Tag Archives: Belgium

.BE First European ccTLD Registry To Go To The Clouds

DNS Belgium logoAfter several months of preparation, DNS Belgium announced in February they moved their registration platform, on which their registrars register new .be domain names, to the cloud. It was, they said, a big step forward when it comes to security and efficiency. And the first of its kind in the European domain name world.

Saturday 11 February, the move commenced for the Belgian country code top level domain (ccTLD) and in the end the migration went smoother than expected. Earlier at the beginning of February the registrars’ test system, which is a system that provides all facets of our registration system as part of a test set-up, was also moved.

Before opting for cloud services provided by AWS, DNS Belgium conducted a thorough analysis of the availability, services and security. Since AWS (Amazon Web Services) takes care of the hardware, connectivity etc., DNS Belgium can focus on the software, enabling them to automise routine technical operations and describe all aspects of their platform in code.

In the domain name world, .be is the first European registry to have its registration system in the cloud.

Control your .be domain name

DNS Belgium logo[news release] The importance of domain names keeps rising. Is your website highly trafficked, does it represent a large brand or does it have a web shop? If so, you should consider the level of protection your .be domain name needs. DNS Belgium offers the necessary tools to secure your .be domain as well as possible.

Protection against unintended transfers

In exceptional cases, somebody else might gain control over your e-mail address and transfer your .be domain name to his own name, without your knowledge. On your request, your registrar can at any time enable a Transfer Lock  for your .be domain name.

With this lock active, anyone who tries to execute a transfer of your domain name to a new registrant or registrar will get an error. If you do want to transfer your domain name, simply ask your registrar to de-activate the lock. If you want to check whether your domain name is protected against unwanted transfers, look it up in WHOIS (bottom of the page: Transfer status).

Security at the level of the registry

What would happen when a hacker poses as yourself and tries to gain access to your account at your registrar? With the necessary effort, this might work. He can then change a few critical domain name details, such as name servers, causing your website to go offline. In a worst case scenario, you might even lose your domain name to your competitors.  When this happens to a popular website, its business and reputation suffer immeasurable damage. That’s why brand names, financial services, media companies and popular websites would benefit from better protection. Domain Guard, the newest service from DNS Belgium, can help you with this.

Domain Guard makes sure that even your registrar cannot just change the details linked to your .be domain name. Your domain name can therefore not be transferred or deleted without your approval. Whenever DNS Belgium receives a request to change anything related to your domain name, it will contact an authorised person for your domain name. If you wish to protect your domain name using Domain Guard, please contact your registrar and ask him if he offers this service. More information can be found on our website.

This news release was sourced from:
www.dnsbelgium.be/en/news/control-your-be-domain-name

DNS Belgium Outlines Which 2-Character Domains Can Be Registered?

[news release] A domain name that consists of only two characters: why is it that you sometimes can register them and another time you can’t? Who’s the one to decide? And what about extensions: why not choose a short .vl extension instead of the longer .vlaanderen?

In the first place we have to make a distinction between a ccTLD (country code top level domain) such as .be, .nl and .fr, and a gTLD (generic top level domain) such as .vlaanderen and .brussels, but also .com, .bike etc.

With ccTLDs it is the registry that decides on the policies and thus on the domain names that are made available for registration (except a few technical commitments that generally apply). With .be for instance it is perfectly possible to register two-character domain names, even two-letter domain names such as be.be. The registry in charge of .fr, on the other hand, didn’t allow them until recently; it is now gradually releasing all one and two-character domain names.

For the gTLDs, the situation is completely different. A great deal of the policies is determined by ICANN. At the end of 2014, ICANN decided to authorize the gTLDs registries to release two-character domain names as far as they contain:

  • 2 digits e.g. 11
  • 1 digit and 1 letter e.g. 1a
  • 1 letter and 1 digit e.g. a1

DNS Belgium decided to release these combinations as of the start of general availability, which is 20 January 2015 (10:00 CET). Combinations such as 56.brussels or k8.vlaanderen will then be made available.

It remains more difficult to register two-letter domain names such as aa.vlaanderen. This kind of domain name will continue to need the explicit consent from ICANN. If the two letters happen to constitute a country code, you will even need authorization of the authorities of the country in question as well as of the registry who manages the country code in question. Whoever wants to register nl.vlaanderen will thus need authorization of both the Dutch authorities and SIDN (manager of the .nl domain names).

Extensions

The reason why we haven’t chosen the short .vl extension instead of .vlaanderen, is to be found as well in the policies determined by ICANN. Only two-letter codes that appear in the ISO2166-1 list are eligible to become a ccTLD. .vl clearly doesn’t appear in that list, which would only be possible if Flanders becomes an independent region.

With a gTLD extension, two-letter codes were excluded from the beginning, so we only had the choice between .vla and .vlaanderen or an English variant. Since .vlaanderen remains the most recognisable, the Flemish authorities opted for the latter.

This DNS Belgium news release was sourced from:
www.dnsbelgium.be/en/news/which-2-character-domain-names-can-be-registered

Europe Continues To Lead IPv6 Adoption With Belgium Out Front: Akamai

Europe is the global leader when it comes to IPv6 adoption according to the Third Quarter, 2014 State of the Internet Report from Akamai, with Belgium growing to more than one quarter of its requests to Akamai coming over IPv6, and Germany seeing more than 10 percent of requests over IPv6.Greece’s adoption of IPv6 is also growing strongly, with its adoption rate more than tripling over the previous quarter. At a network provider level, Belgium’s Brutele and Telenet both saw on the order of half of their connections to Akamai come in over IPv6.But IPv4 addresses continue to grow. In the quarter, more than 790 million IPv4 addresses connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform from more than 246 unique countries/regions. The global number of unique IPv4 addresses making requests to Akamai grew by nearly two million quarter-over-quarter, a nominal increase after a loss of seven million in the second quarter.Looking at the top 10 countries in the third quarter, the unique IP count in the United States saw a small gain of approximately 20,000 addresses. In addition to the United States, Brazil, France and Russia saw nominal increases in unique IPv4 address counts, while the remaining six countries saw unique IPv4 address counts slightly decline from the second quarter. Fifty-eight percent of countries saw a quarter-over-quarter increase in unique IPv4 address counts, with 28 countries/regions growing by 10 percent or more.Cable and wireless providers continued to drive the number of IPv6 requests made to Akamai, many of which are leading the way for IPv6 adoption in their respective countries. Verizon Wireless and Brutele saw more than half of their requests to Akamai made over IPv6, with Telenet close behind.When it comes to security, the volume of observed attack traffic targeting web ports (HTTP, HTTPS, HTTP Alternate) declined significantly in the quarter. In addition, the number of attacks against websites and applications reported by Akamai customers remained consistent quarter-over-quarter. These trends, Akamai notes, may be indicative of attack vectors shifting away from the application layer to focus on network layer targets – this is consistent with an observation made in the latest report.Akamai customers reported 270 DDoS attacks for the second quarter in a row. Overall, this represents a 4.5 percent reduction in attacks since the beginning of 2014 and a four percent decrease in comparison to the third quarter of 2013.In contrast to the second quarter’s report, the number of attacks fell in both of the Americas, with 142 attacks, and in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, with 44 attacks.However, the number of attacks in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region rose by 25 percent from the previous quarter to 84.The report also looked at connectivity with slight declines seen across average and average peak connection speeds, high broadband adoption, and 4K readiness. Only broadband adoption saw an increase, but it was only one percent. The long-term trend is the key indication Akamai notes, and the continued strong growth we continue to see points to ongoing improvements, on average, in the state of broadband connectivity around the world.For mobile, the report notes that despite dominating four of the five metrics for fixed connectivity, South Korea only led the mobile metrics for average connection speed in the third quarter, with Singapore seeing the highest average peak mobile connection speed and Japan seeing the highest level of mobile broadband adoption. Interestingly, high fixed connection speeds also led some of these same Asia Pacific countries/regions to have the highest “mobile penalties” – that is, pages loading significantly faster on average over broadband connections than over mobile connections.South Korea’s highest average mobile connection speed grew from 15.2 Mbps to 18.2 Mbps in the third quarter. Iran had the lowest average mobile connection speed at 0.9 Mbps, and was the only qualifying country with an average speed below 1 Mbps. Slovakia joined South Korea above the 10 Mbps “high broadband” threshold at 10.9 Mbps.Average peak mobile connection speeds again spanned an extremely broad range in the third quarter, from 98 Mbps in Singapore down to 3.3 Mbps in Iran. Nine countries/regions had average peak mobile connection speeds above 50 Mbps, while another 40 saw speeds above 10 Mbps.And on internet disruptions, once again, internet connectivity was problematic in Syria, with multiple disruptions seen during the third quarter. Iraq saw multiple disruptions as well, due to issues with the major network service providers in the country. Gambia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone all saw Internet outages that may have been due to issues with submarine cables, while a brief issue in Venezuela was related to a power outage in the country.More information is available, along with the report to download, from:
www.akamai.com/html/about/press/releases/2015/press-010815.html
There are also blog postings and further information used in the above report available on the Akamai site.

DNS Belgium Advises .BE Registrants To Be Wary Of “Invoices” from BE Domein Host

[news release] DNS Belgium received some questions and complaints in regards to recent “invoices” from the company BE Domein Host. We would like to stress that this company is unknown to us, and is not a DNS Belgium registrar.

DNS Belgium advises everyone who receives an “invoice” from BE Domein Host to read the document carefully. The document is not an invoice but an offer for a service, in this case the registration of a .info domain name. You are therefore not required to accept this offer or to execute a payment.

The offer does not relate to your .be registration. It is merely an offer to register the .info domain name that corresponds to your .be domain name.
In the Netherlands a similar type of “invoices” are distributed. There the company is called NL Domein Host. Our colleagues form SIDN have also written an article on the matter.

We advise .be domain name holders to always contact their registrar in case of doubt. He will be able to provide you with more information regarding these types of offers and assist you in selecting services that might be of benefit to you.

Below you will find an example of the “invoice” in question.

Factuur BE Domein Host

This DNS Belgium announcement was sourced from:
www.dnsbelgium.be/en/news/be-your-guard-“invoices”-be-domein-host

DNS Belgium Introduces Domain Guard To Protects .BE Domains

[news release] Some domain names are so important or of such great value that you want to have total control over them. You also want to be absolutely sure that no alterations take place without your explicit approval.  To meet this need, DNS Belgium has created Domain Guard, which is designed to enable you to give your domain name the strong security and protection you want.

If ever a request is made to modify something about your domain name or the details relating to it, DNS Belgium will contact the authorised person designated by you to ask for approval.

It may be highly unusual, but it is possible for a domain name to be deleted inadvertently. Unscrupulous individuals may also deliberately attempt to hijack domain names or make changes to the registration details. But with the strength of Domain Guard, these sorts of scenarios can be avoided and you can be 100 per cent certain that your domain name is safe.

Domain Guard ensures that your registrar is unable to alter the details linked to your domain name. This means that your domain name cannot be deleted or transferred. Some of the other TLDs call this service “Registry Lock”.

More information about Domain Guard and how you need to request it for your domain name.

This DNS Belgium announcement was sourced from:
www.dnsbelgium.be/en/news/domain-guard-protects-your-domain-name

.vlaanderen and .brussels now open to private individuals

[news release] Starting today, 13 November, and running until 15 December 2014 (10:00 CET), anyone with a valid Belgian eID card and Belgian identity will be able to apply for a .vlaanderen or .brussels domain name based on their official name.

To request your own personal .vlaanderen or .brussels domain name, all you need to do is log on to the eID wizard developed by DNS Belgium, using your eID. You will then be taken through the whole reservation process.

Which domain names can you apply for?

In this phase of the launch for the .vlaanderen of .brussels domain extensions, there are five possible domain names you can register, based on your official name. So, if your name is Jan Vandam, for example, you can apply for any of the following domain names:

•    vandam.vlaanderen
•    vandamjan.vlaanderen
•    janvandam.vlaanderen
•    vandamj.vlaanderen
•    jvandam.vlaanderen

And, of course, you can also apply for the .brussels variants in the same way.

How do you apply?

As you go through the process with the eID wizard, you will see a list with the possible domain names that you can register. Simply click on the one(s) you want to reserve. You will then receive a confirmation e-mail containing a reservation code for each domain name you have reserved. You should pass on this code within 7 days to your registrar (i.e. the accredited seller of domain names) in order to effectively register the domain name(s) you want.
Click here for a list of registrars where you can register a personal .vlaanderen or .brussels domain name.

Unique to Belgium

DNS Belgium is launching the .vlaanderen and  .brussels domain names in five phases. After the phase for trademark owners and the phase for government institutions, companies and organisations, this latest phase represents a unique opportunity for private individuals.
In other countries where new domain extensions are being launched, this phase for private individuals does not exist. But DNS Belgium thought it important to add this phase to the process, giving every Belgian the opportunity to apply for their own personal domain name prior to the phase when anyone can register any .vlaanderen or .brussels domain name that is still available.
More information about this eID phase.

This news release was sourced from:
www.dnsbelgium.be/en/news/vlaanderen-and-brussels-now-open-private-individuals

New Terms & Conditions For .BE

From mid-November onwards, DNS Belgium will be offering a new service to the registrants of .be domain names, called the “Domain Guard”. DNS Belgium therefore made some minor changes to the Terms and Conditions that apply to all .be domain names.

When registering your domain name with your registrar, the latter normally asked you to accept the current version of the terms and conditions.

The new version (5.2) contains a description of the new service, the “Domain Guard”. This new functionality prevents any unwanted configuration alteration, update, transfer or cancellation of the domain name in question.

The new terms and conditions will come into force on 3 November 2014 and will, from that date, apply to all registered .be domain names and their respective registrants.

This DNS.BE news release was sourced from:
http://www.dnsbelgium.be/en/news/new-version-terms-conditions-be-domain-names

ICANN Grants Two More European Registrars Data Retention Waivers

ICANN logoICANN has granted another two European registrars data retention waivers following concerns over how the Registrar Accreditation Agreement conflicts with European data retention laws.

One waiver was granted to Blacknight Internet Solutions who submitted to ICANN a Registrar Data Retention Waiver Request on the basis of Registrar’s contention that compliance with the data collection and/or retention requirements of the Data Retention Specification in the 2013 RAA violates applicable law in Ireland.

The second waiver was granted to Nameweb BVBA on the basis of the Registrar’s contention that compliance with the data collection and/or retention requirements of the Data Retention Specification in the 2013 RAA violates applicable law in Belgium.

The waivers shall remain in effect for the duration of the term of the 2013 RAA signed by the registrars.

The issue has come about as some registrars, particularly in Europe, have expressed concerns that local data protection and other privacy laws make it difficult for them to comply with these new requirements. ICANN has noted these concerns and that laws vary from country to country and that some of the new data retention requirements in the 2013 RAA may conflict with certain European data protection and privacy regulations. In a posting on the ICANN blog, ICANN’s Cyrus Namazi said, “to be clear, governing laws take precedence over the terms of the RAA.”

The issue from a European perspective was made clear in a letter from the European Commission’s Article 29 Working Party in June 2013 who said “the Working Party wishes to provide a single statement for all relevant registrars targeting individual domain name holders in Europe.” Obviously this hasn’t happened and ICANN is issuing waivers on a registrar-by-registrar basis on the specific laws that are being violated in the country the registrar is located.

The Working Party also reiterated “its strong objection to the introduction of data retention by means of a contract issued by a private corporation in order to facilitate (public) law enforcement. If there is a pressing social need for specific collections of personal data to be available for law enforcement, and the proposed data retention is proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued, it is up to national governments to introduce legislation that meets the demands of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights.”

“The fact that these personal data can be useful for law enforcement does not legitimise the retention of these personal data after termination of the contract. Because there is no legal ground for the data processing, the propose d data retention requirement violates data protection law in Europe.”

Check If Your .BE Domain Name Has Variants

DNS.be logo[news release] From 22 January DNS Belgium enables a .be registrant to request a list of domain names that have similarities with your domain name. You can also view the details of the registrant of this domain names.

It is easy enough: you just fill in your .be domain name in the WHOIS box on this website. At the bottom of the page with the WHOIS results you can request a list of the variants of this particular name. DNS Belgium then sends an e-mail to the e-mail address held in our registration system. This e-mail contains a list of variants of your domain name and also provides the link to the WHOIS results for these .be domain names.

This enables you to easily check which .be domain names have been registered that have similarities with your domain name. If the list contains a domain name that has been registered by a third party and you believe you have a right to it, you can always contact the current registrant.

This DNS.be news release was sourced from:
dns.be/en/check-if-your-be-domain-name-has-variants