15 November 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

.UK suspensions doubled in 2017, says Nominet

Nominet has suspended 16,632 .UK domain names for criminal activity in 2017, doubling figures from 2016.

In a report on how it tackles online criminal activity, the .UK domain registry looked at the period between 1 November 2016 and 31 October 2017, showing a year-on-year suspension increase from 8,049 last year.

The 16,632 domains suspended in this 12 month period only account for 0.14 percent of the 12 million .UK domains currently registered.

Nominet suspends domains at the request of police and other law enforcement agencies. According to the report, the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) was responsible for the suspension of 13,616 .UK domains.

This was double the amount of suspension requests that PIPCU entered last year.

Nominet explained that PIPCU processes and coordinates requests relating to IP infringement across the UK and is the main reporting agency.

Among other law enforcement agencies involved in the successful suspension of .UK domain names were the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau with 2,781 suspensions, as well as Trading Standards and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which accounted for 131 and 99 respectively.

Only 32 requests received in the 12 month period didn’t result in suspensions and only 15 suspensions were reversed.

Russell Haworth, CEO of Nominet, commented: “A key part of our role in running the .UK internet infrastructure is to ensure that .UK is a difficult space for criminals to operate in.”

He said: “The upward trend in suspended domains confirms that increasingly criminals seek opportunities online, but also shows how our cooperation with the law enforcement community and our expertise in network analytics helps tackle this problem thanks to the established processes and cyber security tools we have in place.”

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