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UK Police To Get Major New Powers To Seize Domains

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the mine-now-I-take-it dept.

The Internet 161

Stoobalou writes "British Police forces could soon have the power to seize any domain associated with criminal activity, under new proposals published today by UK domain registrar Nominet. At present, Nominet has no clear legal obligation to ensure that .uk domains are not used for criminal activities. That situation may soon change, if proposals from the Serious and Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) are accepted."

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Just out of curiosity, (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348044)

Does that include Google?

And what about Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348150)

Even criminals need to get Windows updates.

Re:Just out of curiosity, (2, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348176)

More ironically, does that include mil.uk [empirestrikesblack.com]

Re:Just out of curiosity, (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348192)

More ironically, does that include mil.uk

Your link is wrong, it doesn't even mention the .uk TLD.

Re:Just out of curiosity, (3, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348230)

Your link is wrong, it doesn't even mention the .uk TLD.

Yes, oddly enough, I looked long and hard for an article on British war crimes on mil.uk but couldn't find any...

Re:Just out of curiosity, (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348786)

I think you are looking for mod.uk. Nominet isn't responsible for allocating those domains. The Ministry of Defence is.

Re:Just out of curiosity, (2, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348182)

Yes, because they will present links to content which are covered by copyright's, patent's and trademark's.

Re:Just out of curiosity, (2, Funny)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348378)

I've trademarked the grocers' apostrophe for my company: Sausage's and Apple's Inc.

Cease and desist immediately.

US does it already on much larger scale (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348086)

US already seizes any .com .net .org domain too.

Thinking of it, maybe we should give this right to every country, including Iraq, China and North Korea.

Re:US does it already on much larger scale (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348900)

Really? They've seized goldmansachs.com, aig.com, and countrywidefinancial.com?

No, they only seize certain domains that make them look good to seize, in a "think of the children" sense (where the voters are child-like sheeple). It's political.

A big deal (1, Interesting)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348088)

Since the UK doesn't have freedom of speech like here in the US, this could really change the internet by creating a roadmap for other countries to follow.

Re:A big deal (2, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348164)

The UK does have freedom of speech protections, but they are implimented in a very different way. And are somewhat easier to overrule.

Re:A big deal (4, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348372)

I wouldn't necessarily call it free under those terms. If I can get in trouble for merely saying something, I don't think it's really free speech. Freer speech than in some areas, but not necessarily free at it's foundation.

Re:A big deal (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348474)

In the UK it is fine to say "down with freedom" and "enemies of Islam should die", but racist and provocative to suggest that the Qur'an might encourage terrorism

Re:A big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348742)

You can always get in trouble for saying things, it's always a question of where you draw the line:

"Hand me the money or I will kill you"
"If I ever get the opportunity I will kill the president/king/PM"
"Someone should kill all gay people"
"Go and kill person x because I don't like him"
"We should bring down the government by rebellion"
"We should bring down the government by voting for another party"

These are all things you could say that would have a different legal implication in different countries, I doubt that there is any country in the world where you could express all of them in a serious way and not get in trouble.

Re:A big deal (1, Interesting)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348908)

Merely saying is a bit like merely killing.

I think it makes sense that speech should be restricted in the sense that actions are as well. It's not OK to hurt other people physically, and I think it should be no less OK to hurt people through speech. From another perspective one could argue that a society that restricts you from taking other people's lives as you see fit is not truly free, at least from the perspective of a single individual.

The problem is determining what is actually hurtful. "I wish you we're dead you fucking cunt." might be anything from a joke, to a sexist and hurtful remark. "I'm going to kill you and rape your wife as she cries over your dead body." Is a pretty clear case of threatening someone.

So the hard part is really determining where to draw the line. This is very much a cultural issue. Is it more free or less free to be free to hurt? I don't claim to know myself.

Re:A big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348962)

Our laws are more flexible and more experimental. There is no perfect theoretical basis from which you can derive a good civilisation, you go with what works and keep trying to improve it.
 
When our laws cause problems, we change them. If they're flawed in theory but in real world implementation do no harm, why bother?

Re:A big deal (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#34349074)

If I can get in trouble for merely saying something, I don't think it's really free speech.

Not much different in the US then, since you can get arrested for pointing out how to bomb the white house, for example, pointing out a BGM-109 in some specific window would deal the most damage and likely kill the most of people.

Re:A big deal (2, Interesting)

TheBlackMan (1458563) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348254)

So is it the time for alternative censorship-free DNS system yet ?

Re:A big deal (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348260)

Since the UK doesn't have freedom of speech like here in the US

From what I read in The Economist I think I understand that libel laws are more strict in the UK. On the other hand, from what I read in Viz I would assume that the UK had no libel laws. Oh, one time they did issue a retraction for a comic strip titled, Thieving Gypsy Bastards.

This comment raised an interesting question for me: The folks in the US tossed out the Brits around 1776+. But the UK ruled half of the world for a long time. Did any other countries chase them out? Rhodesia comes to mind, but what about Canada and Australia?

Please, this is not meant in any offense to anyone from the UK, I'm just curious . . . and stupid!

Re:A big deal (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348282)

There were armed rebellions in a number of colonies, and peaceful ones (most notably under Gandhi in India) in others. Most of Ireland got independence in 1920 following centuries of strife; and after WWII the political will to hold Empire at all costs was no longer there; the vast majority of the colonies became independent in the late 50s or early 60s.

Re:A big deal (1)

Bobakitoo (1814374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34349020)

The last one been Canada in 1982 with the Canada Act passed by the British Parliament.

We'd not be offended (3, Informative)

fantomas (94850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348504)

I don't think many people in the UK would be offended if you asked about our past and wanted to find out more about it. Our ancestors did some good things, and bad things. Most people won't be offended because most of us are less than 100 years old so it's just history to us as well, we didn't personally take part in it or make any of the decisions.

But I think we'd all be happy for you to take an interest and read up rather than making random generalisations. Wikipedia actually has some pretty reasonable articles, start on the British Empire [wikipedia.org] . Good on you for being up for learning more.

Indeed we have libel laws, they'll likely be different in England from Scotland as there as two different legal systems.

Why did we 'lose' the Empire: worth reading up - mixture of social change, political change, and economy. Some places people forced their freedom, other places it was more by agreement. Now we're pretty broke, the first and second world wars changed the world political scene: I believe it's only been in the last five years of so we finally paid back the loans we borrowed from the USA in the 1940s to pay for the second world war, we were pretty much in hock to the USA post-war so the USA could set the conditions to an awful lot of our international involvements (look up "Suez Crisis" [wikipedia.org] for example).

Re:A big deal (3, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348564)

There was a sort of shift in both British governmental policy and public attitudes combined with an inevitability of other nations gaining their independence. I guess the best way to put it might be that Britain saw the writing on the wall early enough that they decided to be smart about things and let go semi-gracefully. Take India as a case in point. There was no way that the British were going to be able to maintain their control over that country. The Indians could only be goverend in the first place because they weren't well organized and they had non-representative governments that could be suborned. The British government have always been bastards, but they've rarely been stupid except in the most enlightened frame of reference. The British had put down various resistance movements before in India (quite brutally), but when India as a whole started to say "no!", the British said: "okay, let's be friends". Many other cases are variations on that. The general policy was: "let's try and make the jump from ruler to leader". Success was variable and imperfect, but it preserved a lot of profitable trade for Britain, which was what it cared about most of all, it had the sympathy of the British public and, quite frankly, it made a lot more sense than anything else. Britain is a small land. It had the advantages of a well-organized, industrial-level populace and a fantastic Navy. They seized that opportunity and worked it till it was played out, then moved on when running costs became too high (rebellions, industrial action, et al.). Note that this is only the most general description. Posters could make a dozen small counter-examples of ugly instances of disengagement. The disintegration of India into India and Pakistan is one of the modern age's great tragedies.

Re:A big deal (2, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348572)

On the other hand, from what I read in Viz I would assume that the UK had no libel laws.

There's the "reasonable man" test. In the case of Viz, would a reasonable man believe what he's reading to be true. since Viz is a crude comic, the newspaper style articles in Viz are entirely ridiculous parody, and clearly intended as such, it's unlikely that anyone would think it to be true.

The extra "strictness" comes in two fronts. Firstly, the defendant needs to prove the allegations are true (not just that they believed they were true - journalists are meant to fact check), and secondly you can sue the author or the publication (not unresonable) or the publisher. There is legal opinion at least that a publisher includes everyone up to the retailer. In the case of online material, the fact that it's technically published everywhere it's accessed effectively gives British courts jusrisdiction over the entire internet. It's possible to sue an ISP over a usenet posting [wikipedia.org] even if the posting originated from a user of a different ISP.

After the American revolution, the British governmnet was a lot more open to greater independence in the other colonies since the War of Independence was something of an expensive embarrassment. In fact, even before 1776, there was reasonable support for representation of America in parliament.

Re:A big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348592)

Australia has self government while still acknowledging the nominal power of the British crown: it's a commonwealth realm [wikipedia.org] . There is a tacit agreement: UK agrees to not to use that power and Australia agrees not to tell the UK to fuck right off. Australia should probably finish the job and become a republic, but there's no practical gain in that move at the moment. The nominal power operates through the monarch's representative and so the UK parlimentary government can't use it.

I don't think anybody would be offended (1, Redundant)

fantomas (94850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348634)

I don't think many people in the UK would be offended if you asked about our past and wanted to find out more about it. Our ancestors did some good things, and bad things. Most people won't be offended because most of us are less than 100 years old so it's just history to us as well, we didn't personally take part in it or make any of the decisions.

But I think we'd all be happy for you to take an interest and read up rather than making random generalisations. Wikipedia actually has some pretty reasonable articles, start on the British Empire [wikipedia.org] . Good on you for being up for learning more.

Indeed we have libel laws, they'll likely be different in England from Scotland as there as two different legal systems.

Why did we 'lose' the Empire: worth reading up - mixture of social change, political change, and economy. Some places people forced their freedom, other places it was more by agreement. Now we're pretty broke, the first and second world wars changed the world political scene: I believe it's only been in the last five years of so we finally paid back the loans we borrowed from the USA in the 1940s to pay for the second world war, we were pretty much in hock to the USA post-war so the USA could set the conditions to an awful lot of our international involvements (look up "Suez Crisis" [wikipedia.org] for example).

Re:A big deal (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348794)

"Thieving Gypsy Bastards" doesn't refer to a specific identifiable person, so isn't covered by libel laws. It may be covered by racial hatred laws though.

Re:A big deal (2, Informative)

dances with elks (863490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34349028)

I think your view of history might be a little over simplified. The american revolution wasn't like hollywood, it was essentially one group of mainly british and irish people fighting another group of british and irish people. The colonists were fighting for their rights as englishmen, and many people in the british isles supported them in their struggle, at least until they invaded canada.

Parts of the empire that were settled by colonists (New Zealand, Austrailia, Canada) were gradually encouraged to become more and more independent by britain. Developed areas gradually conquered by the british such as india and egypt (or more accurately, by indians with a few british and irish commanders) were exploited and post war nationalist movements got them to leave. Undeveloped unsettled areas such as the afican colonies britain was eager to get rid of in the 1960's as they spent far more money developing infrastructure than they ever extracted. Most of the colonial wars they fought they won (Malaysia, Kenya) but they didn't want to hold on to the colony, they usually just wanted to stop it being communist after they left. Ireland was partitioned after a successful war of indenpendence after WWI as it was effectively half settled (North Ireland) and half exploited.

Re:A big deal (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34349094)

This comment raised an interesting question for me: The folks in the US tossed out the Brits around 1776+. But the UK ruled half of the world for a long time. Did any other countries chase them out? Rhodesia comes to mind, but what about Canada and Australia?

Please, this is not meant in any offense to anyone from the UK, I'm just curious . . . and stupid!

Didn't they teach you in history class about the bloody Canadian and Australian wars of (attempted) independence? Why else do you think those two countries have such a low population density? We fucking nuked the shit out of most of the habitable areas and made them promise to keep the Queen as head of state just to rub their noses in it.

Jesus, it was only a few years ago, you kids have such short attenion spans.

Re:A big deal (4, Interesting)

Voulnet (1630793) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348672)

Freedom of speech in the US? Are you kidding? Just today the US Gov't seized torrent domains and is actively trying to stop WikiLeaks.

Re:A big deal (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34349090)

Even though freedom of speech is not written down like in the constitution, I'm sure it is still a valued right of the British people. We'll have to wait and see whether they'll cry foul over this, or whether they'll complacently sit back and allow their government to censor their internets.

UK only? (1, Interesting)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348092)

I can't understand TFA. Does this give the registrar power to steal only .co.uk domains, or any TLD that's registered with them?

Re:UK only? (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348790)

I can't understand TFA. Does this give the registrar power to steal only .co.uk domains, or any TLD that's registered with them?

Nominet administers all *.uk domains, but only *.uk domains, so .com, .org etc. will be unaffected.

Game over (2, Funny)

jethr0211 (996156) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348096)

Well I guess that's it for the bad guys. Now they'll have no way to register their evil domains.

Re:Game over (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348780)

Evil domains?

I soooo want doctor.evil and dontbe.evil.

And maybe hearno.evil, seeno.evil and speakno.evil too.

I'll make a fortune...

Laughable (4, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348104)

TFA:

Two weeks ago, Fitwatch, a site dedicated to campaigning against what it sees as heavy-handed practices by police surveillance units, was taken down by its UK-based web hosting company,

With its domain name suspended, the only way for visitors to find a rogue site would be to type in its lengthy (and decidedly less memorable) numeric IP address.

This shows how well prepared is the british police to deal with matters regarding the internet: I reckon they never heard of the hosts file or, for an URL only, favorites.

Such simple minds... life for them must be a permanent bliss.

Re:Laughable (2, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348172)

I'd have thought it more than effective to just take down the domain, thus rendering every hit for the site on google unavailable. Almost all people searching would give up at that point.

Re:Laughable (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348360)

If their sympathizers are determined, I don't think this is going to do.
Here: just include in the content of a page of the site an improbable search phrase and send the page to Google for indexing. All it takes is a few links from outside (say, ten sympathizers linking from 40 sites/forums/slashdot) and, together with the improbable search phrase your site will be the top of Google search.

Re:Laughable (2, Informative)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348206)

This shows how well prepared is the british police to deal with matters regarding the internet: I reckon they never heard of the hosts file or, for an URL only, favorites. Such simple minds... life for them must be a permanent bliss.

They're simple minds eh? Do you know what irony [websitegear.com] is [webopedia.com] ?

Many, many rogues sites don't have a fixed IP.

Re:Laughable (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348344)

They're simple minds eh? Do you know what irony [websitegear.com] is [webopedia.com] ?

Let's see... How the solutions you listed work in the conditions of TDL DNS refusing to identify the domain as registered?
Ah, I see, not only that you need to host your site elsewhere, but you need to raise a rogue DNS (outside the official hierarchy) and ask everyone interested in your site to trust it?

Many, many rogues sites don't have a fixed IP.

(methinks: the specific difference between these guys and rogue sites: their listeners. The bot herder sites can afford to use rogue DNS-es, after all the ones to trust the rogue DNS are the pieces of malware infecting the computers).

But tell you what: let's see if we can come with better ways to fail their scheme. Who's picking the gauntlet?

Here's an idea (DNS using SEO techniques): how about a group of sympathizers include in their web pages links to the IP-only URL but associating it with the name of the site (or an improbable search phrase in the content of the site)? Then Google will do the job and sorta act as a DNS substitute.
Will they seize google.co.uk?

Re:Laughable (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348224)

Also, OpenNIC.

Re:Laughable (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348316)

TFA - So your definition of a sophisticated mind does not encompass one that can deal with murdered children, mob control, terrorism or any other of the myriad issues a modern police officer has to deal with.. in your world if you are not IT savvy you are a "simpleton"? What an infantile, one dimensional little mind that you have. Grow up, fool.

Re:Laughable (1, Flamebait)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348358)

Loserboy nerd, IT is vital knowledge in the modern world and anyone who wishes to do well in an IT-dominated era will endeavour to learn as much as they can. Knowledge is power, and the more power you have the less chances of being a victim there are. Anyone wishing to be a good cop will learn as much as possible in his or her field and IT is among the knowledge now required because a lot of evidence will be residing on computers. Police officers need to know how to deal with them, and they know to understand how the internet works. It's not that if you're not IT savvy you're a simpleton (it's relatively easy to be IT savvy, it's not aerospace engineering), it's that if you're ignorant in matters that shape your life everyday you're a simpleton. Dismissed, loserboy nerd. Shit on your own face, I can't be bothered.

Re:Laughable (0, Troll)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348412)

TFA - So your definition of a sophisticated mind does not encompass one that can deal with murdered children, mob control, terrorism or any other of the myriad issues a modern police officer has to deal with.. in your world if you are not IT savvy you are a "simpleton"? What an infantile, one dimensional little mind that you have. Grow up, fool.

LOL... Take care, AC, you'll run pretty quick of straws at the rate you are building your arguments.

Let's see. I don't know what Fitwatch is about, but I imagine:

  • if Fitwatch are non-legit, the british police does a pretty crappy job not going to arrest them and just (ineffectively) trying to silence them. Does it seem to you as a very sophisticated and grown up approach from their side? Addressing a manifestation and not the cause of the problem?
  • if Fitwatch are just "speech criminals", defending the british police in their actions doesn't seem to me as being a grown-up reaction from your side, mate. Or is the IngSoc starting to become a reality already?

Re:Laughable (2, Insightful)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348892)

The coppers dealing with murdered children are not the same ones who are doing the mob control, and those of them who deal with internet are again different people with different specialisations.
So those who are actually responsible for the thing this discussion is about, should be IT savvy. If they are not, then they are simpletons indeed.

Re:Laughable (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348394)

Or alternate root DNS servers?

You know, that used to sound like a really stupid idea. Now I am not so sure.

Re:Laughable (2, Informative)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348496)

Or alternate root DNS servers?

You know, that used to sound like a really stupid idea. Now I am not so sure.

Others [opennicproject.org] are sure of the contrary.

Re:Laughable (0, Redundant)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348578)

Or alternate root DNS servers?

You know, that used to sound like a really stupid idea. Now I am not so sure.

Here mate. [opennicproject.org] Just put the entry most convenient to you as the first entry [opennicproject.org] in your DNS list.

Re:Laughable (3, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348430)

I reckon they never heard of the hosts file or, for an URL only, favorites.

Nor have most ordinary users either. Suspending a domain name is a pretty effective way of barring access to a site. Links from other sites and search engines will also fail to work until they update. Google does not seem to be very fond of sites hosting on IP addresses with no associated domain name so it will undoubtable affect the site's ranking too.

Hopefully this will end up in court and the police will be forced to stop pulling this kind of bullshit. I'm not holding my breath though.

Re:Laughable (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348726)

If you can take a step that only solves 95% of a problem, that doesn't mean the step is not worth taking. Of course this can be used for good or bad - I don't think that a site such as Fitwatch [fitwatch.org.uk] should be taken down, although advising people to get rid of the clothing they were wearing to avoid being identified by law enforcement is pretty close to the edge, but there are plenty of scam and spam sites that I would not shed a tear over.

Re:Laughable (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34349042)

Remember, they started with "Islamic extremist" websites. Like pastor said.

Disappointing (4, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348142)

They haven't seized paypal yet? If the people running that site aren't criminals then I don't know who is.

Re:Disappointing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348418)

Who the hell marked this as troll? Paypal ARE criminals, they steal peoples money all the damn time!
Then people whine like kids on their blogs because "waah, i didn't read the small print, they aren't a bank, they can use my money as toilet paper if they wanted to".

Re:Disappointing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348528)

I approve of this. They are a remarkably dishonest company.

One great example is that when I ship to the US and they freeze my funds for 21 days (oh and then 5-7 more BUSINESS days to get into my account for a total sometimes over a month). They have as their policy for years that they will release the funds if it's shipped to a confirmed address, with tracking and once it arrives. But they don't if you're shipping internationally. Why wouldn't they update this? Especially after they receive complaints (like from me)

Re:Disappointing (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#34349052)

Who the hell marked this as troll? Paypal ARE criminals, they steal peoples money all the damn time!

Maybe if reasonable sources were cited and by reasonable I mean a source like the BBC, not some person's raging blog.

Just curious about the department name (3, Funny)

Centurix (249778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348146)

I can only assume there's a Mildly Worrying Organised Crime Agency?

Re:Just curious about the department name (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348426)

I can only assume there's a Mildly Worrying Organised Crime Agency?

Just MiniLuv. The Minitrue is on the way.

Re:Just curious about the department name (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348788)

How dare you make fun of the Humorous and Organized Crimes Agency?

It has started already (4, Informative)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348154)

They've already done it without legal backing. The US-hosted, UK-centric police monitoring site FitWatch was closed by the British police, by simply asking the US host to remove it. The police officially objected to a single article, so requested that the whole site be closed for 12 months. The host complied.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/16/student-anti-police-website-closed [guardian.co.uk]

Re:It has started already (4, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348436)

There's nothing wrong with the police asking. It's the host's fault for caving in without a court order.

It's just like there's nothing wrong with police asking if they can look inside your house without a warrant. you just say no and they have to go get a warrant if they have good reason to need to search your house (unless of course there's evidence of a crime in progress)

It is wrong. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348604)

It is a misuse of power. Plain and simple.

Re:It has started already (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348698)

Yes there is. If someone in a police uniform ask you something, you are more inclined to do it. After all, it is an official law enforcer. I'd say this is abuse of power.

Re:It has started already (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348948)

There's nothing wrong with the police asking. It's the host's fault for caving in without a court order.

Sorry, but are you really that stupid? Of course there's also something wrong with the police asking! Yes, the hoster is to blame for caving in, but the police - the ones who actually made a demand that's decidedly unethical and quite possibly illegal, one that tramples the principles of free speech, freedom of opinion, and democracy and liberty - are blameless? They did nothing wrong?

Words fail me.

Re:It has started already (2, Interesting)

bedwards (1937210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348556)

Key phrase in the guardian article:

The Fitwatch blogpost, which last night had reappeared on several other websites

They had this problem a while back with the company Trafigura who tried to remove information regarding their activities that was in the public domain. It was available in hundreds of places within the hour.

Usually people do not replicate information, instead pointing to the origional source. Only when the origional information is threatened with censorship is it replacted to the point of it not being able to be removed.

Of course - being able to shut down domains such as www.facebookaccounts2010.co.uk, preventing idiots from giving away all their credit card details is probably quite a good thing.

It is too bad that in the hands of the Serious Organised Crime Agency; a department with the ability to violate almost every one of our civil liberties (car-number plate tracking, Bank snooping, hidden CCTV cameras to name but a few) but not it would seem the ability to make a single dent in the crime felt by any community, my less than competent friends will still be able to hand their data over to www.facebookaccounts.co.uk whilst I read material I do not particularly care about becuase "they" wanted to stop me reading it, and giggle at the absurdity of trying to censor the internet.

Re:It has started already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348638)

ell these guy the genie cant be put back in the bottle.
There is no such thing as 'Criminal Activity' until the matter has gone before a court and a Judge.
Things like companies and websites cannot be 'Individuals' and cannot be criminal.
To accuse such things is libelous and a trespass of property. Maybe something constitutional about seizing property without compensation (there is a defined process - can't be done by order of the ruler/king alone).

At best one might claim the 'article' has problems and go after the author (individual).

The predictable outcome: Sites will post links, and the real hosts will be mirrored in several countries so a Pirate Bay like strike wins a few days before it is up again.If they ever to a coordinated take down that actually works - the next phoenix will be botnet hosted sites.

Re:It has started already (2, Informative)

6031769 (829845) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348896)

That's not quite correct. It was the UK host which complied with the police request. The site is now hosted in the USA [thinq.co.uk] for precisely the reason that the British police can't touch it.

Re:It has started already (2, Interesting)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#34349024)

It's hard to have sympathy for a site ("fitwatch") that promotes violent protest. The Guardian's perspective on violent protest is a bit hypocritical too:

  • The Guardian is strongly critical of violent protest when done by the English Defence League [guardian.co.uk] . (And they should be, the EDL is basically just a modern remake of the National Front, and is attracting the same mix of football hooligans, fascist skinheads, and other assorted nutters).
  • The Guardian does not appear to criticise the violent protests by students (which, in reality, are probably not students - real students don't tend to wave anarchist flags), including the attempted murder where a fire extinguisher was thrown down onto at a police officer from the top of a building.
  • The Guardian appears to support the author of "fitwatch" (the article you linked), which publishes counter-intelligence on the Police Forward Intelligence Teams (the same guys who are also responsible for policing violent protests by the fascists, football hooligans, anarchists, etc.)

Violent protest is usually counterproductive. If these people really wanted to win, then martyrdom is where it's at. Imagine 100 students on hunger strike outside the Houses of Parliament. That would win the argument. But of course, they won't do that, because it would mean actually putting your supposed ideals before your own well being.

When it comes to policing protests, do you want police that actually do the job regardless of the source of public disorder, or do you want police who do the job when you disagree with the protesters (EDL) but do nothing when you agree (students/anarchists)? The second is an immature point of view, but appears to be the one espoused by the Guardian.

Police State (2, Insightful)

im just cannonfodder (1089055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348200)

The imperial march further into the police state continues, soon you'll lose your right to trial by jury, be logged on some huge data base, sections of the population will be segregated, forced to move from the desirable areas into slums then the trains to the gas/torture chambers will start.......

Re:Police State (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348444)

soon you'll lose your right to trial by jury, be logged on some huge data base, sections of the population will be segregated, forced to move from the desirable areas into slums then the trains to the gas/torture chambers will start.......

Are you being ironic? Because as it happens, every one of these is the case in the UK except the gas chambers.

Right to trial by jury - 28 day detention/recent use of this power [bbc.co.uk] /"Kettling" of students as young as 15 on demonstrations for 12+ hours at a time - did you know this particular policing technique originated in Nazi Poland to force Jews to the gas chamber? :/

Logged on some huge database - Police DNA database (they take a sample if merely questioning you and will lie about removing the data - EU has to get involved and force them), TV licensing, DVLA, Council Tax, Electoral register, etc, etc - in most of these cases the operating body also sells an edited version of the database to private companies for targeted mailing or other purposes.

Sections of the population segregated - Largely propaganda driven in the media against certain groups/ethnicities; in particular the Muslim population has been targeted for example [bbc.co.uk] by CCTV

Forced to move into slums - The new government is stripping out housing benefit and cutting down the length of time you can 'own' social housing to two years minimum (previously they were owned for life) and if your earning power increases above an arbitrary threshold they'll toss you out; the Conservative mayor of London even finds this unpalatable [independent.co.uk] ) and predicts that it will lead to the cities becoming the preserve of the rich and white.

So yeah, no gas chambers just yet, but I'm sure some bright spark will suggest it as a way to cut down on the money spent in fuel subsidies for pensioners or whatever soon enough.

Posting AC because I really don't have any faith in this country any more.

Re:Police State (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348888)

did you know this particular policing technique originated in Nazi Poland to force Jews to the gas chamber? :/

Yes, but not to protect the citizens due to extreme risk involved as mentioned on the article you sourced.

EU has to get involved and force them

Honestly, if the EU can't even account for 90% of their budget [youtube.com] , creates laws that destroyed habeas corpus, removed judgement by their peers [youtube.com] in various circcumstances... What makes you think that they're not corrupt enough to stop this when it's within their interests?

Largely propaganda driven in the media against certain groups/ethnicities; in particular the Muslim population has been targeted for example by CCTV

I can't really comment on this, since I don't have the data they have that profiles terrorists, I don't see you having it either.

The new government is stripping out housing benefit and cutting down the length of time you can 'own' social housing to two years minimum (previously they were owned for life) and if your earning power increases above an arbitrary threshold they'll toss you out

There are different view points, "New council house tenants could lose their homes within two years if they get a job, and local authorities will be able stop social housing going to those who fall behind repeatedly with their rent". If you're failing to pay your rent, it's because you're not spending the money you were given to pay the rent to begin with. The requirement to move after two years of having a job is to free up homes for the ones who actually need the accomodation and are unable to afford it on their own. The problem the govnernment faces is that they build a lot of new council homes, people move in when they're vulnerable and never move out, which means the government needs to build even more homes for the people living off benefits because the government cannot afford to buy the vacant homes from the already pre-existing home market out there for each individual - Buying such homes only reinforces them to stay in them while living off the government money. The council houses were never meant to be lifetime homes to any given individuals. Of course there is the counter argument that people who get a job don't become fully self sufficient within two years, but regardless, I am not seeing this whole implied 'sky is falling'.

Posting AC because I really don't have any faith in this country any more.

Honestly, countries need more than faith to run properly. The UK isn't exactly a perfect place, but I have lived in other countries and the UK at the moment has a far less screwed up government compared to Poland for example - Yet the people of Poland are managing and are working on improving things. This whole faith thing doesn't do much for anyone.

Illegal - yes; irritant - no (4, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348210)

If a domain is really being used for illegal activity then I can support this. However: if it is just an irritant to the police/government/... then leave it well alone. Nomient is asking

whether safeguards are necessary (an appeals process, for example)

-- boggle! Of course there must be an appeals process.

The UK is becoming worse, there is a proposal by the home secretary to throw someone out of his house even if there was not enough evidence to charge [bbc.co.uk] ; this is going to be abused by wifes who want a divorce -- get the bloke out on made up complaints of violence; by the time that he would be allowed back in she will have started the legal process and grabbed the property and stopped him seeing the kids.

Serious and Organized Crime Agency (3, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348212)

Do you need to own a fluffy cat and a monocle to join?

Re:Serious and Organized Crime Agency (2, Funny)

Shag (3737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348240)

Those things are optional, as long as you're serious. And organized.

Re:Serious and Organized Crime Agency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348600)

and yet our police departments are niether but still manage to commit crimes!

Re:Serious and Organized Crime Agency (1)

Drumster (1154519) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348250)

*nod* *nod*

Re:Serious and Organized Crime Agency (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348584)

I've always thought the American "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives" felt crude. Thanks Britain for bringing some class.

Dear police, (4, Insightful)

rew (6140) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348222)

Dear Police,

Please be informed that not just one but multiple criminals use the domains Hotmail.co.uk and yahoo.co.uk. Please disable these immediately to prevent further crimes from occurring. (and they annoy the hell out of me).

Re:Dear police, (4, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348346)

I'm sure the Nigerian prince has diplomatic immunity. Besides, I'm getting 100,000,000,000,000 dollars in the mail soon.

Re:Dear police, (1)

Vernes (720223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348704)

No points to add +1 Funny. So: Hahaha!

I get mails like that as well... (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348884)

I'm getting 100,000,000,000,000 dollars in the mail soon.

It's funny, the mails I get also talk about a "Stimulus package"

Re:Dear police, (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348658)

Don't forget that Google is heavily responsible for easily directing people to torrents of copyrighted material, the tools to download them, has (hyper)links to terrorist-related websites, bomb plans, poisons, fighting techniques, urban warfare, and articles of hate speech.

I wish you all the best.

Serious and Organized Crime? (4, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348288)

What do you want to bet that serious and well-planned out crimes won't include:

Goldman Sachs UK (where to start)
Paypal UK [paypal.co.uk] (seizure of users' money without refund)
Microsoft UK [microsoft.co.uk] (organized monopoly abuse)
Intel UK [intel.co.uk] (organized monopoly abuse)
and anyone else who's a paymaster?

Re:Serious and Organized Crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348966)

"The Serious and Organised Crime Agency, created just four years ago and presented as Britain's answer to the FBI, is to be scrapped by coalition ministers, it's reported.

A Home Office consultation to be published today will propose replacing the secretive organisation with a National Crime Agency, which would include a new specialist border policing unit and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)"

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/26/soca_bye/

Re:Serious and Organized Crime? (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34349016)

It's not quite as simple as that. When they're talking about Serious and Organised Crime, they don't mean "serious criminal allegations about an organisation". They mean organised criminal gangs (which are probably about Number 3 on the Official UK List of Things to be Scare the Population With, directly under terrorists and paedophiles).

And while there's quite a few companies I would dearly love to see investigated under that kind of statute, the world tends to be rather more pragmatic than that and if an organisation by and large benefits society, IME they're generally not likely to find themselves being effectively outlawed.

Re:Serious and Organized Crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34349054)

You should have made the text in brackets the actual text of the hyperlinks.

Re:Serious and Organized Crime? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#34349100)

What do you want to bet that serious and well-planned out crimes won't include:

Goldman Sachs UK (where to start)
Paypal UK (seizure of users' money without refund)
Microsoft UK (organized monopoly abuse)
Intel UK (organized monopoly abuse)
and anyone else who's a paymaster?

I am in the UK and I don't use any of those UK sites. For paypal, when I try to use paypal.co.uk, I end up getting redirected to paypal.com when I login. When I click the microsoft link, I get redirected to microsoft.com, intel.co.uk just redirects me to intel.com.

Yes, I don't think a 302 HTTP code is enough to get those domains 'blocked'.

There's a problem with the summary (2, Insightful)

ZDRuX (1010435) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348336)

"British Police forces could soon have the power to seize any domain associated with activity that they assume may or may not be criminal, under new proposals published today by UK domain registrar Nominet.

There, fixed for clarity and better understanding.

so, Google... (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348364)

...are you going to not Be Evil and continue to index b& sites which offer only an IP address? So, for example, I can type "fitwatch" in the URL bar and Google will automagically redirect me to the site I actually wanted.

If not, I look forward to increased adoption of appropriate browser extensions.

Also, Nominet suck more than Verizon. At least the latter is unashamedly about profit and obeisance; Blighty's has the cheek to pretend that acts in your best interests. And notice that the "incorrect registration information" excuse has been used to censor on police request, the standard selective enforcement through bureaucratic detail technique of any country not ruled by law.

Re:so, Google... (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348622)

If not, I look forward to increased adoption of appropriate browser extensions.

Nah, it's time to replace the internet by a darknet altogether.

I guess there's no point in wikileaks (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348500)

I guess there's no point in wikileaks keeping a .uk mirror site then

Bleh, so what, give it to 'em (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348626)

Let 'em shut the goddamn thing down for all I care. We had beer before there was an "internet", so who the fuck cares?

I can't wait until someone manages to pull down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348646)

I can't wait until someone manages to pull down any government website via trickery on to unsuspecting byrocratic lemmings.

so what about this scenario... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34348728)

I wonder how this would play out in a case I had last year. I got a spam email which I followed up - something I rarely do, but this time it was warranted due to the content on offer. In tracking down some more evidence I uncovered the perps home address, which I reported. Also, they'd hacked a LEGIT business site, and added their own folders where the activity was to operate from. Under such a scenario, if reported with the proposed laws in place, would the legit business suddenly lose their website? Or just get a friendly hello from their ISP and the Police, while the real perp got a 4am uniformed welcoming committee at his door?

Serious? (1)

pahles (701275) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348762)

But this is only when the criminals are organized AND serious? What if some disorganized criminal does something on a whim?

In other news (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348850)

white masked, black cape wearing man seen in back alleys of london pubs ...

Slowly but steadily, rights go down the drain. (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348872)

Pretty soon, we are all going to be considered guilty until proven innocent...as predicted by most works of sci-fi....

Just the UK? (2, Interesting)

skywatcher2501 (1608209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34348986)

Is it just the UK that is fracked up w.r.t. surveillance issues and excessive police rights, or am I just not noticing it in my own country (Italy)? And what about other countries (excluding usual suspects such as China)?

I once confronted a friend of mine from the UK with her countries' big brother issues, and she didn't show any real concerns about these issues and said that everything was fine. Perhaps she isn't noticing, because she does live in the UK?

Singing... (2, Informative)

soporific16 (1166495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34349060)

The po-lice state is coming
Do dah do dah
The po-lice state is coming
Oh do dah day.

Oh do dah day
It's on its merry way
The po-lice state is coming
Oh do dah day.

That's today, what about tomorrow? (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 3 years ago | (#34349092)

Like most people, I do not support criminals, but today it's blocking "criminal" websites, tomorrow it's opponents of the government.

We have various openDNS for IP numbers, but we don't seem to have an open Domain NAME system.

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