My answers to the Savanta Consultation questions
 
 

 

Q4: What does the term 'trust' mean to you, in relation to Nominet's relationship with its members?

Members should be able to 'trust' that Nominet will be run in the interests of the many not the few, and should be able to 'trust' that systems will operate reliably. 'Trust' also means believing in the direction Nominet Board and Executive take, with regard to the company's fundamental remit to operate the UK Registry, with regard to reasonable and not excessive executive pay, with regard to openness and transparency, with regard to responsiveness, and with regard to genuine two-way member engagement.

At present trust is profoundly fractured, with 740+ members voting to remove the Chair, CEO, overall 5 directors in March. That is the result of poor culture and high-handedness, and a failure to really engage and listen. It may be hard to rebuild that trust without the removal of all the directors involved in the previous conduct, and replacement with new directors who the members trust. Part of the collapse of trust is because of a perception that Nominet listens more to a handful of its largest customers than the thousands of smaller ones. Part of the trust is over the way the company diversified from what it really exists for, in the process spending 7,500,000 on ventures that have not made a penny.

The loss of trust is historic, going back years, and is not just an issue of the past 6 months. It has been compounded by high-handed management style, such as the rude and theatrical deletion of the members forum, to stifle debate, right in the middle of the last AGM. It was a case of 'I'm doing it because I can.' Equally high-handed was the posting of a one-sided video on the EGM voting page, which wrecked what should have been the impartiality of the voting process at the point of voting. So in conclusion, members need to be able to trust the integrity and openness of the Nominet leadership and, demonstrably, hundreds of them do not.

 

Q6: What, if anything, would improve your trust in Nominet's decision making? Please provide as much detail as you can about specific steps that the organisation can take.

Nominet's decision making would be improved if the members who actually use the services were involved much more in key decision making. As Company members, the Nominet Board is accountable to them, and it shouldn't have to come to EGMs and removal of directors before that accountability is enforced. The Board and Executive need to have permanent and ongoing engagement with members: through an open forum, moderated by the members; through regular web-based meetings; and through a truly independent representative body of elected members on the UKRAC.

This UKRAC has been heralded as Nominet 'engaging'. However, engagement has to be free, open and two-way. There is a real danger that this UKRAC body will be used for spin and PR purposes, to give the impression that the Board listens, while in reality using the Council to contain, filter, and control member input. In the lead up to this new Council, this 'control' element has been epitomised by the Board imposing one of their own directors 'top-down' on the Council as its Chair. That is totally unacceptable. A democratically-elected body must be able to elect its own Chair. Equally concerning, the Board has said it will not 'permit' discussion except within tight parameters it sets, with the Director/Chair having the power to shut down meetings if they deviate from those discussion areas. In order to improve Nominet's decision making, it needs to be far more interactive and open with members generally, and with this new Council.

It would also be very helpful if Board minutes were far more detailed, including record of dissent where there are diverse views. Members should have a mechanism where they can contact individual Board members directly, and there should be a responsiveness policy set in place that requires response within an agreed time limit. A consultation and review of openness and transparency should lead to an agreed set of transparency principles. There are frequent views expressed by members that the Board and Executive are too opaque in their actions and decision making.

As a major concern has been the deviation of Nominet from its founding 'not for profit' principles and running of the UK Registry, towards acquisitions and ventures (such as automated cars!), trust in the Company's decision making could be helped if firm parameters were set out on keeping the company 'not for profit' and then a system created for monitoring compliance.

Lastly, what would improve the trust of hundreds of members in Nominet's decision making would be the removal of leaders they do not trust, and their replacement with leaders that are wanted and trusted. This opportunity was provided with the proposal that Sir Michael Lyons (author of the Lyons Report on Nominet, and a former Chair of the BBC Trust) be brought in to act as a 12-month Interim Chair. That would not have solved everything overnight, but it would have started to rebuild trust as he was genuinely wanted and trusted by so many people. However, the Board, unwilling to cede control, spurned this offer and opportunity. At the same time they appointed an Interim CEO (Eleanor Bradley who, though competent, had just been removed from the Board by the members). This did not help the 'trust' issue, and left members thinking that when they try to take action, the Board just always ends up circumventing them. If they could appoint Eleanor as an Interim CEO, they could equally have appointed Sir Michael as Interim Chair, and the fact that they spurned this obvious opportunity to rebuild trust just led to a further decline in trust. There is a long, long way to go.

 

Q8: What does the term 'transparency' mean to you, in relation to Nominet's relationship with its members?

'Transparency' means sharing decision making processes with members, so they are able to make informed contributions to the process. It means avoiding opaque 'mists' in the running of the Company, and greater detail in Board minutes. It involves Board/Executive members ALL putting themselves 'out there' to discuss and answer questions from members (some NEDs are hardly ever heard from again, once they have been elected and take their pay). In Webinars, it means allowing members 'right of response' after questions, to follow up if they feel their questions have been vaguely evaded. Transparency means allowing dissent to take place, for example in an open forum (the deletion of the previous one was an act of censorship).

'Transparency' also involves being seen to be impartial, for example with regard to who should be on the Board. When a VP of the largest customer (GoDaddy) has a place on the Board - a representative of a rival Registry - even if there are promises of non-participation where there's conflict of interest, in a climate where trust is fractured, and just as a general principle, the appearance of vested interest inside the Company should be avoided.

'Transparency' includes principles of responsiveness. In a recent email, asking questions that were concerning members, I did not even get an acknowledgement of my email, even after a polite reminder email 2 weeks later, and it was only when I piled on pressure on a web page and spreading on Twitter that I finally got a response after 38 days. That is not transparency: that is avoidance. The impression many members have is that the Nominet Board/Executive claim they engage and discuss, but they actually only engage on subjects they want to discuss, while (as typified by the deletion of the members' forum) they prefer to erase awkward challenge.

'Transparency' also extends to accounting. There are rational commercial reasons why it is not always possible to disclose the exact detail of contracts (though why Nominet has some of these contracts is very much open to challenge), but members (to whom the Board is accountable) should be provided with ball park info when significant money is lost. In the context of their Governance responsibilities, Company Members have a duty and responsibility to make informed decisions on the performance of the Company and its Board, and that is not possible if financial and other actions are 'masked' behind generalised accounting or insufficient detail to know what is going on. Once again, I had to press and press, in the face of stalling and extended non-responsiveness, before I managed to get the Board to release sufficient information to reveal to members that at least 7,500,000 had gone out from the company (and not a penny of profit returned) over the Oxbotica/Automated Cars and Spectrum Whitespace and CyGlass ventures. That's not sufficient transparency. It seemed the Board just 'didn't want the members to interfere' as they tried to expand their ventures beyond what the Company is actually for: namely, operating the UK Registry. We still do not know, as members, how much money CyGlass (a bit of a shell of a US company) is losing year on year, or what the Board proposes to do about it. Yes, there are commercial sensitivities involved (people's jobs) but some framework should be in place so members (or their representatives) are kept more openly abreast of what the Company is doing.

In the end, culture has a lot to contribute to transparency. In the past few years, many members have felt that executive culture was fear-driven... a kind of climate of fear and defensiveness... in which climate, the Company instinct was to keep members and discourse at arms length, rather than making the Company's aspirations a truly shared journey. At times, this culture was disdainful - the deleted forum, the one-sided video on a voting platform, the 550 sheets of paper sent to Simon Blackler instead of a simple email, just to be awkward.

 

Q12: What could Nominet do to be more transparent? Please provide as much detail as you can about specific steps that the organisation can take.

1. An open members' forum, moderated by members appointed by the UKRAC, with a commitment and obligation for people in Nominet to engage with the discussions raised, and respond to questions asked.

2. A Responsiveness Policy, making it mandatory to reply to emails and enquiries within a set time limit (and not have to wait 38 days even to get an acknowledgment, as I experienced this June and have mentioned in another answer).

3. Board Meeting minutes in outline are not enough: they need to be detailed, and they need to indicate if actions or opinions are unanimous or, in the event of dissent, who dissented and why.

4. The new UKRAC must have its minutes, its reports, its articles, its news, published in the Members' Forum on the Nominet website without any editing, filtering or censorship. It should also be able to publish all these things - and forthcoming events/news - on its own separate and external website as well, and on its own social media accounts if it chooses too.

5. Web meetings with the Chair and CEO are very appropriate, but where these officials give answers to questions, there should be a 'right of reply' for the questioner, to clarify answers or to follow up in pursuit of more precise answers.

6. Fundamentally, the Nominet Board and Executive need to learn to be less defensive, afraid, and controlling... and more open, frank and transparent in their engagement with members. That route builds trust. The previous full Board, and especially the CEO, seemed nervous, anxious, and at times hostile and aggressive to members when policy and practice were challenged. I believe we need a change of culture, where openness is seen as the platform for flourishing, and not something to be afraid of. Having been in senior management myself, I know that management can be by fear, or through openness (which involves, but can also create, more trust). There needs to be less focus on corporate spin, and more focus on actual engagement, shared venture, alongsideness with members.

Think about it: it is an exciting adventure to have shared responsibility for services that benefit so many people in the UK: charities, communities, businesses, education, staff, families, people who love sport. The list goes on. We should all be championing an Open Internet, and being in a key position... a privileged position... how sad if we don't dare to be open ourselves. It's a mindset and culture thing.

 

Q13: What does the term 'public benefit' mean to you, in relation to Nominet's operations and services?

Nominet has one core reason for existing: to operate the UK registry in the best interests of all the people who rely on and benefit from the domain name system. THAT is the monopoly that's been gifted, THAT is the privilege and responsibility of the Company, and THAT is the core 'Public Benefit'. It is a privilege that is not about endless expansion to make profit. It is about being and providing a Public Service.

With regard to support for charities with excess revenues, there are divided opinions on this. I would simply say that personally I would like to see support for young people - especially those on the wrong side of the digital divide - and encouragement for young people interested in developing tech skills or interest in/ experience of internet governance. They are our future.

Nominet does not exist to be a charity. Nor should charity be used as a PR/Marketing/Image thing. There is a worry at times that Nominet might have been 'virtue signalling', and appropriating the good name of certain charities to gain kudos by association. But I am also clear that there are some really impressive people involved in Nominet's Public Benefit initiatives: I'd especially call out Chris Ashworth. I've been touched and moved by his genuine commitment and idealism. But this kind of 'public benefit' work should be peripheral in nature, compared to the central Public Benefit of Nominet doing what it exists for: maintaining and operating the UK Registry. THAT is what Nominet is for, and it badly needs to reform, refocus, and narrow its remit again to carry out that public duty.

 

Q18: In what ways, if any, would you like to see Nominet contribute towards the public benefit? Please provide as much detail as you can about specific steps that the organisation can take.

As mentioned in a previous question, I would primarily like Nominet to contribute to Public Benefit through the execution of its fundamental function: to operate the UK Registry in the interests of the UK public and all who use and rely upon the UK namespace. It should be returned to a narrow remit. If there is excess revenue from Nominet's core activity (the UK Registry) then I would like to see the Company exploring serious engagement with the Department of Education to see how more young people can be 'included' rather than 'excluded' when it comes to digital access and digital skills, especially with regard to the platform that domain names provide.

I have already raised with Rob and Ellie the possibility (but not the practicality!) of Nominet providing free domain names to every school student from KS2 upwards, with oversight given to teachers, as an alternative net platform to the often problematic social media platforms so many young people use. Nominet is not essentially set up to be a charity, but it may be best use of excess funds to support charities in the tech contexts.

I would also, specifically, like to draw attention to the excellent session at ICANN71 where we heard how Dutch young people were encouraged and supported to get involved in Internet Governance. This is a specialist field, but I believe it would be an area where Nominet could draw a new cadre of young students into an area (Internet Governance) which is directly linked to what Nominet does. We need a next generation of young people with a vision for an open and well-run internet. I do commend the ICANN71 session on this subject.

 

Q20: Please describe your understanding of Nominet's purpose as an organisation currently.

Currently, Nominet is all over the place. While Nominet exists with one core function (to operate the UK registry) at present it has found itself dealing with a hotchpotch of ventures that the previous CEO thought it would be good to pursue, with an acquisitions mentality, which has resulted in at least 7,500,000 being paid out, without a single penny or cent profit in return. Two of those projects have been abandoned by Nominet. Another, CyGlass, is still losing Nominet money and there must be a question mark over what the Company should do with it. The deeper question is why did Nominet purchase the shell of a US company for millions of pounds in the first place. The suspicion is that the Board has had aspirations to 'grow' into a larger and 'for profit' tech company, but that is not what Nominet was set up for, and the idea of a tiny player like CyGlass operating out of small office, competing with the huge cybersecurity players, was - I fear - a bad idea. The balance sheet will probably back that up.

Now, within Nominet, there are many excellent staff who do their jobs well, with good attitude and helpfulness. That has not really been in doubt. But the leadership of the company has been pretty disastrous. When 740+ of your most engaged members revolt, and effectively sack the Chair, the CEO and 3 other directors... that is a company on trouble. So it seems to boil down to a company that has not embraced its purpose as an organisation in the way it was set up to do. The impression of so many members is that the leadership has tried to disengage from Nominet's 'not for profit' identity, and develop itself as a 'for profit' organisation, branching out from its founding remit.

That remit was given to Nominet in the form of a UK monopoly with guaranteed revenues, and the understanding was that this would be a privileged 'stewardship' role, carrying out a public service in the national interest. I do not believe the Board and Executive, even now, fully embrace a return to that narrower remit and purpose. I believe they are all over the place, trying to retain control for themselves of the company's direction, not inclined to widely disinvest, and I believe they are at odds with what so many members want, which is: simply run the UK Registry well. Nominet 'currently' are still handling all sorts of contracts, ventures, and commitments BEYOND their UK Registry remit.

 

Q21: And what do you think should be the purpose of the organisation going forward?

A narrow remit: run the UK Registry as a 'not for profit' public service.

 

Q23: What role would you like to see Nominet play in helping to support the commercial success of your business?

Reliable systems, protection from hostile players, fair access to domain names. As I have explained, I am an Independent, registering domain names primarily for use and development. All I seek from Nominet, myself, is a reliable, fair, and secure service. I want them to run the telephone exchange, so to speak. I just want a system that works.

 

Q30: What role, should Members have in ensuring Nominet succeeds as an organisation? Please provide as much detail about how this might work as possible.

1. The Board has stipulated that the Chair of the member-elected UKRAC must be a Board director, as a go-between to report back to the other directors, with powers to curtail discussion if conversation extends to broader contexts of the Registry beyond the narrow parameters the Board 'permits'. This 'top-down' and imposed Chair even has powers to close meetings if discussion veers off course. This is totally unacceptable.

2. It is important that meetings of the Council are as open and transparent as possible. Therefore, the Council's minutes should not be edited or filtered, and should be published verbatim in the Members' Hub of the Nominet website. The same applies to any reports or articles the Council produces. These must not be censored and they must be accessible to members. Further to publication of the Council's documents on the Nominet website, they should also be published independently on a separate website, external to Nominet, as a safeguard against filtering or deletion. After the deletion of the members' forum, this is a fully justified safeguard.

3. At an early date, Nominet should implement their promise to relaunch a members' forum, and this forum should be moderated by Nominet members not staff, as nominated by the Council.

4. The Board and Executive may suggest topics for discussion, and items for the agenda, but the Council must prioritise what members themselves want discussed, and this will require vital commitment to listening, responsiveness, and communication - part of which can be facilitated by the forum.

5. It must be stipulated from the outset that those who are elected are there to feed 'voice' of members to the Nominet Board and Executive and, although Nominet leadership has attempted to 'contain' member opinion by limiting 'scope', it is within the rights of elected members to discuss wider issues at meetings, that impact upon the reputation and best interests of the UK registry. The Registry is essentially what Nominet exists for, and everything else that Nominet engages in is 'context' to this privilege and duty. It is not irrelevant to the Registry.

6.The UK Registry is impacted by the collapse of trust in the present (sometimes called 'Remnant') Board, who participated in what many consider poor decisions and wrong directions. The UKRAC will try to support the Board and Executive to re-direct, and will also monitor actions closely.

7. While openness and transparency must be a fundamental principle of the newly-formed Council, it is also a matter of concern with regard to the culture and, sometimes perceived as opaque, methodology of the Nominet Board and Executive. Therefore a review may be asked for (and tracked) of openness, detail of minutes, transparency in accounts, and responsiveness to correspondence. The Council will try to model openness, and hope that Nominet leaders attempt to do the same.

8. There are significant issues for members to give their opinions on: for example ongoing concerns about expiring and deleting domains; and ways in which ventures beyond the UK Registry impact on financials of the Registry; fairness in promotions and marketing; and whether contracts (case by case) are really necessary or beneficial to the UK Registry. There are many other issues, and we need to have open lines of communications with members, to really listen and represent.

9. The Council must monitor executive pay, because it is an issue that clearly destabilises trust in the whole running of the Registry. In the view of many members, executive pay needs not only to be frozen, but driven down - to an agreed multiple of whatever the lowest-paid employee of the Company is given.

10. The biased inclusion of a one-sided video on the EGM platform was shocking. So were the 550 sheets of paper instead of a simple email.

11.The Council is elected to be a 'voice' for members. This 'voice' must not be 'hemmed in', filtered or censored.

 

Q32: What role should non-Member Stakeholders (for example, those working in Government, organisations representing small businesses or consumers, employees or public benefit partners) have in ensuring Nominet succeeds as an organisation?

There is a case for creating platforms where stakeholders in those categories could contribute input and perspectives. In particular, ordinary internet users, who are not even mentioned in your list of examples. They are the largest group of stakeholders of all.

 

Q34: What does the term 'engagement' mean to you, in relation to Nominet's relationship with its members?

'Engagement' must be two-way. It is NOT just Nominet providing information.

True engagement means sharing in policy development, sharing in decision making, guaranteeing freedom of speech and critique, using a forum to hear the views of members and also (essentially) to respond and engage with them. 'Engagement' must involve members in effective participation in the Company's activities and policies and decisions. Otherwise, most members will think 'What is the point of participating in engagement... won't Nominet just do what they want to anyway?' That is a dominant attitude at present.

'Engagement' means dialogue, personal interaction, and a whole culture of openness. It's a journey and an adventure together. It involves being able sometimes to let go of control... of delegating decision making on some issues. It also means trying to 'hear' what members actually want in terms of this 'engagement'... not just doing engagement top down. Realistically, 'engagement' will never be entirely comfortable. Trust is involved, and that is fractured right now. But there must be some 'give' from the top, in terms of deciding how people want to engage.

For example, the concept of the UKRAC was announced and set in motion, without asking the membership what model of engagement they would like. It was announced from the top. I think that approach is wrong. It's harder to get people on board that way. 'Engagement' must not be 'paternalistic'. It involves 'givenness' of parties to each other in shared interests. Above all. 'Engagement' is not a marketing tactic, just so you project the impression that you as a company are engaging. A real test of this will be how much freedom the UKRAC is given to express itself, how willing the Board/Executive are to let the UKRAC publish their 'voice' on Nominet's website, and fundamentally accepting that the elected members of the UKRAC must be allowed to choose their own Chair - not have a Director imposed on them from above as Chair... now THAT'S paternalism (and essentially, control).

True engagement defies fear. It dares to open up. It has the courage to be better than just marketed appearance/veneer and tight control. As Anais Nin said: 'Life expands or contracts in proportion to one's courage.' At a time of crisis and fractured trust, we need more openness and genuine freedom in engagement, even when that gets raw.

 

Q36: You said that you 'were not at all satisfied' with the engagement you have with Nominet. Why is this?

Failure to reply to emails and questions. Evasion of questions. Deletion of member opinion when they shut down the forum. The appearance of engagement, but often, it seems, only on the organisation's own terms. Web meetings are sometimes rushed and need more time. Consultations don't involve the members in their construction and remit development. The bottom line is that if you look at meetings where members attend, you probably only get on average 10 to 20 (many of them the same people each time) who attend. And yet we have a membership of over 2500 people or companies. That suggests that 'engagement' is not reaching the vast majority of members. In this sense, members are not getting heard, until a huge crisis like the EGM blows up. The Board seems out of touch, by design or accident, from members. We have elected Directors at present who since election have not replied to people. Just basically taking the money but disappeared from actual engagement with members. Other directors seem distant as well.

Something that typified how out of touch the Board had become, was last September when I could see the storm that was coming. I wrote to the then Chair of Nominet and said... I think you have a growing problem and if you don't address it there may be real problems... His response was... 'I think you are mistaken. Those who complain are a minority, and the majority of members are very happy with Nominet'... Five months later, he was gone, the CEO was gone, and 3 other directors had been kicked as well.

Engagement is not a spin and marketing technique. It is part of a holistic environment and culture. How stupid was it, when Simon Blackler asked for members contacts to explain his EGM resolution, for Nominet to send him member details on 550 sheets of paper, in a deliberate provocation of awkwardness? That was crass, but it was also really stupid PR. Actions like that arise from culture. Same when the (now gone) CEO grandstanded at the AGM and theatrically, right in the flow of the meeting, announced 'The members forum has just been deleted'. No consultation. No manners. Just a show of power. Stupid management of people. I'd also call out the spurious grounds on which Simon Blackler's second resolution was blocked, and the way only one side on the election voting page was allowed a video, rendering the vote shockingly partial. All these things are mindset. All these things need to change.

During the recent Q&A for the UKRAC candidates, if you study the body language of staff members (not Leanne Kenny who is generally fair) it was very poor at times, when a member voiced a line they did not like. You ask why I am not at all satisfied with my engagement with Nominet. All these things. When I emailed fair questions to the Chair, the CEO, and another director on May 18th... I had to wait 38 days even to get an acknowledgment of my email (even though I sent a polite reminder on June 5th). What kind of engagement is that? I am still concerned that the residual culture from before is still there. There is so much to improve. And honestly, I want Nominet to succeed, to be good, but right now engagement is still failing - in real terms - to engage members.

 

Q37: Whilst some Members are routinely engaged with Nominet, others engage much less frequently or not at all. What, if anything, should Nominet do to encourage engagement amongst Members that are less actively involved with the organisation?

I've outlined steps in previous answers: fundamentally, members will give up engaging if they feel there's no point to it. People lead busy lives. So Nominet needs to hear from members how they want to engage. Nominet also needs to be more open (forum, right of reply at meetings etc) so people really get to have their say and think it's worth the effort. In the end, it's the way you treat people. There is a collapse of trust - a huge collapse - and I'm not sure large numbers of members will bother to engage until the present leadership has been changed. It may need to be as radical as that. If the Member's Hub became two-way and truly interactive and participatory, then people might bother to log on, find their password, and visit it. Mostly though, it's time and motivation. For engagement to work, and attract people, it's got to be real and not a PR / marketing / 'look good' strategy.

 

Q41 (Multiple choice): Which, if any, of the following would you like Nominet to do? (I opted to add an 'Other' response)

Return Nominet to 'not for profit' status, and return to a narrower remit - what it was originally set up for: operating the UK Registry. These principles should be set in stone, and members should have powers to monitor and challenge any deviations from this core function.

 

Q43: You said you would like Nominet to change the current composition of the Board. What changes would you like to see?

I should like to see the whole current Board removed, because many of them were complicit in the same bad decisions as the 5 directors who have already been removed, and the present 'remnant' Board had the opportunity to rebuild trust by appointing Sir Michael Lyons as Interim Chair for 12 months, but they spurned that opportunity. There is widespread mistrust of the current Board and, rather than continue with endless attrition and lack of trust, it would be better for the Company if they all went and were replaced by people the members actually trust.

 

Q45: Nominet has committed to launching a new online space - a forum - where Members can easily connect with each other and exchange views and ideas. Please describe how you would expect this forum to operate and how you would use it. This can include what rules you would expect it to operate within, suitable hosting platforms, moderation, how to make it an inclusive space and your expectations of the role of members and Nominet.

Fundamentally the forum should be moderated by members and not by Nominet staff, and I suggest that the UKRAC should be tasked, as elected representatives of the members, with finding and enabling identified members to carry out this role. There should be a set in stone obligation for the Nominet Board and Executive NEVER to delete it again. The Forum would also be useful for carrying out polls on a range of issues. A % of members could raise a poll, it would be advertised by email with a link, and that way you get snapshots of opinions on a range of issues. Inclusion of diversity, and keeping it a safe space, should be fundamental. Nobody should be allowed to use pseudonyms. To participate, they should identify.

In addition the Board and Executive (collectively) should agree to a responsiveness rule, to ensure engagement, undertaking to respond to questions raised, within reasonable limits determined by the moderators. We talk about 'member engagement'. Actually the real problem is often 'Board engagement' and 'staff engagement'... or the lack of it. The forum should not be more widely public. Location in the Members' Hub would be appropriate, or - if the UKRAC chooses - the forum could be passworded but located external to the Nominet website, but with the same obligation of the Nominet leadership to be responsive. If there is lack of serious response, many members may feel 'what's the point?'

[ Not in my Consultation Response, but The Guardian's standards and guidelines are useful starting points for forum moderation. ]

Q46: Do you have any further feedback on Nominet? This can be about any aspect of the organisation.

I remain profoundly dissatisfied with the present status quo with regard to expired and deleted domains and their release.

I am opposed to large companies 'occupying' Board positions with employees, because of a widely-held perception that they wield too much influence and possibly too much favour. In particular, as a competitor Registry, GoDaddy should not have an employee on the Nominet Board. It raises major perception issues and potential problems.

I believe rules need to be set in place to make elected NEDs far more accessible and responsiveness. This should include grounds for removal if they do not comply or if a % of members initiate a 'recall'.

I favour a review of all future registrations of new .co.uk domains and possible 'coupling' with an available .uk, charged at a single flat registration cost, as if charged for just one domain. The need to protect brand with additional registration has escalated cost unjustifiably. Over time, this could also be extended to 'coupled' registration renewals which have already been made.

 

 

 

 
Which candidates supported Public Benefit from the start?
 
 

 

 

 

 

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