A zone

17 December 2020

A safe internet is one of our main priorities. This is why we collaborate with public bodies such as the FPS Economy and the Data Protection Authority (DPA) to combat cybercrime.

What does that mean? Sometimes the original content of a website is shielded from visitors. This only happens following a thorough motivation and prior inspection by the FPS Economy or the DPA. Because this is a sensitive topic, we will give more information about the Notice & Action procedure and our recent partnership with the GBA.


How does DNS Belgium collaborate with the FPS Economy and the DPA?

DNS Belgium does not decide itself whether the content of a website is permitted or not. Nor do we decide whether there has been a breach of, for example, privacy or economic law. This is the job of the FPS Economy and the DPA.

We have collaborated with the FPS Economy since 2018 to quickly and efficiently make fraudulent websites inaccessible. The ‘Notice & Action procedure’ was created for this. It works as follows:

  1. Notice: the FPS Economy notifies us of a .be-website where breaches of the law have been detected.
  2. Action: we launch an infringement procedure against the registrant and divert visitors to the web address to a warning page.

The owner of the website is given the opportunity to modify his data to bring his website in line with the law. We then make the website available again. In most cases the website owner does not react  and it effectively concerns fraud.

This autumn we entered into a similar partnership with the Data Protection Authority (DPA). In short, the DPA ensures GDPR law is respected. More specifically, this partnership allows us to take websites offline that commit serious breaches of privacy law. Again, this is only at the DPA's explicit request.


What are the consequences if you are careless with privacy law (GDPR)?

Being careless or forgetful are not the same as a breach. Is a newsletter opt-in still active on an old page? Is your cookie policy incomplete? The DPA may notify you of this and ask you to do something about it. Your website will not be taken offline from one day to the next. When are websites taken offline? Only if the list below is completely ticked off.

  • It concerns a serious breach of privacy law.
  • It concerns a deliberate breach of the law.
  • Despite an official order of the DPA, the website continues to process personal data. 

In addition, the ‘Notice & Action procedure’ only comes into force when the DPA has exhausted all measures to stop the misuse. The final resort is to take the website offline.

There must of course also be a clear connection between the website or the domain name and the detected breach of privacy law. For example, DNS Belgium won't take an e-commerce website offline, simply because the company made a mistake with the surveillance cameras on its site.

Partnerships with the FPS Economy and the Data Protection Authority are essential for us to keep Internet traffic as safe as possible and to protect Internet users against cybercrime, including abuse of personal data. The safest possible .be-domain name zone is one of DNS Belgium's highest priorities.

In this document you will find all the details of the partnership, it's only available in Dutch and French.



  • Last year we took 5,733 websites offline
  • To date we have handled 14 dossiers of the FPS Economy which required our intervention to take a website offline. We expect similar numbers for the partnership with the DPA. In other words: websites will not be made inaccessible in bulk.

With this article, we support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.