We want a free and accessible internet where everyone has the same opportunities. So we frequently back initiatives designed to promote digital literacy. Projects that increase users' knowledge, broaden access and prepare the next generation for life in a digital society. Support is provided directly and through SIDN Fund.
If you want to register a .nl domain name, you can arrange it through one of 1,300-plus .nl registrars. The registrar community is a large and varied group of enterprises represented by the Registrars' Association. Martijn Kamphuis chairs the Association and, along with his fellow board members, acts as an important discussion partner on matters relating to the .nl domain. We work constructively together on a wide range of issues. In 2017, for example, we made it easier to find and register domain names by adding a suggestion tool to sidn.nl and improving the way that visitors are put in touch with registrars. The system is generating a healthy flow of leads for registrars, while also helping people and businesses to find and register good domain names. And, together with the registrars, we've been able to cut .nl's levels of phishing, malware distribution and other malicious practices even further. Through our Registrar Scorecard programme, we incentivise registrars to keep increasing the quality of the .nl zone. Among the successes we achieved together in 2017 were substantial rises in the number of .nl domain names in active use and the number that are IPv6-enabled. It's thanks to those efforts that .nl remains one of the world's biggest and most secure country-code domains and the go-to domain for the Dutch business community.
“Most consumers easily have twenty accounts, each with its own user name and password. It's easy to lose track. In response to the desire for convenience, lots of sites now offer several log-in options. You can log in with DigiD, Idensys or Facebook, for example, or with iDIN, the Dutch banks' on-line ID system. Companies like Connectis make it possible for organisations to give visitors the option of logging in using another organisation's ID system. Good identification and authentication systems make it harder to perpetrate abuse. Being part of SIDN strengthens Connectis's credentials as a trustworthy partner. SIDN has a unique status as an independent, professional, non-profit organisation. With their expertise, they can accelerate the development of reliable eIDs.”
“SIDN is one of the most engaged partners on the Platform for Internet Standards. They provide both financial support and practical input. As a result, the Dutch internet community is able to keep the internet up to date.
The use of modern internet standards helps everyone pull together to make sure the internet stays user-friendly and future-proof. Users aren't generally aware of what happens behind the scenes, but it's down to the hard work of SIDN and others that we have an open, free and secure internet.”
Gerben Klein Baltink
Chair of the Platform for Internet Standards
> Read more about internet standards
We work with registrars and hosting service providers to fight phishing and malware in the .nl zone. In recent years, the average life of phishing sites and malware distribution sites has been cut dramatically. From 144 hours, it was down to fifteen hours by the end of 2017.
> Read more about Abuse204.nl
“The development of open standards and the implementation of open-source software for DNS name servers are vital for the internet's security and stability. NLnet Labs plays an active, independent role in the standardisation of protocols and the implementation of DNS software. The foundation also advises on secure and stable DNS and inter-domain routing infrastructure. SIDN's support helps to safeguard the continuity of NLnet Labs and enables us to go on performing our unique and globally acknowledged role.”
Director of NLnet Labs
> Read more about the activities of NLnet Labs
ECP is a neutral platform, through which the business community, the government and NGOs work together to promote the use of ICT in Dutch society. We have partnered ECP for many years and take part in many of their activities, including the website veiliginternetten, the Internet Security Platform, CodePact and Safer Internet Day. In 2017, we again supported the ECP's Annual Congress. Held on 16 November, the congress explored topics such as cloud computing, big data, blockchain, privacy and cybersecurity. As well as supporting the event financially, we had significant input to the programme. We shared our knowledge in sessions led by SIDN Labs and SIDN Fund, with several of the projects supported by the Fund able to showcase their work.
We play an active role in various important international forums for internet technology, governance and security. As the registry for one of the world's biggest and most secure country-code domains, we play a lead role on many relevant issues. In 2017, we again participated in numerous national and international meetings, helping to organise several of them.
“SIDN provides both resources and expertise to support our research. Take the OpenINTEL project: a joint initiative that we've been involved in for several years, looking for new ways of making the internet more secure. In 2017, we succeeded in using OpenINTEL data to develop new techniques for detecting a particularly challenging form of spam. Building on the experience gained, one of our PhD students will spend the next couple of years investigating how active DNS measurements from OpenINTEL can support the early detection of other internet threats. The project will be funded by SIDN Labs.”
Roland M. van Rijswijk-Deij
University of Twente
> Read more about the OpenINTEL project
Connectis, SIDN and Delft University of Technology offered programming lessons to all primary schools in Rotterdam. Of the city's two-hundred-plus primaries, forty took up the offer. University students delivered sessions for about nine hundred youngsters in years 6 to 8.
By providing the lessons, we aim to show children how much fun programming can be. Not because we imagine that they'll all grow up to be programmers, but because we think they'll benefit from learning to think in a structured way. The world is changing fast and no one can be sure just what jobs today's youngsters need to be ready for. But you can bet that the computational thinking taught in our lessons will be a valuable skill.
Hildegardis School is a one of the Rotterdam primaries taking part in the scheme. The school's pupils love the programming lessons and wish they could have them more than once a week. The staff are positive too and believe that more schools should get involved. First-hand experience could pave the way for getting programming on the curriculum.
We all make enormous use the internet. With our computers, tablets and smartphones, we're on line throughout the day. And we start very early in life. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, we think it's only to be encouraged. But do our children know how the internet works? About the opportunities (and hazards) that the internet brings? IT nowadays plays a key role in every business and educational programme. So knowing something about it has to be a good idea, if only for your job prospects. We therefore support initiatives designed to boost the internet knowledge of upcoming generations. We back the Week van de Mediawijsheid ('Week of Media Wisdom'), for example, and enable publications such as NL DIGITAAL, www.wat and DigiDuck.
We want everyone to enjoy the opportunities that the internet offers. So we're committed to making things easier for groups who are disadvantaged in terms of internet access. One way we do that is through involvement in CodePact, a consortium dedicated to getting digital literacy onto the national school curriculum. If digital literacy were taught in schools, all children would get the grounding they need in this vital subject. Not only those at schools with an inherent interest in IT, but also those in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, for example. In 2017, we and our partners succeeded in persuading the Dutch government to add digital literacy to the curriculum. On 9 October 2017, together with CodePact, Kennisnet and Mediawijzer.net, we presented Samen Digiwijzer ('IT-savvy Together'): a plan tackling digital inequality by reaching out to more young people.
The internet creates opportunities for everyone. A good example is Cyberwerkplaats ('Cyber-workplace'), one of the projects supported by SIDN Fund. It's a non-profit initiative aimed at tackling the shortage of cybersecurity experts. Free tuition is given to talented youngsters aged fifteen to twenty-five who have dropped out of education, or are at risk of doing so. The scheme reaches out to school-leavers, gamers and others, provides tuition and matches them with employers. Other examples of the indirect contribution we make to equality of opportunity in the internet world include the Creative Tech Academy and Hack Your Future.
The .nl domain grew further, ending the year with 5.8 million domain names; we acquired a majority stake in Connectis, one of the Netherlands' biggest suppliers of secure log-in solutions; we hosted the first edition of SIDN Connect, and users expressed a high level of satisfaction with our services. Just a few of the things that happened in 2017. We look back at the highlights on this site.