Changes to .UK WHOIS policy

23rd July 2015

In response to the increasing desire for privacy online, following a consultation, Nominet is planning to introduce a new framework for privacy services within .UK. At the same time, we will be clarifying the criteria for individuals who opt out of publishing details in the WHOIS.

Privacy service framework

We will introduce a framework that allows registrars to sell privacy services for .UK domains. This means that registrars will be able to provide Nominet with the correct registrant details without that information being published. This framework will be made available free of charge to our registrars on an optional basis before the end of this calendar year, with the standard 30 day notice period. Registrars opting to use the functionality will need to:

  • act as an address for service for the registrant;
  • respond to or pass on abuse complaints from third parties to the registrant; and
  • Provide contact details of their privacy service, which will be validated by Nominet and published in the WHOIS.

Nominet will make registrant contact information available to third parties such as law enforcement and intellectual property investigators on request using the existing disclosure policy. This policy will be amended to include an additional step that the registrar will be notified if data is to be released.

Detailed information on the implementation will be published in due course, with tailored information for registrars to be made available on the Nominet Registrar Resources website over the coming months.

Changes to the WHOIS opt-out

Individuals who are not using their domain name for trading purposes will be able to opt out of publishing their contact address on the WHOIS. We plan to amend the criteria to further clarify that domain names which opt out cannot:

  • transact with customers (merchant websites); or
  • primarily advertise or promote goods, services, or facilities.

This change will make it clearer that bloggers who make small amounts through pay per click advertising or affiliate links can opt out if they wish.

It will come into effect on 1 September 2015.

Nominet consulted on both changes from 12 March to 3 June 2015. Visit our policy pages for more details.