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"Secure" Shorter .uk Internet Domain Proposed 87

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the wealth-creation dept.
another random user writes with an excerpt from the BBC about a new proposal to issue top level .uk domains, for a price: "The scheme would give businesses the chance to register www.name.uk as their web address. It would run alongside the current www.name.co.uk service. Applicants would have to prove they had a UK presence and pay a higher fee. A three-month consultation is under way. Some companies may oppose the move on the grounds they already face having to buy other new net addresses. Eleanor Bradley, Nominet's director of operations, stressed that the idea was 'not a money marking exercise' and that any additional earnings derived would be passed onto an independent trust to invest in improving Internet access and security."
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"Secure" Shorter .uk Internet Domain Proposed

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    More money racket, yay

  • Wow.

    What happened to /.?

  • Australia (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bandraginus (901166) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @12:22AM (#41521675) Homepage
    This would work similarly to how the .com.au works in Australia. I know there's numerous work-arounds, but for the most part you need an ABN (Australian Business Number) registered for the domain name you're after.
    I'm not a fan, but it has reduced much of the cyber squatting and other issues (sorry, can't site sources).
    • This would work similarly to how the .com.au works in Australia. I know there's numerous work-arounds, but for the most part you need an ABN (Australian Business Number) registered for the domain name you're after.

      I'm not a fan, but it has reduced much of the cyber squatting and other issues (sorry, can't site sources).

      This is what the .ltd.uk TLD is supposed to do, and AFAIK you have to prove you're a registered limited company. However, I don't think I've ever seen anyone use this TLD.

      Rather than inventing TLDs at random, what is needed is some kind of joined up thinking on how best to structure domain names so that the TLD actually reflects something useful and doesn't just result in each company having to register their domain name under every TLD in existence.

      For example, categorising businesses based on TLD would b

      • by hippo (107522)

        I did www.corky.ltd.uk since www.corky.co.uk was taken. Let it lapse as LinkedIn is better for what I want. I can always get it back whenever I want since I own "Corky and Co ltd" in the UK. .ltd.uk was a very good idea, guaranteed to be free from squatters or name clashes as it is basically a copy of the companies house register which every company goes through before it can start trading. Bit since there's no money to be made from squatting and trading there is no money to promote it and .co.uk gets the a

  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @12:24AM (#41521687) Homepage

    secondary level domains:

    How about an Ltd secondary level domain? It would cover limited companies (corporations). Since this namespace is already controlled (you can't have the same name as another corp, AFAIK), you would automatically be allocated "your" domain name. That, or it would be reserved for your purchase.

    So, you'd have britishgas.ltd.uk

    In the US, it could be
    westerntrucking.inc.us
    Or
    westertrucking.inc

    • by Anonymous Coward

      .ltd.uk (and .plc.uk) do, in fact, exist.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      secondary level domains:

      How about an Ltd secondary level domain? It would cover limited companies (corporations). Since this namespace is already controlled (you can't have the same name as another corp, AFAIK), you would automatically be allocated "your" domain name.

      Unique in namespace A -> unique in namespace B depends on collision-free translation -- since DNS labels are restricted to 63 octets, are case-insensitive, and have other practical or conventional considerations, it's not clear that a usable translation will guarantee uniqueness.

    • by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot@nexus[ ]org ['uk.' in gap]> on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @02:44AM (#41522241) Homepage

      secondary level domains:

      How about an Ltd secondary level domain? It would cover limited companies (corporations). Since this namespace is already controlled (you can't have the same name as another corp, AFAIK), you would automatically be allocated "your" domain name. That, or it would be reserved for your purchase.

      So, you'd have britishgas.ltd.uk

      .ltd.uk already exists, but I've never seen anyone actually use it.

      However, you're wrong on this preventing namespace collisions - companies are allowed to have the same name so long as they are in completely different lines of business (so there is no confusion).

      Also, the trading names of limited companies are often not the same as the limited company name itself, so this probably doesn't help too much. e.g. there are probably quite a few shops that trade as "Village Grocers" or similar, but they can't all have that as their limited company name. Similarly, a single limited company may own several distinct business units trading under different names, which may either be an intentional attempt to segregate the business in the eyes of the customer (this is often a good thing if those shops specialise in different things - the customer knows which shop to go to for the thing they want without needing to care whether they are run by the same company or not), or may be through aquisition (its common for merged businesses to continue trading under separate names to avoid customer confusion, even though they have merged to become a single limited company).

      • by Compaqt (1758360)

        Well, but the shops trading as "Village Grocer" aren't limited companies, right? They would have to fend for themselves in the general UK namespace, or perhaps a lower administrative level namespace (like state domains in the US).

        Secondly, I didn't know that corporations could have exactly the same name. There's Ford Motors and Ford Models, but, again, they are differentiated. So it would be:
        fordmotors.ltd.uk and
        fordmodels.ltd.uk
        Not
        ford.ltd.uk

        Also, as for trade names, they would not fall under the ltd name

        • Well, but the shops trading as "Village Grocer" aren't limited companies, right?

          I would expect them to be. Frankly, anyone running a vaguely sizable business as a sole trader is an idiot - as soon as you start employing people you'd be crazy not to register as a limited company.

          Also, as for trade names, they would not fall under the ltd namespace because they are not corporation names.

          That was my point, because it makes the .ltd.uk namespace far less useful by virtue of the fact that your domain name is not necessarilly obvious to your customers. Your customers know you by your trading name, not your limited company name - if they want to find you on the web, which do you think they will lo

          • by Compaqt (1758360)

            Right, I was going to bring up Apple.

            Originally, you had "Apple Corps Ltd", a British company. And "Apple Computer, Inc", a US company.

            So you would have:
            applecorps.ltd.uk and
            applecomputer.ltd.uk
            Not
            apple.ltd.uk
            I.e., the full name, which is always (?) unique in a given jurisdiction.

            That's sort of complicated now that CA Apple finally paid off UK Apple, and changed their name to Apple Inc. The terms of that agreement might have a bearing on domain allocation in this proposed system.

            Another consideration is tha

            • Right, I was going to bring up Apple.

              Originally, you had "Apple Corps Ltd", a British company. And "Apple Computer, Inc", a US company.

              My comment was more specifically related to the GP's proposed .tm.uk domain for trademarks, whereby Apple Records and Apple Computers could both legitimately claim apple.tm.uk since they both hold that trademark.

      • However, you're wrong on this preventing namespace collisions - companies are allowed to have the same name so long as they are in completely different lines of business (so there is no confusion).

        Actually you are wrong, you are confusing this with trademark law.

        From Companies house: [companieshouse.gov.uk]

        You may not be able to incorporate your chosen company name if it is the 'same as' another name appearing on the registrar's index of company names. There is an exception to this if an existing company (or LLP or other body on the index) is part of the same group as your company and consents to the use of your proposed name

        You are however correct that not all companies use their registered names as their trading name

    • by xaxa (988988)

      Here you are: https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=opera&rls=en-GB&q=site:.ltd.uk+OR+site:.plc.uk [google.co.uk]

      It's much less popular than .co.uk.

    • by zandeez (1917156)
      ltd.uk already exists, as does plc.uk. Nowhere seems to sell them, though.
      • by Compaqt (1758360)

        Right, obscure enough that people are independently "inventing" them. Whoever thought them up did good thing, though.

    • The problem is while full company names IIRC do have to be unique they often contain spaces, brackets and other mess and are often very different from the companies normal trading name. If you stipped the spaces, brackets etc you would end up with something reasonablly unique but I don't think it would be something most people would want to have as their domain name.

  • FTFY (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @12:28AM (#41521707)

    "Any additional earnings derived would be passed onto an independent trust to invest in improving Internet access and security."

    Ah, so what you're saying is, in five years or so when there's a big fat bank account out there earmarked for improving internet access and security, long after the original promise that it would be used for that purpose has moved out of the public eye, some bureaucrat will redirect the funds to some other public works project. Let's be honest here: Everybody talks about improving internet access and security, but how much of the money set aside for actually doing it, er, actually does it? Look at the sad state of affairs as it sits today, then realize that every broken security model, application, and piss-poor internet feed was created with the promise of being far more than it turned out to be.

    • by pod (1103)

      Obviously no such thing will happen. Money will go into general revenues, never to be seen again. Numerous empty promises and hand waving about improving Internet access will be made.

      It's annoying enough already with cybersquatters buying up every domain in sight, there's just no need to add yet another one to the mix. If it was really not about a money grab, they would just give every .co.uk registrant the equivalent .uk domain at no cost, and then phase out .co.uk. Yeah, I don't see that one happening.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Let's be honest here: Everybody talks about improving internet access and security, but how much of the money set aside for actually doing it, er, actually does it?

      A lot of money is spent on internet logging and wiretapping. That makes internet more secure. Well... it makes it more secure for the government anyway, in the same way that locking up dissidents makes the internet more secure for a government.
      Banning individual users with some three-strikes law could be considered "improving internet access" if you're the type of government that thinks such a law should exist.

    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      Oh, I doubt they'll let any money accumulate. Any "independent trust" will be run by husbands and wives of the Nominet cabal, and they'll find creative ways to cross "consult" with each other. That's just how Things Are Done.
    • by 91degrees (207121)

      some bureaucrat will redirect the funds to some other public works project.

      Why? Does this sort of thing happen a lot with nominet? I haven't heard a lot of stories about the organisation being inherently corrupt.

  • by epp_b (944299) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @12:28AM (#41521713)
    Sure, having the simpler .uk TLD makes sense, but charging extra for it is pretty clearly a cash grab. The explanation for the higher fee is transparent BS.
    • by mcrbids (148650)

      Cash grab? How does this not describe any and all new TLDs?

      Really, there's no reason why there couldn't be a consortium of TLDs in a peer/peer style where all TLDs are shared. In this scenario, I could create a TLD at random, pay the peering fees, and be in business.

      There's no technical reason why there's a limit on TLDs other than convention, and the guys who've (almost accidentally) inherited the benefits of that convention. *cough* ICANN *cough*

  • If my company is in the EU, but not the UK, I can't get a ".uk" domain name? Doesn't that violate EU rules?
    • If my company is in the EU, but not the UK, I can't get a ".uk" domain name? Doesn't that violate EU rules?

      Can you get a UK postal address? If not, doesn't that violate EU rules?
      (I don't think there is any EU rule that says a French business (for example) has a right to try to convince their British customers that they are based in the UK even when they aren't).

      Sure, you can pay a UK business to use their postal address and forward mail to you, and similarly you could pay a UK business to let you use their domain name.
      You can probably pay the Royal Mail to hold a PO Box for you, but a PO Box address is extremel

      • by Plunky (929104)

        You can probably pay the Royal Mail to hold a PO Box for you, but a PO Box address is extremely obviously a PO Box rather than a real address.

        Having used a Royal Mail PO box in the past, I can say that its not that easy to set up such a thing unless you tell lies. You do need to already have a valid postal address in the post town that the PO box will be (a pain for me.. living on a boat, I wanted a postal address in a town that I did not have a valid street address in). Also, you can have the street addres

        • Having used a Royal Mail PO box in the past, I can say that its not that easy to set up such a thing unless you tell lies. You do need to already have a valid postal address in the post town that the PO box will be

          Doesn't the RM offer regionless PO Boxes? I'm pretty sure I've seen addresses published which are just "Company Name, PO BOX 123" without a town.

          Also, you can have the street addressed mail automatically diverted to your PO box, so that it is not obviously a PO box, which is also useful since banks at least won't allow your registered address to be a PO box.

          Well, in the context of this discussion, if you had a real street address in the UK then you wouldn't need to worry about a PO Box anyway.

          • by Plunky (929104)

            Doesn't the RM offer regionless PO Boxes? I'm pretty sure I've seen addresses published which are just "Company Name, PO BOX 123" without a town.

            not as far as I know: you might be thinking of freepost, which can use "freepost name" as the entire address.

    • Re:EU Regulations (Score:5, Informative)

      by mpe (36238) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @02:54AM (#41522277)
      If my company is in the EU, but not the UK, I can't get a ".uk" domain name?

      Amazon S.a.r.L manages to have amazon.co.uk., amazon.de., amazon.fr., etc. But not amazon.lu. Even though they are actually based in Luxembourg.
      • by dkf (304284)

        If my company is in the EU, but not the UK, I can't get a ".uk" domain name?

        Amazon S.a.r.L manages to have amazon.co.uk., amazon.de., amazon.fr., etc. But not amazon.lu. Even though they are actually based in Luxembourg.

        Amazon have multiple UK business addresses (and probably also in the other countries you list too), but they just don't officially use them for handling the sales-to-consumers side of their trading. If you need to return something though, you won't be sending it to the Luxembourg operation...

  • by petsounds (593538) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @02:02AM (#41522075)

    Theoretically, all country codes, including 'co.uk', should be policed and only given out to residents. Hell, I remember in the mid-90's when I felt ethically conflicted because I was registering a .net domain and I wasn't running a network. ICANN hasn't properly administered the TLDs since day one.

    But sure, why not? The USA has a '.us' domain (whose owner info, by the way, cannot be anonymized), so I don't see why the UK shouldn't have one.

    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      Yeah it's kinda sad that TLDs haven't been properly managed. In my mind it would have been ideal if .com was kept only for companies (and global/international companies at that - if you just have a local company you should be in .com.cctld or .co.cctld etc.). And if .net, .org etc. were similarly managed. Seems like the only one that have been properly managed are .edu, .mil, .gov.

      Having said that it depends on the country. Australia for instance has administered the domains under its .au ccTLD quite well.

      • by unixisc (2429386)

        Since they have .uk for UK, would they also have .eng for England, .sct for Scotland, .wls for Wales & .ni for Northern Ireland? Would be another domain name rush

        On a different note, on the .TLD front, why not require that every generic TLD we currently have - .com, .org, .net, .gov, .edu, .mil be preceded by the country TLD to which it belongs? Thereby, one would have things like nasa.us.gov, mit.us.edu, oxford.eng.edu, dod.us.mil and so on. For the ones that already exist, alias them to such a ne

        • On a different note, on the .TLD front, why not require that every generic TLD we currently have - .com, .org, .net, .gov, .edu, .mil be preceded by the country TLD to which it belongs? Thereby, one would have things like nasa.us.gov, mit.us.edu, oxford.eng.edu, dod.us.mil and so on. For the ones that already exist, alias them to such a new system, so that those handful of TLDs are generic. After that, there should be less of a proliferation of TLDs. And they all get to be managed by different countries. Only exceptions would be international organizations, like un.gov, nato.mil and so on.

          With the large amount of international companies, you don't really gain much. The company I work for, Konica Minolta, has the following:

          • - Global headquarters [konicaminolta.com], company based in Japan and website hosted in Japan, but NOT specifically for Japan.
          • - Japanese domestic company [konicaminolta.jp], company based in Japan, website hosted in Japan, and intended for Japanese market. Reports to Global headquarters.
          • - European headquarters [konicaminolta.eu], company based in Germany, website hosted in Germany, but intended for entire European market, not
        • by Rozzin (9910)

          why not require that every generic TLD we currently have - .com, .org, .net, .gov, .edu, .mil be preceded by the country TLD to which it belongs? Thereby, one would have things like nasa.us.gov, mit.us.edu, oxford.eng.edu, dod.us.mil and so on. For the ones that already exist, alias them to such a new system, so that those handful of TLDs are generic. After that, there should be less of a proliferation of TLDs. And they all get to be managed by different countries. Only exceptions would be international org

        • Nitpick: the UN shouldn't have un.gov, since it's not a government. It should have (and in fact does have) un.int [un.int].

    • by dkf (304284)

      Theoretically, all country codes, including 'co.uk', should be policed and only given out to residents. Hell, I remember in the mid-90's when I felt ethically conflicted because I was registering a .net domain and I wasn't running a network. ICANN hasn't properly administered the TLDs since day one.

      ICANN doesn't police the CC TLDs and never has other than to state who is the registrar, where they virtually always follow direction from the country concerned (ICANN getting deeply involved with that side of things would guarantee that the UN jumps in). The policing of CC TLD has always been up to the registrar and their policies; some are very strict about it, others are much more lax.

      But sure, why not? The USA has a '.us' domain (whose owner info, by the way, cannot be anonymized), so I don't see why the UK shouldn't have one.

      The issue is that the UK has always used another level below .uk in names (a hold-over from the old pre-IP days) and that

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @03:54AM (#41522463)
    One thing to watch for is that browsers will treat anything.uk as a tld. If you register myco.uk you will not be able to share cookies between myco.uk, accounts.myco.uk, and presentations.myco.uk in the same way that you could with the ...myco.co.uk addresses.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This problem already came up the likes of "foobar.co.uk" trying to set cookies for ".co.uk". Mozilla started the http://publicsuffix.org/ project in response, which Firefox now use to do TLD detection.

  • This will be chaotic. End-user confusion or fraud will occur when WHATEVER.co.uk and WHATEVER.uk are owned by different people/organisations. Say, when the .uk domain is acquired by someone who accuses another of domain-squatting on the co.uk equivalent.

    Also, the notes say that the extra costs will be used for: "[D]aily monitoring for malicious software and viruses" - monitoring of what, exactly? All pages of all web sites on all subdomains?

  • The security part of this idea is dead before it was even thought of, how do you verify a UK address, oh send a letter in the post. Urrmm, never heard of mail forwarding services ? So lets make it more difficult for genuine people when letters go missing in the mail but make it blindingly easy for someone to abuse the system.

    So now the general public will have a false sense of security with sites labeled as secure just because they have been scanned for 'known' malware. And what happens when their scannin

  • I'm guessing it's not possible to require companies to have UK presence, given laws in EU. Even if it was allowed I must say it seems like a pretty feeble goal to set as well, there are always work around if you got money.

  • I hope they keep the .co.uk nomenclature, because it is like many other things idiosyncratic to that strange little island and its wonderfully unique people. When you see one of those addresses, it reminds you of the very English trait of liking order: tea at 11 sharp, queue up for fish 'n chips, and the domain name goes after the .co because it's commercial. God save the Queen!

  • for the cook islands is .co.ck

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