August 1, 2019

Five-year Right of Registration comes to an end for .UK

By Kirsty Holmes, Client Research Manager

.UK Five-year Right of Registration Period Ended
The five-year Right of Registration period launched back in June 2014 by Nominet, the registry operator for the .UK ccTLD, has come to an end.  Domain holders of third-level .UK domains (.CO.UK, .ORG.UK, .ME.UK, .NET.UK, .PLC.UK and .LTD.UK) had until 25 June to secure their equivalent shorter second-level .UK domains before they were released to the public.  Nominet estimates that there were roughly 1.8 million domains available for rights holders at the close of the registration period.

 All unregistered second-level domains from this Right of Registration phase were made available to the public via a specific release process that took place between 1 and 5 July 2019. Since 8 July 2019 all the remaining domains have been available on a first-come, first-served basis.

New .UK Proxy Services framework
Furthermore, following a 30-day comment period for stakeholders of the .UK namespace in September last year, Nominet confirmed in December that it would proceed with a newly designed Proxy Services framework to ensure that registrars wanting to provide such proxy services meet certain criteria in terms of data access, resilience and compliance.  The main requirements are that:

  • Accredited Channel Partners only may participate.
  • Participating registrars are required to submit either a suitable Proxy Service Incident Plan (PSIP), or ensure that a suitable third-party data escrow scheme is in place.
  • A Proxy Service Provider must supply details of the underlying registrant within two working days in the case of DRS claims.
  • Proxy Service Providers have to respond to LEA data requests within one working day.
  • There will be an annual compliance audit for participating registrars to ensure accuracy of underlying data.

Despite differing opinions on privacy, Nominet said that after a number of years listening to stakeholder feedback on privacy, it understands that there are “legitimate reasons why a registrant would want to take advantage of a privacy or proxy service”.


.UK Registry Suspended Domains
Meanwhile, the .UK registry has published its report on the domains it has suspended due to criminal activity following notification from the police and other law enforcement organisations for the period from 1 November 2017 to 31 October 2018.  The report suggests that the number of .UK domains suspended has doubled again year on year to 32,813 and represents around 0.27% of the 12 million domains registered under .UK.

Nominet’s CEO Russell Haworth says, “The upward trend we are seeing in suspended domains confirms that criminals are continuing to seek opportunities in the UK namespace – be it the issue of counterfeits online, or where criminals relentlessly target consumers with malicious content, via domains registered for phishing.”

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