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Nominet, the company that runs the .uk domain registry, faces a bill of £101,000 plus untold costs for discriminating against its former legal and policy director, Emily Taylor, a well-known figure in internet policy circles, who suffered a mental illness.
Being found guilty of disability discrimination is a problem for any organisation, but for one that runs a vital part of Britain’s online infrastructure under government supervision, while backing a charitable trust that aims to use the internet “to make society better”, it is deeply embarrassing.
The case, until now under reporting restrictions imposed by the tribunal, has lifted the lid on political machinations in at the heart of the British internet industry and in Whitehall. It poses serious questions for leadership of Nominet, which given the economic importance of the internet is now officially considered part of critical national infrastructure, along with power stations and airports.