Domain names suspended due to criminal activity for the United Kingdom’s ccTLD will soon display or be redirected to law enforcement landing pages, the .uk registry Nominet announced Tuesday.
Working initially in collaboration with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the City of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), Nominet will redirect web users to a secure site providing consumer advice and education for potential victims of sales of counterfeit medicines and other branded goods.
This is the first time a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registry will facilitate the provision of trusted information and guidance from law enforcement agencies following the suspension of domain names for criminal activity. Landing pages are sometimes utilised by law enforcement globally but only in circumstances where the agency in question, for example the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, has seized control of a domain name. This is the first registry-led initiative to provide informative landing pages.
The change follows a policy consultation with industry experts, law enforcement agencies and consumer advice bodies.
“We see this as a great opportunity to help alert people to dangerous scams, and point them in the direction of organisations, such as MHRA, that can help,” said Eleanor Bradley, MD of Registry Solutions and Public Benefit at Nominet.
“We are delighted with the engagement we received from across the UK internet community on this initiative. Nominet has a responsibility to ensure .UK is a safe and trusted namespace. Introducing landing pages with valuable advice and guidance is the latest example of Nominet working alongside law enforcement to identify and address common challenges. Developing .UK policy is a process of continuous improvement, we look forward to engaging further with stakeholders as we implement our next steps.”
The City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) was equally delighted.
“We work closely with Nominet to disrupt criminals who try to operate in the .UK domain,” said Detective Chief Inspector Nicholas Court, of PIPCU. “The introduction of law enforcement landing pages, including advice and guidance for the public, will help us in protecting consumers from the dangers of counterfeit goods and protect their personal information when shopping online.”
“1 in 10 people in the UK have bought fake medical products online in the last year,” said a spokesperson for the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
“Medicines supplied from unregistered websites are unlikely to be genuine licensed medicines, not only is this not compliant with UK law, the health of patients are put at risk. Redirecting visitors to our #fakemeds website provides them with the tools they need to avoid fake medical products in the future. Your health is important – don’t risk it!”