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Domain name suspensions more than double in a year, says UK registry

More than 8,000 web addresses were suspended by Nominet during the year up to the end of October 2016, more than double the number suspended in the previous 12 months, the internet registry for '.uk' domain names has said.

In total, 8,049 .uk domain names were suspended between 1 November 2015 and 31 October 2016, compared with 3,889 suspensions issued in the preceding year.

According to Nominet's latest criminality report, more than 99% requests for domain name suspensions were granted on request last year, and only 13 suspensions were reversed. The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) made 7,617 requests for .uk web addresses to be suspended during the period, it said.

"We want to make .uk a difficult space for criminals to operate in and the number of suspensions shows how the wider law enforcement community and the domain name industry are able to use an established process to take action, together," said Russell Haworth,, Nominet chief executive.

As well as working with domain name registrars to suspend some .uk web addresses upon notification by law enforcement agencies and other authorities, Nominet operates a dispute resolution service to handle disputes over, for example, whether domain names registered with it infringe on trade mark rights.

Under the scheme, Nominet can order domain name registrants to transfer ownership of their domain name to rights holders where the rights holders can show that they have rights in the name or in a similar mark and that the registered owner's registration or use of the domain name was abusive because it took unfair advantage of those rights. 

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