.co.uk to be nationalised?

The net could be closing in! The Register reports that the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), whose value in promoting business generally seems fairly opaque, has written to the not-for-profit company Nominet, asking it to justify its independence. The question should be reversed. What justification is there for government playing any role in domain name registration? What ‘public policy’ interests is Whitehall interested in promoting? So far as consumers are concerned, domain registration and management may not be perfect (Nominet appears to have its own internal wrangling) but it is cheap and efficient, and, as such, delivers something approaching equal access in an area that is fast becoming the most important bastion of free speech and expression. There is NO reason for government to want to interfere in a system which is clearly working well already. Unless that is, it wants to push a set of agendas and take greater control over how people choose to communicate with each other.