Should registrants be allowed to include offensive words or phrases in their .UK domain names? That is the question Nominet is hoping to answer through a comment period it opened up to the public on Tuesday.
The review is to be independently chaired by Ken Macdonald, formerly Director of Public Prosecutions. He will work with Nominet’s policy team to gather input from key stakeholders in order to deliver a report to the Nominet board in December.
Nominet has maintained an open policy on domain registrations since 2006, not making “any value judgement as to the use of domain names or whether they might be offensive or in poor taste.”
It is unclear which names will be deemed offensive, but Nominet is currently looking for feedback from the public through an online form, open until November 4.
The UK government has a very conservative approach to Internet issues, recently introducing a strategy to make adult content harder for youth to access via web filtering and make illegal content difficult to find through search.
According to a report by The Domains, DomainBank.com was the first registrar to allow offensive words to be registered, back in 1999.
In March, Nominet faced a lack of support from the Internet community on its plans to launch second-level domains to let businesses register for a shorter .UK domain. Feedback from .co.uk owners felt that the process was confusing, the domains were overpriced, and security was lacking.