its no more a problem than the naked .uk TLD anyway.

                My original (admittedly off topic) comment was on the basis of how shit do things have to get before things like facts and reality start to intrude on the Brexiter's delusions.

                "hard facts accumulate until they can no longer be denied"

                or put another way:

                "'I never thought leopards would eat MY face,' sobs woman who voted for the Leopards Eating People's Faces Party."

      2. Big Softie

        Re: "No, Virginia, ..." [Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta]

        You are so right in your observations and analysis. The older and wiser you become, the more evident it is. But why does this happen…? Because our species is fatally flawed and, in any situation, “looking after no.1” and greed enter the picture. And the more affluent, rich, civilised, and successful we become as a species, the more extreme the behaviour to lie, cheat, and cover-up the screw-ups.

        Nowhere is it more visible than in the Public Sector where incompetent buffoons head up the activity and are handsomely rewarded for failure on the grounds “I could earn much more in the Private Sector….”

        When I share this with other people, I often get labelled as cynical. However, it was the great George Bernard Shaw who famously said, “The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven’t got it.”.

      3. SCP
        Joke

        Re: "No, Virginia, ..." [Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta]

        "Mr Gambini, that is a lucid, well thought-out, intelligent objection. Overruled."

      4. Dacarlo

        Re: "No, Virginia, ..." [Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta]

        What you're describing can be explored in a book called "Snakes in Suits" ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780061147890. A highly recommended read for anyone interested in spotting and attempting to root out psychopaths in the workplace.

        Right now, it seems the whole board is infested with them.

    4. iron Silver badge

      Re: Nominet's handing of EGM voting data to a market research agency, Savanta

      What do you mean from now on? Sounds like standard practice for as long as I can remember and I can remember almost 5 decades now.

  3. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Sh*t?

    > shit

    Ah! There's the IT angle.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have you read the standing orders....?

    .....READ THEM AND UNDERSTAND THEM!!!!

  5. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
    Mushroom

    In all seriousness

    It's time to put the Binns out.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: In all seriousness

      True, but it's also time for the government to rescind Nominet's authority over .uk since they are clearly abusing it (the authority, that is).

      But wait, we have a government that does what rich people tell it to do.

      .uk is going the way of the UK as a whole, then.

      1. MrReynolds2U Bronze badge
        Alert

        Re: In all seriousness

        Be careful getting the government involved. Right now they are talking about privatising Channel 4 which is currently a public-owned media company. Even those running it are warning against such actions due to the inevitable switch of focus from quality to profit.

      2. ADomainRegistrar

        Re: In all seriousness

        The government never _gave_ them authority, they just allowed them to continue as is.

  6. HammerOn1024

    Look to the French...

    Guillotine? The threat of "Death by razor." has a tendency to focus the appointed ones energies like nothing else.

    1. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: Look to the French...

      Sadly not a good example. In reality it just changed the class of parasites by a new one.

      In the end, revolutions are just about changing the people taking profit of the system.

  7. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Where's my popcorn?

    I guess that Mr Blackadder is not really surprised that the ones who have the power (and make a lot of money) aren't willing to change things.

    I love the bootnote. It's more explicit than one million words to describe how Nominet really runs.

    1. Snake Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Where's my popcorn?

      If this were a sci-fi comedy, there'd be self-replicating bureaucrats in order to guarantee that nothing ever changes.

  8. jonathan keith Silver badge

    That second EGM...

    ... can't come soon enough. Voting on a single motion: Kick the entire board out and replace them with named individuals, mandated to do X,Y and Z.

  9. Steve Aubrey
    Unhappy

    Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy

    Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people:

    First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

    Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.

    The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.

    1. yetanotheraoc

      Re: Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy

      Did Pournelle mention the third kind of people ... those who are dedicated to themselves?

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy

        Those people, if they're at all competent, make the bureaucracy an instrument for amplifying their personal power. Thus they become transitively dedicated to the organization.

  10. Big_Boomer Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Ripley Time!

    I'm surprised they waited this long. The simple act of refusing to appoint the 2 suggested reformers made it obvious to me that those remaining thought that they could keep on as they had before. It also points to some dodgy dealings by one or more of the remaining board members. It stinks of corruption!

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