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Monday, November 29, 2010

British Police Seek Powers To Close .uk Web Domains

The BBC is reporting that The Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has tabled a plan asking for the right to shut down .uk domains if law enforcement agencies deem them to be engaged in criminal activities. The troubling part of the plan is that the officials seem to be seeking the power to shut down sites prior to any convictions.  "If you are going to do this, then fine, but it needs judicial oversight," said barrister and IT lawyer David Harris.

"In a world of online retailing, the ability for a police officer to seize any business, whether that is blocking a domain or seizing the servers - pre-conviction or certainly pre-warrant - would be a dramatic change in the relationship between the police and the internet community," said Nick Lockett, a lawyer at DLL specialising in computer law.

My worry is that such a law be used to silence political movements or opposing views in an effort to control the flow of information. Opening this door could have very serious and lasting consequences.