Policy Response to Consultation on Powers in Relation to UK-Related Domain Name Registries

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology written statement – made at on 22 February 2024.

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Photo of Saqib Bhatti Saqib Bhatti Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

In July 2023, the Government launched a consultation in relation to internet domain name registries and domain name abuse. This consultation asked for views on the government’s proposals for regulations defining prescribed practices and requirements, which are to be introduced following sections 19-21 of the Digital Economy Act 2010 (DEA 2010) coming into force. Specifically, the consultation asked for views from the relevant parties on the draft list of misuses and unfair uses of domain names in scope, and proposed principles which will underpin the prescribed dispute resolution procedure.

It is important we undertake this work to ensure that the UK will continue to meet international best practice on governance of country code top-level domains in line with our key global trading partners and our future global trading commitments.

As outlined in a previous statement of 20 July 2023, the DEA 2010 sets out the DSIT Secretary of State’s powers of intervention in the event when any UK-related domain name registry fails to address serious, relevant abuses of their domain names, posing significant risk to the UK electronic communications networks and its users.

We received 39 responses to the consultation, which closed in August 2023. In November 2023, the government published a summary of the responses received and has since been analysing the responses, consulting with technical and industry experts to develop our policy response.

We have today published the government policy response to the consultation. A copy of both this document and the summary of responses will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and published on GOV.UK

We will now set out in secondary legislation the list of misuses and unfair uses of domain names that registries in scope must take action to mitigate and deal with, alongside the registry’s arrangements for dealing with complaints in connection with the domain names in scope. This will provide additional certainty for UK users that appropriate procedures will continue to be in place to help address abuse of UK-related domain names.