Handbook for the prosecuting authority: Forfeitures of Norwegian domain names
Norwegian domain names (domain names ending in .no) may be seized pursuant to Section 203 of the Criminal Procedure Act (HR-2009-01692-U). Please note that it is the domain registration that can be seized and ultimately forfeited. Norid is not a party to this type of cases.
In a criminal case involving seizure of a domain name, the court may order forfeiture as a final measure. In that the domain name holder does not own the domain, but simply subscribes to it, forfeiture of the domain name will, in practice, differ from other types of forfeitures. The registration has been used to offer an address for an unlawful service, but the domain itself is not unlawful. Similar to how it would work for telephone numbers, the domain name holder forfeits control of the domain, not the domain itself.
Forfeiture orders must be issued against the domain registration holder.
What are the steps involved in a domain forfeiture?
The prosecuting authority may choose to have a forfeited registration deleted. If so, the domain returns to the domain resource managed by Norid, and anyone may register the domain again.
Deleting a registration
- Forward the decision to have the registration deleted to us
A copy of a final and enforceable court order, as well as of the prosecuting authority’s decision to delete the registration, must be sent to us in writing by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to UNINETT Norid AS, Postboks 4769 Sluppen, NO-7465 Trondheim.
- The domain registration is deleted
Norid deletes the registration. The domain name holder at the time of deletion (the police) will receive an automatic notice, cf. article 11.4 of the domain name policy.
Norid seeks to protect third parties from the stigma of unknowingly registering a domain that recently has been associated with a criminal case. Our policy is therefore to quarantine the domain for two years before making it available to other applicants.
The prosecuting authority may choose to delete the registration in accordance with standard procedures for domain deletion. This would take place without Norid’s involvement. The deleted domain would become available for re-registration immediately.
Forfeited registrations may be retained or transferred.
Instead of deleting a forfeited registration, the State may choose to keep it or transfer it to a third party. Such transfers could be made in return for a fee to the Treasury.
The new registration holder must meet standard requirements for registration holders pursuant to the .no domain name policy. Registration is transferred in accordance with standard procedures for the transfer of domains, and the new holder will assume the role of an ordinary registration holder, with the rights and obligations this entails. This includes liability for any and all standard fees that may accrue.
There is no need to notify Norid in cases where the registration is maintained.