What is Internet.nl?
Internet.nl helps you to check whether your internet is up to date. Do your website, email and internet connection use modern and reliable Internet Standards? And if they don't, what can you do about it?
Who is behind Internet.nl?
The test tool Internet.nl is an initiative of the Dutch Internet Standards Platform. The aim of the platform is to jointly increase the use of modern Internet standards to make the Internet more accessible, safer and more reliable for everyone. The platform is a collaboration between parties from the Internet community and the Dutch government. The following parties are currently participating in the platform:
- Dutch Cloud Community
- Dutch Authority for Digital Infrastructure
- Dutch Standardisation Forum
- Internet Society international
- Internet Society Nederlands chapter
- Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
- NLnet Labs
- RIPE NCC
ECP provides for the administrative home of the platform. The domain name Internet.nl is provided to the platform by the Netherlands chapter of the Internet Society. Open Netlabs / NLnet Labs laid the foundation for Internet.nl and the underlying tooling. From 1 April 2021 onwards, maintenance and further development will be carried out by the project team of the Internet Standards Platform.
What are Internet Standards?
In order to exchange data between computers around the world, we need international agreements on how computers talk to one another. The digital "plugs and sockets" that link everything together, so to speak. These agreements are called Internet Standards or internet protocols. An example is SMTP, a well-known protocol for sending email. This technical core of the internet is invisible and unknown to most users. However it is crucial for a working internet today and in the future.
Why is it important to be up to date?
The original internet standards date from the 70s and 80s, when the number of internet users was small. Nowadays, there are more than three billion users worldwide! And these people use the internet more and more for transactions that are privacy-sensitive and costly. The old standards cannot meet this scale nor the modern safety requirements. For instance, criminals are abusing the SMTP standard to spoof the sender address of an email. This means that we have to start using new, smarter standards that keep our internet reliable. The good news is that these modern Internet Standards are available.
Are the Netherlands taking the lead in using modern Internet Standards?
Unfortunately, that is not the case. Even in a modern country like the Netherlands (that became the first internet connected European country in 1988) we use too many outdated standards that fall short of reliability. Not using these modern standards is a risk for the individual internet user, but also for the Dutch economy and for the world at large. Therefore, please help improving the internet and make sure that you use modern Internet Standards.
Who should act on modern Internet Standards?
Our access, hosting and email providers should take care of implementing modern internet standards and setting them correctly. Do the test results show any shortcomings? Then please send a message about this to your provider(s). If you use your own connection, webserver or mailserver, you have to take care of the correct settings yourself.
Why don’t you address the access, hosting and email providers directly?
We do. Still it is important that internet users are aware themselves and send out signals to their provider(s) as well. This may come as a surprise, but in a modern country like the Netherlands we still use many standards that are outdated and lack reliability. Therefore please help us to improve the internet together, and demand modern Internet Standards.