Bill probably meant to regulate .uk but could ensnare .tel.
A bill introduced in the United Kingdom Parliament would have potentially adverse effects on domain name registries operating out of the United Kingdom.
The Digital Economy Bill includes clauses that would allow the government to essentially nationalize a domain name registry that met certain qualifications of “failing”. Although the bill was probably meant to target .uk registry Nominet, it was written broadly enough to ensnare any other registry operating out of Britain, including .Tel registry Telnic.
A fact sheet from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the department responsible for the Digital Economy Bill, explains its rationale for adding oversight to the domain name registry Nominet:
The domain name system is a crucial element in the Internet economy. It is the addressing system for the Internet. For years, the domain name industry in the UK has been self-regulated and this has largely worked well. However, there have been reported abuses of the domain name system in the UK, largely regarding the .uk country code Top Level Domain, such as cybersquatting (registering and occupying a domain name that might reasonably belong to somebody else in the hope of making a profit when selling that address), drop-catching (waiting for ownership of a domain name to expire and quickly re-registering it, sometimes before the current owner realises it), pressure sales of domain names, domain names used for phishing and distributing malware, and instances where foreign owned (and hosted) web sites with a .uk domain name dupe people into believing they are British.
Consumers and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises are particularly vulnerable. Also, following disruptions at Board level at Nominet (the .uk registry), the Government has publicly questioned how Nominet’s present constitution and structure could protect the interests of all of its stakeholders in different possible
Although it’s clear the intent is to exert control over Nominet, the wording would also apply to Telnic.
Clause 2, section 18-20 defines how the government could insert a new board and effectively take control of a “failed” registry under the bill’s definition.