07

Feb '24

Relocation of .nl domain names to Amazon causing unrest in Dutch internet sector – NL Times

A plan to move part of the technology behind the .nl domain names to Amazon Web Services – the branch of the United States company that rents out server space – has caused severe unrest in the Dutch internet sector. Critics worry that the Netherlands Internet Domain Registration Foundation (SIDN) is handing over a crucial part of the Dutch internet to an American company and, therefore, the U.S. government, NOS reports.
It involves the Domain Name System (DNS) – the “telephone book” behind .nl. When a visitor navigates to a .nl site like Rijksoverheid.nl or DigiD.nl, it is the DNS that ensures that the domain name is translated into IP addresses that a computer can talk to. Without the DNS, a large part of the Dutch internet stops working.
The SIDN doesn’t want to move the entire infrastructure to Amazon – the DNS will continue to be run in-house. But the system behind it, which allows domain names to be registered or updated, is moving. This system ultimately determines whether a website visitor ends up in the right place, so it’s crucial to the functioning of the DNS.
According to SIDN, the move is necessary because maintaining the servers is expensive and time-consuming, and it can’t find staff to do it. The foundation added that the DNS system will move to servers in the European Union, not in the United States.
Bert Hubert, the internet expert who developed the software for looking up domain names in the DNS, is not reassured. “This is bad for our digital autonomy. We are trying to get it back, this is not the time to hand it over.” He fears that the U.S. government will end up with the final say on what happens to the .nl systems. “And if Amazon has been hacked: who will they help online first? Not us,” Hubert said, pointing out that the U.S. has legislation that gives its governments priority in certain emergency situations.
The Dutch government itself has raised concerns about dependency on Amazon. In its Digital Open Strategic Autonomy Agenca, the government wrote that relying on services like Amazon Web Services entails “a large degree of dependence,” which “could potentially be used as a means of pressure.”
There are also privacy concerns. Anyone who registers a domain name must submit their address and contact details. The data of 6.3 million domain names will be part of the transfer to Amazon, giving the American intelligence services access to it.
GroenLinks-PvdA, D66, and NSC have submitted parliamentary questions on the matter. They asked outgoing Minister Micky Adriaansens of Economic Affairs whether the move “creates an undesirable dependence on the United States.” They stressed that the SIDN is a “provider of essential services.”
The Association of Registrars, the trade organization of internet companies that register domain names for customers, said it was “completely surprised” and “unamused” by the SIDN plan to move part of the DNS to Amazon. Industry organization Dutch Cloud Community told NOS that it is being flooded with concerned questions.
The SIDN acknowledged to NOS that “digital autonomy” is a concern, but other criteria were decisive. The .nl system cannot fail, and the data must be properly protected, the foundation said. Amazon’s offering “closely aligns with our operational and security requirements and nearly all our strategic goals,” the SIDN said, adding that it had informed the Ministry of Economic Affairs about the move in advance.
© 2012-2024, NL Times, All rights reserved.

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Joker
Joker

Joker has been buying and selling domains since the late 90's. He has worked with many portfolios and investors over the past decade as well.

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