Nominet Ordered to Delete 1,200 .UK Domain Names

Last week Nominet received an instruction from the Metropolitan Police’s Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) to take down around 1,200 CO.UK domain names that have been under investigation for criminal activity.The order was part of Operation Papworth where the PCeU was targeting websites run by organised criminal networks that purported to sell designer items – clothes, jewellery and electronic goods. Many of the sites involved supplied counterfeit goods or in some cases simply failed to supply any goods to the consumers who placed orders.The operation claims it will make Christmas shopping online a safer experience for customers. The websites targeted were run by organised criminal networks which purported to sell designer items – including Ugg Australia Boots, ghd hair straighteners, and jewellery from Tiffany & Co and Links of London. Innocent shoppers were duped into making what appeared to be bargain purchases, but received either nothing at all or counterfeit products.The operation was instigated by the PCeU to target the criminal misuse of the UK domain name system, with the objective of preventing harm to British citizens and making it safer to trade online.The PCeU worked in partnership with Nominet, the registry for .UK domain names. As a result the PCeU has deregistered 1,219 website domain names – taking them down at the registry level to prevent re-registration.”We received clear instructions from the PCeU to take down the domain names, which have been under investigation for criminal activity. We worked closely with the police and our registrars to quickly carry out the instruction to shut down access to these sites,” said Lesley Cowley, chief executive of Nominet.”Nominet is committed to making the Internet a safe place for all users. The vast majority of domains are legitimate, but where there are investigations about improper or illegal activity, we work with law enforcement bodies such as the Metropolitan Police to help identify and then limit the number of illegal or fake websites. Always our aim is to take fast, effective and responsible action to protect consumers and end users.”For more information see the Metropolitan Police website and the news release at: register your .UK domain name, check out Europe Registry here.