‘Notice-and-Take-Down’: “Dutch ‘Notice-and-Take-Down’ Code of Conduct issued
Minister for Foreign Trade Heemskerk kicked off the ‘Notice-and-Take-Down’ Code of Conduct in The Hague. 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.
‘We have already made substantial progress fighting spam, spyware and malware. These agreements now help us tackle other illegal activities on the internet, including handling stolen goods, discrimination or phishing’, says Mr Heemskerk.
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 flag 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 SIDN. Ministries, the police and investigation services and organisations including Marktplaats/eBay and the BREIN foundations 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. I call upon others to follow their lead’, says Heemskerk.
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, Thursday October 9th.
According to Heemskerk, the Code is a great example of public-private cooperation. ‘We will follow up later this year with more measures to fight cybercrime. For instance, once passed by the Senate, a ban on sending spam to companies will be introduced from early next year’, he says.