back to article Nominet suspends 'single digit' number of Russian dot-UK domain registrars

Nominet, the dot-UK domain registry, has announced that it will suspend services for Russian web domain registrars – and the British government says it "welcomes" the action. Suspension will prevent the registrars from managing or renewing dot-UK domains they own or control. "We are not accepting registrations from registrars …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing to see here, move along

    This action has almost no impact on the "luckless Russians who bought dot-UK domains". They'll still have them and their DNS entries will still work. From that PoV, nothing has happened. These registrants won't be able to *change* their delegations or contact info or update their registratons because Nominet has suspended the Russian-based registrars who would be involved in those registry transactions. This is no big deal unless the registrants need to switch name servers or their UK domain names are up for renewal soon.

    Besides, I doubt uk domain name issues will be a top priority for Russia's oligarchs and kleptocrats at the moment.

    What is strange though is the lack of openness and transparency about Nominet's action. Who proposed this and why? Was it discussed and decided by the board? When? Maybe it's a side-effect of the financial sanctions and that's made it difficult or illegal to do business with Russia.

    Incidentally Nominet say they had £100K invested in Russia and are offloading that. Hmm...

    https://www.nominet.uk/an-update-on-ukraine/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Location

      The .UK ccTLD as run by Nominet is (unlike LINX or RIPE) a monopoly and it used to be neutral until this event.

      The biggest impact of this decision is to UK and Nominets future; not RU or UA.

      Should we now expect Nominet to block services to Chinese, Israeli, UAE and other international registrars? Or does Nominet only censor nations of registrars when the diversity matches that of their board members / those whom DCMS considers non grata?

      Nominet registrars should TAKE NOTE, Nominet CAN and will END your business with just 30 days notice for ANY reason it or the government so chooses.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Location

        Yeah, that's obviously why people like RIPE are staying well out of it. As soon as you take action once it becomes a lot harder to say no when others make similar requests in future.

        You can't argue an inability due to technical reasons, since now someone can say "but you did it for Russia vs Ukraine!". So now rather than a simple "We won't do X ever", it becomes "We'll only do X in specific situations", and any time in the future you choose to say no you're saying that you've chosen a side, rather than simply sticking to a simple policy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Location

          The technical reasons don't come into it. Not that ICANN or RIPE NCC could do much if they had the power to act. Which they don't. Unless their respective national authorities tell them. Or their policy-making fora reach consensus on a course of action.

          ICANN's CEO clearly explained the geopolitical facts of life. There's just no way they'd act on the say so of one foreign politician (who has no jurisdiction over them) to somehow damage the Internet resources or connectivity used by yet another country. That would open up a much bigger shit-storm than the one you point out. Imagine the fun if the Norks (say) demanded and got ICANN to remove .com or .kr.

          BTW, why isn't +7 getting targeted for removal in the way that .ru is?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Location

            https://www.benton.org/headlines/russia-trying-set-rules-internet-un-saw-through-ruse

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Location

        There's no need to shout! Nominet's registrars already know Nominet can terminate or suspend their contracts. Or they bloody well should know that. It's in the registry-registrar agreement they signed:

        7.5 We may put this Contract into Special Status, or otherwise suspend the provision by us of or remove access to any of our services, if any action you take as a Registrar is, or in our reasonable opinion is likely to, lead to criminal or civil liability for us or any of our officers or staff members.

        FWIW there's an independent appeals procedure if Nominet does pull the plug like this.

        If the government chooses to do something, there's fuck all anyone can do about that. Apart from a judicial review or giving a bung (sorry donation) to whoever is in power. Or hope an election results in a new government which undoes the previous one's fuckwittery. That's true everywhere. Anyone in business knows this too just has to accept that risk.

        PS It's more likely to be productive raising your concerns about Nominet censorship at their AGM or an EGM instead of whining here.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Location

          > There's no need to shout! Nominet's registrars already know Nominet can terminate or suspend their contracts. Or they bloody well should know that.

          The level of voter apathy suggests either they know very well and keeping quiet and taking what they can is the best option, or they don't know and need shouting at.

          > PS It's more likely to be productive raising your concerns about Nominet censorship at their AGM or an EGM instead of whining here.

          Sadly we know from recent history that following an EGM a few people leave the board but remain in their executive permission still attending board meetings, we get a new politically appointed CEO and Chair who knows nothing of the domain industry with many conflicts, the person who organises the AGM/EGM gets a NED position feels like they've achieved something then NDA'd into inaction. Nothing really changes.

          It can't hurt to remind people that .UK is not a safe place to be any more.

          1. R Soul Silver badge

            Re: Location

            "The level of voter apathy suggests either they know very well and keeping quiet and taking what they can is the best option, or they don't know and need shouting at."

            Or, more likely, Nominet's registrars don't see the need to start a jihad over a handful of domain names nobody cares about and are irrelevant to their business.

            IIRC when the most recent boardroom coup at Nominet was under way one of the big registrars pretty much said "Provided the registty function is running well, I don't care what happens in the boardroom".

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Location

              Yes, the largest registries aren't from the UK and don't care about the long term impact to UK end-users so long as they keep their pockets full.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Nothing to see here, move along

      Sounds like a 'see, we're doing something' move that they can trumpet in press releases and hearings.

      In the words of Macbeth: "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

    3. nobody who matters

      Re: Nothing to see here, move along

      "Who proposed this and why?"

      Were these registrars among the number who voted to remove 'The Fat Controller' a few months ago? Asking because.....

  2. Dr Paul Taylor

    blowing raspberries

    We have random companies imposing random sanctions (IT and otherwise) on random other companies with supposed links to Russia.

    Nobody seems to be giving any thought to whether these sanctions have any effect, or whether there might be some other course of action that would be more effective.

    This really just amounts to blowing raspberries (not even Pis) at Putin.

    Supposedly we are fighting an economic war, because it's far too risky to fight a shooting war.

    But we have no economic generals capable of planning that war.

  3. VoiceOfTruth

    Where was Nominet when the USA murdered 1,000,000 Iraqis?

    Busy profiting from commercial arrangements.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where was Nominet when the USA murdered 1,000,000 Iraqis?

      Yes, no word on the non-white victims of the countries and companies Nominet does business with.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A new low

    Ahhhh, Nominet, never fails to fall into a new low. When is this rotten organization cleansed once and for all? Maybe Vlad could send the UK way some of what he's peddling lately?

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