Code of conduct

In autumn 2018, the Dutch cloud and hosting industries launched the code of conduct for combatting abuse which is intended for digital infrastructure operators. The sector developed the code together with various stakeholders from government and other organizations in the Platform Internet Security. The code of conduct is short, easy to read and rigorous, and is issued together with a phased plan that gives providers the tools for implementing the code.

Aim of the code of conduct

The new code aims to help keep the Dutch part of the internet clean and secure. Domain names and networks must be kept free of cybercrime, abuse and vulnerabilities that can be exploited for abuse. The code of conduct provides practical tools for rigorously combatting abuse so that society is better protected against online crime. 

Implementing the code also makes providers and their clients less vulnerable to attacks targeted at the provider’s network. An added benefit is that the networks of these providers will rank better (i.e. have a lower ranking) in international lists of abuse. This will be benificial to the provider’s reputation, and also to the reputation of the Netherlands as a safe place to do business. 

Furthermore, this form of self-regulation is the only way to avoid the need legislators may feel for legislation and accompanying fines if providers for whatever reason fail to comply. Implementing the code of conduct therefore is in the best interest of both society as well as hosting and cloud providers and providers of online services.

Contents of the code of conduct

With the code, infrastructure providers undertake to assume a proactive attitude regarding abuse and to develop a policy for themselves and towards their clients. The measures include being aware of the potential presence of abuse, quickly and satisfactorily responding to notifications, and formulating a clear policy towards clients if abuse is encountered at their site.