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.UK Registrar Offers To Let Police Close Domain

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the shut-it-down dept.

The Internet 141

judgecorp writes "The .uk registrar, Nominet, has proposed rules that would give the police powers to demand Internet domains be shut down without a court order, in certain circumstances. The powers were requested by the Serious and Organized Crime Agency and have aroused concern that legitimate sites might be closed on suspicion of wrongdoing. Nominet's suggested implementation is online for public consultation."

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141 comments

"Certain circumstances"? (5, Insightful)

Lunaritian (2018246) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308606)

"The policy would cover cases in which a site is involved in crimes covered under the Serious Crimes Act 2007, including fraud, prostitution, money laundering, blackmail and copyright infringement."

Always copyright infringement. Is it really a "serious crime"? And will this rule really have any effect?

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308626)

Always copyright infringement. Is it really a "serious crime"? And will this rule really have any effect?

And I was under the impression, mistaken perhaps, that the UK and most of Europe did not consider prostitution a serious crime?

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308768)

And I was under the impression, mistaken perhaps, that the UK and most of Europe did not consider prostitution a serious crime?

How could the UK government consider prostitution a serious crime, seeing how they prostituted themselves to Murdoch & Co, and how they're prostituting themselves to the media mob? Remember, they not only get paid to suck cock, but it's your bunghole they're selling as well.

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (2)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308920)

Surprise surprise, EU countries are sovereign. They have their own laws. In some countries you find streets full of prostitutes, in some it's kind of illegal but there's no punishment (as long as the prostitutes are working themselves and nobody is pimping them) and in some countries it's outright illegal to buy or sell sex. Most men get around these laws by buying gifts or taking women to restaurant, but it's basically the same thing.

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (1)

Nocturnal Deviant (974688) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308998)

"Most men get around these laws by buying gifts or taking women to restaurant, but it's basically the same thing."

sounds like what we do in america to get laid >.> i think its called a "date"

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (2)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309124)

It's actually kind of interesting thing compared to some countries in Asia. There the situation is kind of reversed - as a guy you can just walk to a bar and it doesn't take long for them to try to come hit on you. It really doesn't take long for a guy to find a nice girlfriend there, if he just wants to. The women know that too, and really appreciate when they find a nice guy. The downside is that they can get quite jealous easily. But well, they even give beer money from the little they make to their guy so he can go out with his friends. It's interesting thing anyway, so reversed to western countries.

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309488)

They give "beer money" because they essentially own family money - it's expected that husband brings his entire salary home to his wife, who may or may not, at her own discretion give husband some spending money.

It really isn't nearly as rosy as you paint it. Grass only appears to be greener on the other side.

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (2)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309582)

Not that I would know how it is after you marry, but where I've been women are working hard too. Maybe the whole deal isn't as rosy, but for a single guy it's much more awesome place to be. I guess in western world it mostly comes from the position most men have put women to ie., getting sex is, well, getting and women is the one giving, as well as thinking beautiful girls are hard to get. When men think like that, of course women start to take advantage of it.

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37308654)

Well, maybe UK people will loose faith in the canonical DNS and switch to others. Legal actions get confusing from there.

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (3, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308716)

"The policy would cover cases in which a site is involved in crimes covered under the Serious Crimes Act 2007, including fraud, prostitution, money laundering, blackmail and copyright infringement."

The interesting thing is that it should be trivial for the cops to get a court order if there is any evidence that the site is involved in any of that.

Always copyright infringement. Is it really a "serious crime"? And will this rule really have any effect?

As for copyright infringement, yes, it is so serious of a crime that international treaties have been created around it that give beneficial or detrimental trade preferences depending on how copyright is handled. Some of these treaties have been around longer then anyone you know was alive or anyone they could have known was alive.

  In the small scheme of things, you giving or receiving a music recording or copying a book and passing it to a couple friends is meaningless. In the grand scheme of things, too much of that means other countries will restrict trade (even in non-related areas) and disregard the copyright of your county and possibly more.

Whether we want to think it is a big deal or not, it has been for over 150 years. At least it has with almost every tin pot dictator or elected body of government the western world has seen in that time. Copyright promotes the influx of ideas and content from other areas while exporting wealth and values.

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308898)

where "other countries" is a euphemism for "the United States"...

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (3, Informative)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309068)

They can get a Court order - Unlike the US where it takes only a short time, (at least according to US TV Cop shows). here it takes days at least and often longer, a website could have scammed many people by then

Even with this there are safeguards, if they shut down a website, (remove DNS to it) then later cannot provide enough evidence to justify it, they can be sued ...

But having said that I am always dubious of police powers if they have the potential to be mis-used ...

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37310114)

Can be sued, yea no effort there. How about a 100k penalty (held by a third party) if they are unable to get a court order within x time and if that order is overthrown. Yes they can shut down a site if it's realy important but they wont start doing it at the drop of a hat.

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (4, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309110)

"The policy would cover cases in which a site is involved in crimes covered under the Serious Crimes Act 2007, including fraud, prostitution, money laundering, blackmail and copyright infringement."

The interesting thing is that it should be trivial for the cops to get a court order if there is any evidence that the site is involved in any of that.

So why do they need powers to take down websites where they have no evidence of any wrongdoing?

Maybe for the same reason they need powers to stop and search people without even the faintest suspicion of any wrongdoing. That is they are corrupt and just looking to increase their power.

Re:"Certain (trivial) circumstances"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37310832)

Think of it as a cost cutting measure. //

Honestly your Worship, you can't expect Scotland Yard to allocate the resources necessary to investigate every allegation of wrongdoing on the internet AND do so in a timely fashion with credible testimony or actual evidence, while meeting the requirements of the World Bank's austerity program. I mean REALLY... Margaret Thatcher would rollover if she thought there was a chance that the globalization paradigm that she and Ronald RayGun began might be jeopardized by such trivialities. And what of the rest of society? Do you really think we can police them as well as the World Wide Web at the same time we focus on the New World Disorder?

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (1)

avatar139 (918375) | more than 2 years ago | (#37310952)

As for copyright infringement, yes, it is so serious of a crime that international treaties have been created around it that give beneficial or detrimental trade preferences depending on how copyright is handled.

That's kind of dodging the question though, as the legality of copyright infringement is related to the establishment of those political treaties but is not contingent upon them.

Some of these treaties have been around longer then anyone you know was alive or anyone they could have known was alive.

That's an interesting point, but how old a law is usually only comes into play when looking at the history of how the courts have ruled it to apply in different situations when discussing matters of law, not treaties.

When looking at how diplomacy is actually practiced, treaties are generally more for political/public/perceptual leverage in dealings between different countries than they are inviolable laws.

In the small scheme of things, you giving or receiving a music recording or copying a book and passing it to a couple friends is meaningless. In the grand scheme of things, too much of that means other countries will restrict trade (even in non-related areas) and disregard the copyright of your county and possibly more.

Um...No...Because often other countries have things that your country doesn't (such as Oil from the Middle East) or if they own a great deal of your debt (as is the case with China). Setting aside the copyright issue, the western world has stepped over the bodies of countless thousands murdered by dictators for decades (incidentally, that's not even counting the genocide done by those dictators that we help put into power) because they have something that we need.

The thing to remember when learning about history/politics/international studies is, to paraphrase Kissinger, that countries don't have laws when dealing with each other, instead, they have interests.

Whether we want to think it is a big deal or not, it has been for over 150 years. At least it has with almost every tin pot dictator or elected body of government the western world has seen in that time. Copyright promotes the influx of ideas and content from other areas while exporting wealth and values.

While I have no idea what the existence of despotism in the world has to do with copyright policy, I would say that if the Arab Spring has taught us anything it's that the free (as in Freedom ;) flow of information allows the overthrow of dictatorships, not restrictions (such as copyright).

What the mafiAA (and most other businesses) fail to grasp is that the majority of people in other countries simply cannot afford to pay $10-15 for a movie ticket when the average income is $3,000 a year, so of course piracy is going to be prevalent in a lot of countries!

pornography is literally 'pictures of prostitutes' (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308858)

so in that case, i wonder what they go after, the copyright infringement of the picture? or the guys running the prostitution ring?

Re:pornography is literally 'pictures of prostitut (1)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308940)

If I take a video with my girlfriend where we're having sex while I play EVE Online and post it on slashdot, I don't think that counts as prostitution. There's other kinds of porn than professionally produced, you know.

Re:pornography is literally 'pictures of prostitut (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309006)

The real news here is a guy on slashdot with a girlfriend? No way??? Oh please do post it :)... if that's not an imaginary girlfriend like most of us that is :)... we'll call it anything you want :p

Re:pornography is literally 'pictures of prostitut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37309514)

He plays EVE. He posts on /. You don't want to see his girlfriend.

then maybe it should have a different name (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309012)

????

Re:pornography is literally 'pictures of prostitut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37309454)

I see you too play EVE Online: A Bad Game

Re:pornography is literally 'pictures of prostitut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37309348)

Actually, its literally the "writings of prostitutes", graphy being the suffix for writing.

Re:pornography is literally 'pictures of prostitut (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309398)

GEEK ALERT!

Re:pornography is literally 'pictures of prostitut (2)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 2 years ago | (#37311136)

GREEK ALERT!

i stand corrected (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37310696)

as long as there is Anonymous Coward, slashdot still has hope.

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308954)

"Is involved"? Who says? Properly speaking, until there has been a trial, then the site is only alleged to be involved - so the they could not close it down. I have no problems with closing sites after a fair trial has found guilt of a crime. Unfortunately, the implication of the rest of the article is that "is involved" actually means "is alleged by police to be involved"

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309040)

Duh. That's the ONLY reason this law would be used at all. Do you think anyone cares about you getting swindled out of your money?

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (5, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309086)

"The policy would cover cases in which a site is involved in crimes covered under the Serious Crimes Act 2007, including fraud, prostitution, money laundering, blackmail and copyright infringement."

Always copyright infringement. Is it really a "serious crime"? And will this rule really have any effect?

The thing is it's not 'sites involved in', It's 'sites accused of being involved in'. This rule is wide open for abuse, they can shutdown anything with it.

Besides it's a totally stupid rule as the current DNS setup lets anyone anywhere register anything anywhere else. Not to mention you don't even need a domain name to host a website.

This is stupid political powermongering types giving excessive power to corrupt police. Again.

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37311038)

Encouraging people to take arms and force the government to revoke abusive laws is illegal, therefore I will not do this here.

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309940)

The potential loss of potential profit is a monumentally horrible occurrence. Just thinking about it happening to me causes me to become paralyzed with fear.

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37310374)

like the trope says...

Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking [tvtropes.org]

Re:"Certain circumstances"? (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 2 years ago | (#37311188)

Copyright infringement is the worse crime anyone can commit. Just wait someday we will see a death penalty proposed; I wish I was joking.

No big deal (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308614)

Every domain has its own set of political issues, including .com/.net/.org, which the US ICE can take down if you even link to copyright-infringing material. You just have to know the risks and choose the domain that's least likely to run you into legal trouble depending on the content your site is hosting.

Re:No big deal (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308750)

What happens to domains which link to domains which link to infringing content? Would it work to have your homepage on a .com and the backend elsewhere or is the law allowed to see through these kinds of indirection and basically shut down anything they don't like?

Re:No big deal (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308778)

They attack whichever site the front end is on - including any sites that redirect straight to an infringing domain. So if you're running 70stvtorrents.com with the backend on 70stvtorrents.es or something like that, whether the interface to the site itself is on the .com or it just redirects to the .es, the .com will get taken down.

Re:No big deal (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309048)

I'm not sure you can claim a degree of separation if the site is designed to drive traffic to the offending site or another site designed to drive traffic to an offending site. Perhaps if it was masked as a news site or something but that's the basis of the torent and other search problems sites like packet news and iso hunt ran into.

Re:No big deal (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309130)

Every domain has its own set of political issues, including .com/.net/.org, which the US ICE can take down if you even link to copyright-infringing material. You just have to know the risks and choose the domain that's least likely to run you into legal trouble depending on the content your site is hosting.

Ok, so where is a safe domain to put my homepage under?

The only safe domain I know of is .bit because it's controlled by a peer to peer network of computers not corruptable humans.

Re:No big deal (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309314)

Yeah only darknets are absolutely safe.

Fudge (2)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308616)

The proposed policy looks like the typical fudge - 'we don't want to start acting as judge and jury but if the evidence is strong then we are going to start acting as judge and jury' seems to sum it up.

Repressive (3, Insightful)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308620)

There's a name for this sort of thing: extrajudicial punishment.

I hear in civilized parts of the world, it's highly frowned upon.

Re:Repressive (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37309014)

Indeed... what do these people have agains due process? I have it difficult to see that an action like this where there is no loss of life issues could warrant a court order free closure of domains, even for serious crime... just follow due process and get the bloody court order.

Re:Repressive (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309080)

It's kinda like the inquisition trials. No, I'm not trolling. One of the core features of an inquisition trial was that accuser and judge were united in the same person or party.

And that's basically what's going to be used here. Accuser and judge will be rolled into one party: The police. I just doubt that one other feature of the inquisition, the guidance of the holy spirit to lead the judge to a fair and considerate verdict, would be with them...

Re:Repressive (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309156)

There's a name for this sort of thing: extrajudicial punishment.

I hear in civilized parts of the world, it's highly frowned upon.

Where are these civilized parts of the world you talk about?

Extrajudicial Punishment and various forms of abuse of power are common in every western country I've ever seen, the non-western ones tend to be far worse.

Re:Repressive (2)

TheRealGrogan (1660825) | more than 2 years ago | (#37310194)

It's highly frowned upon by society, in western countries. The cops lobby for powers to be able to do it, and citizens frown when they are granted.

Examples: Where I live, they have this stupid "street racing" law that they have expanded to mean exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/h (regardless of circumstances), squealing tires, driving the wrong way to get out of traffic (e.g. motorcyclists getting charged for using part of a ramp or merging lane to sneak out of a traffic jam). The penalty is impounding the vehicle for one week, regardless of who owns it. (e.g. Dad, company vehicle, etc.) and criminal charges. These cases are mostly dismissed in court, yet the extrajudical punishment has already been administered. (Loss of possibly important vehicle for a week, and thousands of dollars in "fees" by the time you are done). Police were given "discretion", yet that translates into punish wherever possible.

So you get people being charged with this offense for ridiculous things like exceeding the speed limit by 50km/h in an 80 km/h zone (most of our highways have that ridiculous speed limit, even some divided spots) in order to safely pass a pack of idiots slowing down the whole highway. Putting this in perspective, that's only going 80 miles per hour (130 km/h). This is mostly how this law is applied. It's seldom used to catch "street racers" or "stunt drivers", it preys on ordinary people doing things that are not terribly unsafe, in the right circumstances. Judges lambaste the police for laying these charges, but they shamelessly proclaim that they are going to continue

Another example. Drinking and driving. The law here is 0.08 BAC, yet the police have been empowered to give road side suspensions and impound vehicles (You know it's just mean spirited when they do it regardless if there is someone else present to drive the vehicle or not) at 0.05. The law is 0.08, yet the police can punish you at 0.05 where it's not even an offense. The people who are "0.05 BAC" are not the problem, it's the drunks that need to be dealt with. Note: Any righteous twats who would admonish me for objecting to this, please fuck off in advance. I'm not advocating drunk driving, and it's not the point.

Arbitrarily shutting down sites to punish people is similar. It's going to be applied to punish people for copyright infringement while being sold for reasons of "thinking of the children" or "preventing terrorism" or "combating organized crime". It's also going to be used to silence people who interfere with agendas.

Police also do things to punish, like publicly announcing the names of "johns" (who haven't yet been or never will be convicted of anything) as well as accused pedophiles. (Innocent people have committed suicide because they couldn't live down the reputation after clearing their names)

Police can not be given broad powers of discretion, because they abuse them. They need to be kept on a very short, tight leash.

www.showsohbet.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37308624)

www.showsohbet.com olarak sitenizi beyendik.

Re:www.showsohbet.com (1)

opus_magnum (1688810) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309172)

Gesundheit!

OH MAN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37308638)

Yeah, that copyright infringement man!
Kills thousands of innocent people daily! It is terrible!

The problem (3, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308640)

The problem with all these sorts of powers (including the Justice Department shutting down sites it deems to have violated copyright) is that there's no judicial procedure.

Why is it that they don't understand the idea of having to prove wrongdoing by a website owner instead of merely asserting it?

In the new world, is enough to merely be accused of being a "pirate" to be shunted into a place where you have no rights? And no compulsory process for redress, and confronting your accusers?

Re:The problem (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309032)

Why is it that they don't understand the idea of having to prove wrongdoing by a website owner instead of merely asserting it?

Oh, they understand it. They just don't like it and don't want it to apply to them. They're outsourcing that responsibility to the police instead by paying politicians to criminalize it instead.

Look at it from their point of view: everyone and their dog is stealing their stuff with impunity and not paying what they should be paying, and how can anyone expect mere rights-holders to stop that by watching and suing everyone on the planet with an Internet connection?

Solution for you? Stop buying and consuming anything that comes out of them whether that consumption is provided by legal sales or piracy. Do you really need to watch everything that comes out of Disney, or listen to everything The Eagles release? Why? Boycott them completely, and get your friends to too. Crowdsourcing's all the rage, right? So do it!

Re:The problem (2)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309104)

i think one of the biggest problems here is that the oversight the people generally trust the most (judicial) is removed when the cops act first.

It's sort of like having the police police themselves. Was it a valid shooting of the unarmed suspect, why yes it was because the officer thought he was armed when the guy ran away.

See where this runs? the judicial oversight is supposed to be that one catch that weeds out the off course he;s armed, he;s the bad guy justification.

Well (1, Troll)

Mensa Babe (675349) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308650)

Just another reason to not use the .uk domain at all - the other one being that it should be .gb by ISO standard. Fortunately everyone can use the .com domain which quite frankly is the only professionally looking domain for any company that ever plans to do any business worldwide.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37308686)

what, like amazon.co.uk?

Re:Well (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37311056)

or bbc.co.uk...

Re:Well (3, Insightful)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308770)

Yeah cos the .com domain has no takedown issues like the proposed system for the .uk domain...

nope, [slashdot.org] none at all. [slashdot.org]

Sounds very reasonable. (5, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308656)

But just before you go ahead, Nominet, could you be a love and identify, oh let's say three examples of where a .uk domain has - ever - caused "serious and immediate consumer harm" before due process resulted in a court order shutting it down?

That's all I'd want to see. Three clear examples of harm, actual harm, not theoretical, and that ended in a court order. An actual court order, that was upheld, of course.

Nothing sub judice about that, court proceedings are public, so of course it won't be a problem to provide those three examples. Will it?

Re:Sounds very reasonable. (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308918)

Generally, any site where that's happened probably not going to be well publicised.

But it's not exactly a huge stretch to believe there have been at least 3 instances where .uk sites have been shut down for hosting child porn for example. To narrow the harm down to 'consumer harm', it's not a huge stretch to believe that there have been 3 instances of phishing sites being shut down either.

I can't give specific examples of any of these things because neither the victims, or the police would want these things to be made public and papers are more likely to report "paedophile ring closed down" than "www.ilikelittlechildren.co.uk" closed down for example.

Re:Sounds very reasonable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37309760)

That's funny, I could have sworn the pictures you mention had already been taken, possibly years ago. The harm was inflicted long ago, and not by a website.

Do images of WWII bombings of civilian centers hurt people today?

Re:Sounds very reasonable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37308996)

It sounds more like a desperate dumb attempt to in the future possibly try to close it fast enough that no one can see it was hacked, and just claim later it was an unscheduled "maintenance".

More Nonsense (1)

omb (759389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37311010)

1. Who will register with Nominet after this? it is not like there is a shortage, this is just another MBA empty suite, and hat!

2. If they do this to you sue them at the same time as the Police and CPS.

3. There will be NO examples, as getting an expartite injunction with evidence would take an afternoon, but in the UK you must post a bond for damages

Re:Sounds very reasonable. (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 2 years ago | (#37311420)

Basically all the sites that sell fake concert tickets. I don't want to dignify any of them with links but there are a lot more than three of them. Like maybe 300 of them.

backhanded (0)

Lilo-x (93462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308672)

Nominet actually sent a questionaiire out to the membership asking for their feedback, I had to question it as it was extremely leading,

Question 1)

Do you think Nominet should have the power to shut down domains?
Yes
No

The problem was, even if you answered No, all subsequent questions were asked as though you had answered Yes.

Corrupt UK plod (2)

jcaren (862362) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308696)

The problem is that when someone has a website that exposes corruption (say in the Met Police), the site is usually shutdown preety quickly or the owner intimidated into removing the hosting services.

This is not action against illegal acts, this is action by the police to protect each other from being foudn to have broken the law.

Re:Corrupt UK plod (2)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308706)

Do you know of any examples of this? It would be interesting to know more about.

Re:Corrupt UK plod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37308946)

he can't give any examples, obviously, because the Met have visited him and broken all his fingers. Well, actually they got the address wrong and broke all his neighbour's fingers, but that was enough to scare him off.

Is it really a concern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37308708)

So a website gets shut down temporarily. My word, the horrors!

Ok, so there is a potential for abuse, but there's potential for abuse in almost any activity the police do. Take a routine traffic stop. Can they abuse it? Absolutely. Can it be an appropriate way to prevent further harm? Absolutely.

I'm saying this because I'm concerned that the Slashdot consensus will react with outrage to the mere thought of this idea, but not even give any consideration that with limitations, management and oversight it can be a proper tool.

I do not know for sure if the implementation here is of that nature, but instead of freaking out over the idea of this being done, I'd rather give thought to doing it properly.

it's true. (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308828)

why the alarm? back in 2002, slashdotters were ranting and raving about the new airport security measures, as though somehow it would eventually lead to the physical inspection of babies. here we are in 2011, and the only 'inspection' of babies has been a simple, reasonable pat-down.

Re:it's true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37309138)

Here's a true story....the local airport was "tested" by the local media, and they did manage to get some baby carriages through without proper scrutiny.

It shouldn't take a genius to realize how easy it would be to exploit that gap, if it were worthwhile to just blow up a plane.

Yay for security theater. The way some people on Slashdot go though, you'd think if somebody came in strapped with a bunch of wires and stuff to their body, that they would be clearly untouchable.

Full disclosure: My mother IS currently wearing a bunch of wires and stuff because she has a heart condition that needs an external monitor and defibrillator just in case she goes into sudden cardiac arrest. And she'll never be safe to go through one of those machines because they want to put an internal one in her, and that will not react well at all to the scanners.

Huzzah.

Oh well, she hates flying anyway. This is just a good excuse for her to defer any requests to visit.

So good, bad, good, it's all muddled up into a nasty tangle.

Re:Is it really a concern? (1)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308942)

I do not know for sure if the implementation here is of that nature, but instead of freaking out over the idea of this being done, I'd rather give thought to doing it properly.

You are right to address the knee-jerk reaction of outrage, but personally, I would rather this was not done at all. At all.

Censorship, whether by a government, their easily-bought/persuaded cronies, the copyright lobby or a company with their own reasons, is just a basically bad idea. I oppose any attempt to open the door to it, or create legal or technical infrastructure which supports it on principle (another beast than a knee-jerk, I believe). I am willing to be shown that there are special cases and exceptions, but until someone has shown me a good reason police needs unsupervised power to shut down the no. 1 media of the masses at will, I am sticking to my principle of free speech.

Re:Is it really a concern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37310654)

There's different levels of supervision though.

Who wants this to be completely unsupervised? I certainly don't.

There is still supervision when say, a site says "hey, why are we down, what did you do, change it back!" after it's been shut down, even if it's not going to the judge first and getting their permission.

And I do think your reaction is the one I have a problem with, dealing in absolutes. It's very mixed-up with the knee-jerk one really.

Re:Is it really a concern? (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309684)

You're right. There are likely no perfect solutions. There will probably always be corruption and abuse. However, I still think that we should try to minimize these abuses of power. One of the ways we can do this is with something like judicial oversight. That is the oversight which you speak of.

I don't think that anything they do is okay merely because they could use it correctly.

Re:Is it really a concern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37310684)

I don't get why you think I believe there would be no oversight.

It just may be AFTER the action instead of before it.

Take a traffic stop. Is a judge involved? No. But after the stop, you can get a judge if there is something abusive. Will the harm be undone? Not as such, because we can't reverse time, but it can be compensated for if appropriate.

Sometimes I suppose you might even be justified using deadly force in self-defense against a cop beforehand, but other times, I just don't see the need for a pre-emptive supervision because there is some slim possibility of abuse.

If that's such a problem, maybe you'd be better off dealing with the Cops directly.

Re:Is it really a concern? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37310770)

I don't get why you think I believe there would be no oversight.

I don't think that. You even mentioned oversight and such in your comment.

It just may be AFTER the action instead of before it.

But then the perceived damage, which may or may not have been significant, is already done. For matters like taking down websites (or attempting to censor them), I believe that there's no reason for the correct procedures to not be done beforehand. Unlike with traffic stops, this is actually viable. The website likely isn't going anywhere.

The what agency? (2)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308734)

Wait, I'm having problems parsing that. Is that the Agency dealing with Serious and Organized Crime, or the Crime Agency that is Serious and Organized? Because frankly, the latter sounds just one door down from the Ministry of Funny Walks.

Re:The what agency? (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308772)

I think it's the former, but what isn't clear is whether this is a true boolean AND whereby crime has to be both serious AND organised to be on their turf, or whether it is a more casual And whereby the deal with serious crime And organised crime.

Re:The what agency? (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309496)

Well, thank heavens they aren't the Frivolous and Disorganized Crime Agency.

Re:The what agency? (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#37310506)

I could have used the FDCA when wankers would routinely wander up the street, breaking car wing mirrors and wipers as they went.

Hand over the geek card, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37311254)

Ministry of _Silly_ Walks. Hand over the geek card, please.

Namecoin (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37308736)

Fully decentralised DNS to the rescue!

http://dot-bit.org/HowToBrowseBitDomains

shutting down the internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37308774)

The government is interested in shutting down the Internet. The alternative media gives out too much information, that the governments of the world consider to be dangerous.

The government propped up monopolies in various industries (movies/music) must be protected by government obviously.

Loyal to the government media must be protected.

Any information that government finds to be embarrassing must be shut down.

Ability of the common folks to organize via various Internet provided means must be shut down.

Ability of people to communicate freely and securely must be shut down.

Any dissent must be shut down. [slashdot.org] The only thing that's left when everything is shut down is to attempt and remain anonymous, so this venue must also be shut down.

Anna Politkovskaya (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308914)

"We are hurtling back into a Soviet abyss, into an information vacuum that spells death from our own ignorance. All we have left is the internet, where information is still freely available. For the rest, if you want to go on working as a journalist, it's total servility. . . "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Anna_Politkovskaya [wikipedia.org]

great development (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308794)

This will be an important development for our partners in countries like Syria, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Algeria, Egypt, and Iran, who are also having problems with wide spread hooliganism and the criminal element. Just last week, a troublemaker named Maikel Nabil Sanad went on a hunger strike in Egypt. That story is already being repeated on irresponsible websites who don't seem to care about protecting what really matters - the stability and security of the state.

Hello, people of Great Britain. (1)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308824)

You are all living in The Village.

You are all numbers. You are less than nothing to those whom you allow to rule over you and oppress you.

You have a choice to make.

You can be free men and women. You can leave The Village anytime you wish.

All it takes is for you to say, "No. I won't!" to the police when they tell you that you cannot take pictures in public. When they 'kettle' you and tell you to obey their orders.

When they shoot innocent people in the back and tell you to move along.

All it takes is for you to say, "No. I won't!" to the government when they coddle the people that helped bring about the global financial crisis, and tell you to accept it.
When the government colludes with dictators because it is in the best interests of the government, and they tell you to mind your tongue, lest you get labeled a 'troublemaker'.

You can choose to remain numbers and remain in The Village, or you can choose to be free men and women.

The choice is yours.

Choose wisely.

5% may choose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37309146)

5% may be conscious enough to do this. Remaining 95% is too busy with their daily lives as well as consuming bread and enjoying their circuses. As long as the government doesn't burst their safe bubble (definition: personal Matrix where the reality consists of the things and people they actually care about), they will just go on like this.
I really hope I'm wrong on this one and that people see what's happening before it's too late.

CAPTCHA: reawaken. This is what this country needs, full reawakening.

Face palm (2)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309276)

Every time someone writes on of these condescending "Hello people of ...", I can't help but roll my eyes.

The internet is truly global, and you need to keep in mind all the time. Authorities all over the world are diligently chipping away at digital rights, and it's everyone’s problem.

Re:Face palm (1)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309368)

And this was a specifically 'British' comment to the people of Great Britain about the British government "chipping away".

Besides, the British "subjects" have been the targets of Royal and Governmental condescension for 1000+ years. If they were addressed as 'citizens', why, they couldn't begin to understand what was being said to them!

Now THAT'S condescension for you, Slappy!

Re:Face palm (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309894)

You being a cunt doesn't make your initial post any less condescending.

Re:Face palm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37310488)

Being a bunch of cunts doesn't make the British any less condescending either.

Proofreading takes a Labor Day vacation? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308830)

Read that title again more carefully:

.UK Registrar Offers To Let Police Close Domain

For careless lack of a bit of plurality, it winds up declaring that a domain registrar has proposed letting the police disable the entire .uk domain, or TLD. I can just imagine the reactions of the staunchest anti-authoritarians upon reading that little gem! Their heart rate and blood pressure must have spiked nicely for a moment there.

Abuse of power? Couldn't happen! Oh, wait it has.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37308862)

Just like the elderly gent, thrown bodily from the Labour party conference in 2005 by security guards as a "terrorist". After being ejected his conference pass was seized and he was detained under the Terrorism Act when he tried to re-enter the conference!
All this because an 85 year old man said "nonsense" to an (according to his own party members) incompetent politician.
We certainly cannot trust any UK government, since any law that could be abused to suit an interested 3rd party almost certainly will be.

Lazy Judges (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37308866)

Instead of making the police into judge, jury and executioner, what the UK (and the world) needs is simply more competent judges. Fine the criminals to fund educating, training, investigating and managing lots more judges.

Tax the corporations that generate the majority of civil and much of criminal cases heard by judges (that they consider a "cost of doing business" paid by the people). The vast increase in court load, especially cases like the one in this story, is due to the business being transacted both legally and illegally by corporations. They should pay at least their fair share.

Ok, so I RTFA (2)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309082)

Right now this is at the very early discussion stage - "how would we do this, should we be the last resort rather than the first resort, what sort of judicial oversight should there be etc etc?"

Now is the time for action - the time to write to Nominet and say "I don't want you doing anything without a court order". Because you can guarantee that the police will be writing to Nominet to say "Of course we won't abuse the system! Just let us shut down anything we want. Even better, save us the trouble of having to contact a human being and give us a web portal we can log into to suspend .uk domain names. Judicial oversight? Pah, unnecessary."

Better internet (1)

rim_namor (2454342) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309098)

The citizens will just have to set up a better Internet. It will have black jack and hookers. It's going to be absolutely different from the current Internet with its black jack and hookers. Ah gee, if citizens do set up their own Internet I'll have to reregister in every black jack and hooker site again. I can barely remember where I am now and I'll have to remember 2sets of passwords for every black jack and hooker site? ffff

They will just route around the damage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37309388)

It just means people involved in such crimes just won't set up with Nominet.

Nothing of value was lost.

Another Power Grab (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37309480)

"Nominet does not have any clear obligation in its registrant Terms and Conditions that a domain name should not be used in connection with any activity that would constitute an offence under UK criminal law,"

Clearly it should have. So that's farewell to the domains owned by Murdoch tabloids and the entire police.uk second level domain. Or are we to assume from the "consumer" protection angle that the connection is required to be more direct, limited to online criminality? Like BT and TalkTalk (Opal) who have both escaped prosecution for intercepting customer data in clear and criminal violation of RIP act? Oh... but the police refused to prosecute and the EU commenced legal action against the labour government as a result. Nominet claim this procedure will only be availiable to trusted law enforcement partners, common usage of the word "trusted" here would make this entire procedure pointless!

My response to the draft recommendations (2)

mrogers (85392) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309550)

Having stuck my oar in during a previous consultation, I was emailed a copy of the draft recommendations and asked for feedback. Here's the response I sent to Nominet.

Dear ______,

Thank you for circulating this draft. I'm disappointed to find that Nominet is still considering adopting a policy that effectively grants the police new powers. In a democratic society, the only acceptable way for police powers to be extended is through legislation. If there is a genuine need for the police to be able to take down websites without judicial supervision, Parliament should grant the police that power. If Parliament does not do so, no other organisation should arrogate the right to do so - particularly when, as the draft notes, the Government is currently considering such legislation.

It may be inconvenient for the police, and perhaps even "harmful to consumers", that judicial oversight sometimes imposes delays on police work. Nevertheless, that oversight exists for good reasons, and attempts by the police to circumvent it are misguided and dangerous.

Court orders are available at very short notice for other kinds of urgent police work; if the courts have not seen fit to make orders for taking down websites available to the police as quickly as the police would like then it is worth asking why not. Nominet should not allow itself to be manipulated by the police into short-circuiting the judicial process.

As a piece of quasi-legislation, the draft is seriously lacking. It does not define key terms such as "consumer harm" or "UK law enforcement agencies with which Nominet has a trusted relationship". No process is defined for deciding which cases "involve disputes between private parties, freedom of expression or political speech", or for challenging such decisions.

The vague language in the final paragraph about an "appeal mechanism" and an "independent panel" makes no concrete commitments to meaningful oversight. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine how it could do so, since Nominet does not have any legal powers to punish wrong decisions or make reparations. The courts do - they are the proper venue for such decisions.

Best regards,
______

Prior restraint (1)

Lexx Greatrex (1160847) | more than 2 years ago | (#37309608)

The right to justice was won through centuries of suffering; but now history's sting appears dull. Liberties that great people died to protect we complacently let erode into ashes. Such prior restraint defiles the meaning of "Innocent until proven guilty," which we have all cherished as an underpinning of freedom. The due process of law is not a privilege, it is an entitlement of every free human being. Do not lightly surrender this right, especially at the bequest of the ignorant on behalf of the incompetent.

defining "serious"? (1)

a_fuzzyduck (979684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37311308)

I take it making money from information gained by giving police officers backhanders would count as serious enough yeah? Or institutional corruption by being in the back pocket of media organisations?
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