Thursday, October 09, 2008

BPN 1245 Dutch cyber crime Code of Conduct in effect

The Minister for Foreign Trade Heemskerk kicked off the 'Notice-and-Take-Down' Code of Conduct in The Hague today. The Code sets out how internet companies are to handle reports about illegal websites. Under the terms of the Code of Conduct, illegal websites hosted from the Netherlands will eventually be removed. Substantial progress fighting spam, spyware and malware has been made over the past years. The new code will help to tackle other illegal activities on the internet, including handling stolen goods, discrimination or phishing.

The code of Conduct is based on good practices from businesses, governments and other parties involved in fighting cybercrime. The Code has been drawn up under the patronage of the National Infrastructure Cybercrime (Ministry of Economic Affairs) by market parties including KPN, XS4ALL, ISPConnect, Dutch Hosting Provider Association, NLKabel, Ziggo, UPC, CAIW, Zeelandnet and domain register SIDN. Ministries, the police and investigation services and organisations including Marktplaats/eBay and the copyright police BREIN collaborated in setting up the code. Affiliated businesses - 85% of all access providers and several hosting providers - hereby send a clear signal that the internet is not to be used for illegal practices.

Those responsible for placing illegal content on the internet are often difficult to trace. As reports about illegal Dutch sites are rarely acted upon, these sites often remain online. The Code sets out the agreements between participants and their specific roles in dealing with reports they receive. In principle, internet users can report any illegal content they come across to those responsible for placing the content on the net. If this is not possible or if they don't know who to approach, users can report their find to the next party down the chain. This may be the manager of a discussion forum, the company that hosts the relevant website, the service provider or, as a last resort, the police. These other parties in the chain will make every effort to get the information off line. The new Code will become effective today.

The Code will be followed up later this year with more measures to fight cybercrime. For instance, a ban on sending spam to companies will be introduced from early next year.

Blog Posting Number: 1245

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