A protocol between the Economic Affairs Department and DNS Belgium – the body that manages “.be” domain names on the Internet – will make it possible to block fraudulent websites in Belgium within 24 hours from 1 December. This was hitherto only possible in case of problems in identifying the owner of the Internet site. Otherwise the site had to be reported to the Office of the Public Prosecutor (OPP), a procedure that took at least two weeks, which left the fraudsters time to rob more consumers.
Under the new protocol, “.be” domain names that were fraudulently registered, are used for fraudulent websites, or host phishing sites (sites that imitate others so as to obtain, for example, credit card data by fraud) can be blocked within a day.
The new procedure will be applied only in the event of serious crimes. In such cases, the owner of the domain name will have a two-week timeline within which to submit an appeal. After six months, the blocked domain name will expire. In all cases where the owner of the Internet site can be clearly identified, the OPP will also be brought in.
The OPP’s involvement continues to be required to obtain the closure of fraudulent Internet sites with extensions other than “.be”, for example “.com”. The OPP can ask Belgian service providers to block such sites.