Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

We understand that Nominet UK have contacted the ICO within the last 12 months for advice regarding the issue of Nominet contacting their existing Nominet customers and advising them about a consultation into the release of .uk domain names.

Please can you release any information held about the questions asked of the ICO by Nominet UK and the advice the ICO gave to Nominet about this extremely important issue that is in the public interest.

Yours faithfully,

Graeme Wingate

Information Commissioner’s Office

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30th August 2013

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0510917

 

Dear Mr Wingate

 

Request for Information
 
Thank you for your correspondence dated 30 August 2013. 
 
Your request is being dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. We will respond promptly, and no later than 27
September 2013 which is 20 working days from the day after we received
your request.
 
Should you wish to reply to this email, please be careful not to amend the
information in the ‘subject’ field. This will ensure that the information
is added directly to your case. However, please be aware that this is an
automated process; the information will not be read by a member of our
staff until your case is allocated to a request handler.
 
Yours sincerely

Kussum Sharma
Lead Information Governance Officer
01625 545681

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

Information Commissioner’s Office

2 Attachments

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27th September 2013

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0510917

 

Dear Mr Wingate

Further to our acknowledgement dated 30 August 2013 we are now in a
position to respond to your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.
 
On 30 August 2013 you requested the following information:
 
“We understand that Nominet UK have contacted the ICO within the last 12
months for advice regarding the issue of Nominet contacting their existing
Nominet customers and advising them about a consultation into the release
of .uk domain names.
 
Please can you release any information held about the questions asked of
the ICO by Nominet UK and the advice the ICO gave to Nominet about this
extremely important issue that is in the public interest.”
 
 
Response to request
 
In response, we confirm that we hold information in the scope of your
request.
 
We have been approached by Nominet in the last 12 months in relation to
the consultation on .uk domain name service. Please find attached the
correspondence we received from them in relation to the consultation.

Please also find attached an internal email from our Principal Technology
Advisor to the Group Manager of Business and Industry in relation to some
of the questions posed by Nominet in August 2012.
 
I also attach the email from the ICO to Nominet providing the ICO’s
response to the second consultation in July 2013.
 
Please note that the ICO is represented in the .uk Policy Stakeholder
Committee which has meetings either in person or via phone to discuss a
variety of policy issues. However the Agendas and/or notes held are  not
about questions by Nominet or provision of advice by the ICO in relation
to the consultation although they may reflect the fact that an update on
the consultation will be given.
 
You may also find the information provided under the following link of
interest, a copy of which was sent to the ICO via email on 8 August 2013
 
[1]http://www.nominet.org.uk/news/latest/up...
 
  
Information on our website

A copy of the consultations from Nominet over the last 12 months and our
responses can also be accessed via the following links
 
 
October 2012 consultation
 
[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/about_us/consultat...
 
December 2012 response
[3]http://www.ico.org.uk/about_us/consultat...
 
 
Second consultation
July 2013
[4]http://www.ico.org.uk/about_us/consultat...
 
Response 17 July 2013
[5]http://www.ico.org.uk/about_us/consultat...
 
 
I hope you find the provided information of assistance
 
If you are dissatisfied with the response you have received and wish to
request a review of our decision or make a complaint about how your
request has been handled you should write to the Information Governance
Department at the address below or e-mail
[6][ICO request email]
 
Your request for internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response.  Any such request
received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the
Commissioner.
 
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation.  To make such an application, please write
to the First Contact Team, at the address below or visit the ‘Complaints’
section of our website to make a Freedom of Information Act or
Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.
 
A copy of our review procedure is available [7]here
 
Yours sincerely

Iman Elmehdawy
Lead Information Governance Officer

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.nominet.org.uk/news/latest/up...
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/about_us/consultat...
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/about_us/consultat...
4. http://www.ico.org.uk/about_us/consultat...
5. http://www.ico.org.uk/about_us/consultat...
6. mailto:[ICO request email]
7. http://www.ico.gov.uk/about_us/~/media/d...

Dear Information Commissioner,

In the response requested I was expecting documentation relating to specific advice sought by Nominet from the Information Commissioner's Office about their decision not to directly email domain name Registrants whose lives and businesses will be impacted by proposed changes to the .UK domain space, as the Information Commissioner is aware.

Specifically, Nominet's CEO Lesley Cowley has relied upon Nominet's exchanges with the ICO as part of the basis for NOT emailing registrants about this important matter. These exchanges were also referred to in direct.uk consultation roundtable meetings.

Here is an example of what Nominet have claimed in their dicussions with the ICO "I can confirm that Nominet had obtained independent legal advice on the question of notifying .uk registrants of the consultation by email and whether this would be compliant with UK law. I can also confirm that, as was stated at the post-AGM roundtable, we have been in direct discussion with the Information Commissioner's Office to ensure that our proposed approach was consistent with their expectations."

As Nominet members we would expect the Information Commissioner's Office to not impart this advice lightly, given the level of public interest and claims the citizens and businesses of the UK (owners of .UK domains) have not been appropriately informed about the direct.uk and potential impact upon work, lives, and the cost of maintaining, and making adjustments to, their brand. If the ICO had given this matter the weight of consideration it deserved then there must be official documentation and a paper trail to support Nominet's public statements of discussing the issue with the ICO.

We therefore request a copy this documentation from the ICO.

Kind regards
Graeme Wingate

new casework, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). 
This message is to confirm that we have received your correspondence.
Please do not reply to this email.

 

If you have submitted a new complaint

 

We aim to provide an initial response and case reference number within 30
days.

 

If you have requested advice

 

We aim to respond to requests for advice within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case

 

This will be added to your case and considered on allocation to a case
officer.

 

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Please note that we do not respond to copied correspondence. If you have a
matter you would like to discuss please call our Helpline on 0303 123 1113
(local rate) or 01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

ICO Customer Contact Department

 

 

 

 

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please visit our Information about us section of our website.

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

Information Commissioner’s Office

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1st October 2013

 

Case Reference Number RCC0514818

 

Dear Mr Wingate

Thank you for your correspondence dated 1 October 2013 
 
This correspondence will now be treated as a request for an internal
review of the response we provided to your recent request for information
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
  
We will aim to respond by 29 October 2013 which is 20 working days from
the day after we received your recent correspondence.  This is in
accordance with our internal review procedures which were provided with
our response.
 

Yours sincerely

Iman Elmehdawy
Lead Information Governance Officer

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

Information Commissioner’s Office

24 October 2013
 
 
Dear Mr Wingate, 
 
Case Reference No. RCC0514818 
 
I am writing in response to your email of 1 October 2013, in which you
expressed dissatisfaction with the way we handled your earlier request.
This request was dated 30 August 2013, and was handled under our case
reference IRQ0510917. It asked the following:
 
“We understand that Nominet UK have contacted the ICO within the last 12
months for advice regarding the issue of Nominet contacting their existing
Nominet customers and advising them about a consultation into the release
of .uk domain names.

Please can you release any information held about the questions asked of
the ICO by Nominet UK and the advice the ICO gave to Nominet about this
extremely important issue that is in the public interest.”
 
We responded to your request on 27 September 2013, confirming that we
held information which we considered fell within the scope of your
request, and we forwarded it to you. In your email of 1 October, I note
that you clarified exactly what you were asking for, and have helpfully
given us some background information. My understanding of your email is
that you are looking for information concerning any exchanges the ICO may
have had with Nominet about their decision not to directly email domain
name registrants about their recent consultation.
 
I have been asked to carry out the review of our handling of the request,
and in the light of the more specific information you provided on 1
October, I have searched the system thoroughly and have also consulted
with staff in the relevant departments. Unfortunately I have not been able
to locate anything in addition to what you have already received, and so
regretfully I am unable to provide any more information.  
 
The ICO manager who took the lead on our discussions with Nominet left the
ICO a few months ago. When he left, he would have ensured that all key
files had been saved and made accessible to other staff via our electronic
records management system, and any of his remaining files and email
folders would then have been deleted from our system. Given the narrower
nature of your clarified request, it is possible that some files or emails
which may have been of interest to you were deleted at that time because
it was considered they were trivial or only peripheral to our discussions
with Nominet. Unfortunately I have no way of knowing if this was the case,
but what I do know however is that any files of substance would definitely
have been saved as records on our system, and would be available to you
now.

In my discussions with ICO staff about your request, I did however
discover that at a recent meeting with us, Nominet made brief mention of
the fact they had had a conversation some while ago with a former member
of staff on how they were planning to run the consultation. However there
is no reference to this in any of the meeting notes, and I can only assume
that the member of staff concerned did not consider the conversation
significant enough to be recorded.  
 
I apologise that we are unable to be of any more help. If you remain
unhappy with the way in which we have dealt with your request then as you
know you have a right of appeal to the ICO in our capacity as the
statutory regulator for the FOIA. If you wish to appeal, then please visit
the ‘Complaints’ section of our website to make a complaint online, or
alternatively please write directly to the Case Reception Unit at our head
office in Wilmslow.
 
Yours sincerely,
  
Anne Jones
Assistant Commissioner
 

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.org.uk

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