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Internet Governance

The internet needs guardians, guides and stewards.

We are promoting and encouraging national Internet Governance through consumer protection protocols, policies and security programmes that coordinate and shape national cyberspace, in line with international best practices.

Many great companies protect users at the infrastructure level, providing secure platforms, applications and secure networks – for instance, the Apple App Store is regarded as setting higher standards for entry than the Google Store on Android. Many companies incentivise good online practices and good security behaviour – some do so for profit, some do it for free and others take a paternalistic approach. For instance, in its Chrome browser Google seeks to penalise companies that do not have https security certificates on their websites by displaying a ‘not secure’ message. In its Search engine, Google gives lower search ranking to websites that do not have a mobile responsive website, thereby encouraging website owners to upgrade and modernise.

At .IE, we place Internet Governance at the top of our list of strategic priorities. We seek to protect stakeholders and to adopt policies, processes and procedures that take account of the need for balance, having regard to the respective roles and responsibilities of our registrants, registrars and Internet users.

  • We operate the Managed Registry model, validating domain holders. We check out who’s behind the .ie website making it safer for kids and consumers. Our locking service prevents unauthorised changes to important .ie addresses and stops web hijacking. We provide DNSSEC providing a more secure DNS which reduces phishing risks.
  • We’ve established consumer protection protocols with regulators to address online illegality and to permit ‘take-down’ of websites under certain circumstances. There is a Regulatory Authority Protocol for dealing with illegal content on .ie websites. The regulatory authorities who we engage with include the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the Central Bank, and the GNCEB, amongst others.
  • We introduced an easy to use Dispute Resolution service (ADRP) “Fair play and a fair hearing”. We use independent third party dispute resolution agencies – WIPO and EU Net Neutrals. We’ve proactively introduced Anti-Abuse measures, in cooperation with stakeholders (via our Policy Advisory Committee) and our Registrar channel.
  • We are the guardian of national critical internet infrastructure. Like all country-code registries across Europe, we are designated as an Operator of Essential Services (OES) under the NIS directive.
  • We have a 20-year track record of investing in and developing the national domain DNS infrastructure, which is robust, resilient and has operated with no downtime whatsoever.
  • We welcome stakeholder dialogue and democracy through our multi-stakeholder and consensus-driven Policy Advisory Committee. We have multiple partnerships and are part of wider community including LEOs, DCU/academia, business and industry associations.
  • We operate Governance systems, which are transparent and professionally run to the highest standards. The quality of our financial reporting and transparency has been acknowledged by the Leinster Society of Chartered Accountants, where we were shortlisted many times in their annual Awards competitions.
  • RFCs compliance – IETF standards and protocols – we adhere to RFCs which document the official Internet specifications, communications protocols and procedures published by the Internet Engineering Task Force. The IETF is an open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet.
  • Our programmes are dedicated to proactively fighting malware and phishing in the .ie namespace. Protecting consumers, our customers and SMEs is of the utmost importance to us and our Registrars. We enlisted the services of Netcraft, an internet services company which provides internet security services, including cybercrime disruption, application security testing and automated vulnerability scanning. This service allows us to proactively identify online abuse issues, such as websites that are hosting malware, phishing or botnets.
  • We have adopted a range of policies and rules to protect consumers, safeguard Registrants and promote good internet governance.  You can read about our range of policies on our dedicated Policy Page.