Domain suspensions in ‘.uk’ TLD double as PIPCU requests surge

New figures released by Nominet reveal that the number of ‘.uk’ domain name suspensions doubled over the 12 months to October 31 2017, with enforcement takedowns topping 16,000. The UK Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has been a major contributor to this increase, accounting for more than 13,500 requests for action.

Nominet has suspended domain names following official notification from law enforcement authorities. On being alerted to criminal activity and after administrative checks, it works with registrars to suspend domain names, which can then no longer be used as part of a website or for email addresses. In total, between November 1 2016 and October 31 2017, 16,632 ‘.uk’ domain names were taken offline (equivalent to 0.14% of the over 12 million domain names registered in the ccTLD) due to criminal activity. This contrasts sharply with the 8,049 domain names suspended in the year to October 2016.

PIPCU took the lead with respect to the number of takedown requests, lodging 13,616. This was a 78% year-on-year increase on the previous 12 months, when it made 7,617 requests.

Nominet’s report also reveals that the number of requests that did not result in a suspension (eg, because the domain name had already been suspended by the registrar or transferred to the rights holder as a result of a court order after a complaint had been made with Nominet) was 32 – down from 77.

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