Tag Archives: nic.at

nic.at Introduces Changes To Whois Data Collected To Comply With GDPR

nicat AustriaA week before the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May, the Austrian ccTLD registry nic.at has introduced changes to its Whois policy as well as to the registration and management of .at domains.

The most important changes that came into effect for the Austrian country code top level domain (ccTLD) on 16 May are:

1) New Whois policy

Under the new Whois policy, registration data for individuals (natural persons) will not published any longer. Data on individuals will only includes the domain name, the registrar responsible and necessary technical information. Whois data for businesses (legal persons) that register domain names will continue to be published as before and individuals can request the publication of their data.

2) New Terms and Registration Guidelines

Following this policy, new terms and registration guidelines were necessary for .at-domains. The new versions are valid as of 16 May 2018.

3) Privacy policy

All information specifying how much of your data is recorded by nic.at, for which purpose, on which legal basis and how to claim your data protection rights can be found in our privacy policy.

4) Check of data accuracy by domain holder

Domain holders (registrants) can at any time request their current Whois data online by using the web form “motivated request”. They can also ask for their domain certificate (featuring only the domain holder’s name and address) to be sent to their email address via an online form.

5) Information on private domain holder’s data to third parties

Only people who provide proof of identity and are able to prove a legitimate interest in finding out who the domain holder is, will get information on private domain holders’ data. They can be law enforcement agencies, lawyers or people who contact nic.at following domain disputes and who can prove that their rights have been infringed. They have to start a webform request with defined obligations for supporting documents on this webform.

6) Abolishment of admin-c

As the admin-c never had any legal function in the administration of .at domains, it is abolished as of 16 May 2018.

nic.at To Hide Individual’s WHOIS Data, But Optional For Business, to Comply With GDPR

From mid-May individuals who have registered .at domain names will have their registrant details hidden by default, although they can have the data published if they wish, while businesses will continue to have their contact details published in WHOIS as is the case now. The change is a result of the looming introduction of the E.U.'s new privacy law.

The coming of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is causing a bit of havoc among the domain name business. It comes into effect on 25 May. Gradually European ccTLD registries are rolling out how they’re going to comply. The GDPR is intended to give individuals in the European Union more control over their data held by business, with one data protection law for to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the 28 member states of the E.U. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the E.U.

In recent weeks Nominet and DENIC have announced their plans. Nominet have opened a consultation to 4 April on their proposal that will mean they will no longer display any registrant’s name or address while DENIC will only record the contact details of the domain registrant, 2 additional email addresses as contact points for abuse reports and general and technical requests as well as the usual technical domain data.

“The GDPR”, nic.at’s CEO Richard Wein told Domain Pulse following the Domain Pulse conference in Munich in February, “is the biggest change in policy and procedures in the domain name community in many years. While EPP was a big change, it happened over time and there were no rigid deadlines, but change was smooth and happened quickly.”

Currently the nic.at WHOIS database, the public register of all registered .at domains, currently contains details on the holders of and contact persons for .at domains, regardless of whether they are companies or private individuals. Under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), nic.at will only publish legal business data from mid-May 2018. Individuals can still have their data published if they wish.

For decades, it has been standard practice in domain administration to display domain holders’ data in a public database called WHOIS. The domain holder is informed of this when registering the domain. nic.at’s terms and conditions (T&C) form the legal basis for publication. This practice will change when the GDPR comes into effect.

“The GDPR defines special protection requirements for natural persons, so we will not publish their data any longer, although we still need to receive their details during the domain registration process,” explained head of nic.at’s legal department Barbara Schlossbauer. “The regulation is comes into force in mid-May 2018 and this will also lead to amendments in nic.at’s T&C and the registration guidelines for .at domains.”

In the future, the data shown for domains registered by individuals will only include the domain name, the registrar responsible and necessary technical information. If a company or organisation owns the domain, the holder’s name and address will still be published, although contact data like email address, telephone and fax number can be hidden upon request. The registrar submits information on whether a domain is held by a natural or legal person when registering the domain. If a private individual requests that their data be displayed, the registrar can also arrange this. “There will certainly be a lot of cases where people will definitely want to show that a real, trustworthy person is responsible for a particular website,” explains Schlossbauer.

Until now, domain holders’ data have been publicly accessible at nic.at. From mid-May, this will no longer be possible. “In future, natural persons’ domain data will only be accessible to people who identify themselves and have a legitimate legal reason for finding out who the domain holder is,” Schlossbauer points out. This includes law enforcement agencies, lawyers or people who contact nic.at following domain disputes and can prove that their rights have been infringed.

The adaptations in the WHOIS policy will not affect the public domain availability check, explains Schlossbauer: “When it comes to obtaining accurate information on whether a .at, .co.at or .or.at domain is still available, nic.at will remain the first point of contact for reliable availability checks.”

But the changes being adopted by each country code top level domain registry across Europe are a missed opportunity according to Wein.

“The opportunity for the ccTLD registries across Europe to work together and propose one solution was a missed opportunity,” said Wein.

“Every ccTLD appears to be doing something different, even if very slightly, and it’s a pity that the industry couldn’t develop one standard. It will mean registrars will have to implement 10, 20, maybe even 28, different solutions depending on how many ccTLDs for EU countries they sell. The situation is a nightmare.”

“Then there comes the problem with no WHOIS available to law enforcement, government bodies and brand protection. How can they get the registrant information? Registries are not allowed to give out information such as to the police without a good reason. Potential buyers of a domain name will have no way of contacting the registrant unless their details are provided on the website. While under the law of many countries, including Austria, the website owner is required to provide information about who owns the website, it is difficult to verify if this is correct, and will be next to impossible when the GDPR comes into effect.”

“When there’s a request for WHOIS information from law enforcement, for example,” Wein continues, “it will require someone at nic.at to manually check that the required authorisations such as a court order are in place and then to provide the information. Currently enquiries are machine-to-machine, but from 25 May it will be human-to-human and only available in business hours. It will mean a change of procedures and in many cases be much slower.”

SIDN Signs Up For nic.at Anycast Network RcodeZero In More Industry Consolidation

The Dutch and Austrian ccTLD managers, SIDN and nic.at, have signed a cooperation agreement under which all domains managed by SIDN will additionally be hosted on the nic.at anycast network RcodeZero DNS. The agreement was announced by SIDN’s CEO Roelof Meijer and nic.at CEO Richard Wein on the sidelines of the ICANN meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“We are very happy and proud to offer our technical services to the third largest European ccTLD,” says Richard Wein, CEO of nic.at. The agreement covers the almost 6 million domains registered under .nl, .amsterdam, .aw and .politie and sees SIDN becoming the biggest customer of the RcodeZero TLD DNS network. A network which already hosts twelve different TLDs at thirteen highly available redundant locations all over the world.

Roelof Meijer, SIDN’s CEO, explains the reasons why they decided for RcodeZero DNS: “First of all, it was important for us to have a partner under EU jurisdiction and data protection law. Secondly, we were impressed by nic.at’s technical know-how and flexibility, as well as their readiness to develop their product further based on our needs.” In recent years, SIDN has constantly been improving and optimising its DNS infrastructure with anycast partners to guarantee the best possible availability of .nl domains.

RcodeZero DNS will soon be expanded with additional nodes in Australia and South America to provide better performance and lower latency for customers in those areas, too. However, RcodeZero DNS, had other attractions for a technician, as confirmed by Marc Groeneweg, Coordinator of DNS Ops Team at SIDN: “It’s important for us to have comprehensive statistics and real-time DNS traffic information to further analyse our infrastructure, as a basis for continued improvement of our infrastructure.“

The technical work of integrating all Dutch domains into the network has just been completed and the set-up is now ready for public production.

The agreement is a sign of further consolidation and expansion within the top level domain registry industry, using their experiences in areas such as security among others. In the security area, a big issue for business worldwide, the domain name business is one of the leading providers of online security solutions. Some registries, such as nic.at and SWITCH, the Swiss registry operator, also run CERTs.

Others, such as CIRA, the Canadian ccTLD manager, has been active in recent months signing agreements with Uniregistry, DNS.PT (Portugal’s .pt) and InternetNZ (New Zealand’s .nz) to provide global domain name system services. SIDN itself has acquired a controlling stake in Connectis, one of the Netherlands' leading suppliers of secure log-in solutions and redesigned SPIN, their open-source system for protecting the internet and end-users against insecure IoT devices in home networks. And DENIC, the German (.de) ccTLD manager, has been approved as an authorised New gTLD Data Escrow Agent to offer both to ICANN-accredited registrars and registries an escrow service which fully complies with the European legal framework.

Austrian Registry nic.at Injects Humour Into Their Anycast Service

nicat AustriaWith the 2018 Domain Pulse set for 22 and 23 February in Munich, Domain Pulse recalled a video released by the Austrian ccTLD registry nic.at during the 2017 Domain Pulse last year to promote RcodeZero Secondary. That we forgot to promote.

RcodeZero Secondary is a product of IPCom, a subsidiary of nic.at. The RcodeZero Anycast network has been developed by nic.at’s R&D department and has been successfully in use for the .at zone. External name service monitoring by RIPE NCC proves that .at is one of the most reliable top level domains.

So the video was released in the early days of the Trump presidency and is a humorous look at RcodeZero Secondary. Warning. Trump fans should stay away!

And don’t forget. The 2018 Domain Pulse is happening soon at BMW Welt in Munich.

Austria’s Internet Celebrating 4 Anniversaries in 2018

30 years ago Austria’s ccTLD was delegated. In 1998, the Austrian Registry nic.at was founded along with the reporting hotline for illegal content, Stopline. And then 10 years later CERT.at (Austria’s Computer Emergency Response Team) was founded. Continue reading Austria’s Internet Celebrating 4 Anniversaries in 2018

2018 Domain Pulse Motors Into View With Focus On Digital Future

The 2018 Domain Pulse conference is motoring into view and will be held at BMW World in Munich on 22 and 23 March. The annual conference this year is organised by DENIC, the German registry with a focus on the digital future as well as the state of the domain name industry. The conference rotates between Germany, Switzerland (SWITCH) and Austria (nic.at).

The free conference is a great way of getting to know the German-speaking domain name market with a few hundred people from registries, registrars and resellers, domain investors and a range of other participants from the domain name world. And fear not if you’re not a German speaker. Most, if not all, presentations in German are translated into English [this writer certainly hopes so!] and there are plenty of great opportunities to network and get to know the key players in the German, Swiss and Austrian domain name industries, including the usual evening event. Already around 250 people have registered.

The conference, as always, has a focus on presentations and panels dealing with domain names, but also covers a range of other topics. This year there will be a look at the future with presentations on the governance of the Internet of Things, a futurologist looking at “digital enlightenment”, smart mobility and connected driving, another on security, terrorism and fear and another on privacy and security in the digital space.

And of course, there will be presentations on domain names with one of the most important and interesting topical discussions likely to be on the upcoming European General Data Protection Regulation. The GDPR is intended to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals in the European Union. This has an impact on any business that stores personal information on European citizens and the domain name business.

And that’s just day one! Day 2 will kick off with a presentation from Wolfgang Kleinwächter who will look at internet governance in 2018. There will also be a panel discussion on the notice and takedown debate from a registry perspective involving representatives from dotSaarland, DENIC, SWITCH, SIDN, DNS Belgium and Nominet, a discussion on how to overcome registration growth slowdown and an update on what’s been happening in 2017 from the 3 co-hosts.

To register for the free 2018 Domain Pulse, check out the programme and nearby hotels, or even see who else is going, go to:

nic.at Introduces New Partnerfinder Tool To Help Registrants Find The Right Registrar

For many domain name registrants, finding the registrar that best suits their requirements can be a minefield. They might find a cheaper registrar, but then find the registrar doesn’t offer services they require, or the support they need. So the Austrian ccTLD registry, nic.at, has set about making this process easier with their new “Partnerfinder” service.

Partnerfinder works by a would-be registrant typing in their desired .at domain name. From there, 2 options come up – choose whether you want to register at the second level (.at) and/or third level (.or.at or .co.at) and then to register “register your domain with a .at-partner” or registrar.

Choosing the second option means clicking on “to .at partnerfinder” and then you have a myriad of options to choose what suits you best. Are you wanting to register the domain name for personal or business reasons? Do you want email, a website builder/blog service, personal consulting, hosting, English-speaking support, search engine optimisation… there are over 20 options.

“The service came about because we realised that registrants, or potential registrants, weren’t just looking for a domain name. They were looking for a solution,” said Richard Wein, CEO of the Austrian country code top level domain manager nic.at. “That solution could be a new website, an email address, a web space to store something. The list goes on.”

“We were having a lot of traffic on our site looking for domain names, and to take advantage of this we wanted to push these people to the registrars that offered the service that, in particular, new customers are looking for.”

“A second reason was we’d promised our registrars we’d do something for them. Following long discussions with several registrars Partnerfinder was born. Another initiative that came out of these discussions was a banner advertising campaign for specific target audiences such as bloggers, start-up founders, techies, lawyers and so on.”

Daily Stormer Booted From .AT

The Austrian ccTLD registry, nic.at, has booted The Daily Stormer’s .at domain name. The Daily Stormer has been booted by quite a few domain name companies, from registries to registrars and even Cloudflare.

The Daily Stormer’s .at domain name was deleted Monday, AP reported, “after Austrian politicians reported the white supremacist platform’s presence,” according to nic.at’s Head of PR & Marketing Monika Pink-Rank. The domain name was originally registered at the end of August.

The problems for The Daily Stormer started following the horrendous events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and an article was published attacking Heather Heyer, the anti-racism activist that was killed Saturday while demonstrating against the “alt-right” white nationalist movement.

The alt-right white nationalist group was first booted by registrars GoDaddy and then Google who deleted their .com domain names. They then briefly tried a .ru domain, which was also quickly deleted.

But it’s the booting from Cloudflare’s service that is the most controversial. Clouflare provides a number of services that few others do

“What I find troubling is that I woke up this morning and said we’ll kick them off our service and that will effectively kick them off the internet,” Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told TechCrunch in August. “[The day] sucked and I worry we made an arbitrary decision.”

“If I’m self-critical, it’s a decision we should have a framework around,” Prince added. “How can we do it in a more disciplined and thorough and predictable and transparent way?”

It was the first time Cloudflare had booted a customer. Techcrunch noted that “Cloudflare’s primary service is a content delivery network that helps websites load quickly, but it also protects them against rushes of traffic, including DDoS attacks designed to knock them offline. The site claims to handle around 10 percent of the internet’s total traffic, with over six million websites using its products, which include free and priced tiers.”

“Because of the precise nature of Cloudflare’s business, and the scarcity of competitors, its role censoring internet speech is not just new, it’s terrifying”, according to an opinion piece in the New York Times.

“What makes Cloudflare an essential part of the internet is its ability to block malicious traffic from barraging clients’ websites with requests that take them offline. Cloudflare is one of the few companies in the world that provide this kind of reliable protection. If you don’t want your website to get taken down by extortionists, jokers, political opposition or hackers, you have to hire Cloudflare or one of its very few competitors.”

As nic.at Grows, New Website Comes Online To Unify Branding

nicat Austria logoWhat was just the Austrian ccTLD registry, nic.at has grown in recent years. Established in 1998 it has added ipcom GmbH, the subsidiary tasked with taking RcodeZero DNS to market, in 2004. What began as a basic Anycast service with only a few locations is now a powerful network with a host of additional services for a stable DNS.

Then in 2011 with the new gTLD programme about to launch they established a sister company tldbox GmbH. tldbox GmbH provides registry services for the new generic top level domains, supporting applicants in their applications and providing a comprehensive registry system.

And recently they added .versicherung to nic.at’s stable to go with .at, .co.at and .or.at.

And as it grew there was a mish mash of logos, visuals and brand images with nothing tying them together, nothing showing they’re all “related”.

So today nic.at launches a new website, bringing together all its brands. Each brand is now clearly positioned, with its own objectives and core messages.

Building the site from scratch Mario Öhlschläger, the technical manager for the website relaunch project, said they “ended up writing over half a million lines of code” as well as a complete rethinking of “the whole ‘login’ situation.” User friendliness was improves, processes simplified for customers and adapting the framework.

“So calling it a ‘relaunch’ wouldn’t be accurate. We weren’t able to use any of the old packages so we basically had to rebuild the site from scratch.”

And for Europeans, nic.at is even giving away beer coasters and asking for photos of how they’ll be used, some of which will be posted on their Facebook page with prizes up for grabs for the most liked photos.

There’s more information on the rebranding exercise in the latest nic//report, available for download from:

Domaining Europe Conference to Feature Whiskey.com In Undeveloped Auction

The upcoming Domaining Europe conference is set to see some big domain names up for auction, including whiskey.com and gastronomy.com.

The whiskey.com domain name is set to go for a big seven-figure sum given the sale of whisky.com in 2014 for $3.1 million. Whiskey and whisky are the same thing, with the former common in Ireland the United States while the latter is used in all other whiskey producing countries.

In addition to the above 2 domains, sevilla.com, harddrives.com, zut.com and the recently released 5.at, which sold for €9,200 when it was auctioned for the very first time when nic.at sold over 350 short domains through auction, domains that were released for the very first time.

As well as the auction, there are speeches from Verisign, Rolf Larsen on “What Can a Registry Do for Domain Investors?”, a Healthy Domain Report panel moderated by eco’s Lars Steffen, a panel looking at top level domains, how to make money from keyword domains, internet governance, a presentation on the success of .club, how brands are using their TLDs and a Verisign insight on their .cc and .tv, among quite a few others.

Tickets are still available for the Domaining Europe 2017 conference, which will be held in Berlin from 14 to 17 May. The conference is aimed at domain industry professionals, investors and anyone interested in the industry. Currently conference tickets are available for €395 plus VAT (including catering) or VIP tickets that additionally include side events and a sightseeing boat trip, with €100 going to the Charity for Hope Children Centre, are available for €650 (plus VAT).

For more information on the agenda, speakers and even to register, go to: