Dutch Authority Bans Third-Party Registration of .nl Domains, Citing Privacy and Abuse Concerns

Estimated read time 2 min read

Starting from October 1, 2023, the Dutch regulatory body SIDN will prohibit third-party registration of .nl domain names.

This new mandate is primarily aimed at privacy and proxy service providers, .nl registrars, and resellers of .nl domain names. The policy change will coincide with the implementation of revised general terms and conditions for .nl domain name holders and registrars.


Third-party domain registration services, often utilized as privacy and proxy services, emerged as a protective measure for private holders who preferred to keep their identification data – name, address, telephone number, and email address, concealed from WHOIS search results.

The Need for Change

However, SIDN argues that the need for such services is obsolete. The registration details of private domain name holders have not been publicly visible since 2010. In addition, since 2003, SIDN has had a special provision for extreme cases where individuals or institutions can request their data to be hidden – the so-called “opt-out” arrangement.

Importance of Authentic Registration

Accurate registration data serves multiple crucial functions. It allows the actual domain name holder to maintain control over the registration. Moreover, it enables SIDN and third parties, such as internet users and law enforcement authorities, to know the rightful holder of a domain name. This knowledge is critical for dealing with domain name misuse.

Combating Misuse

In practice, domain names registered with malicious intentions are often linked to a privacy or proxy service provider. This obstacle hampers the fight against domain name abuse. To counteract this, it is important to know who truly has control over a domain name, along with their verified identity.

Provision for Special Situations

SIDN recognizes that there may be valid reasons for a domain name not to be registered under the name of the actual controller temporarily. For instance, a party launching a new campaign may wish to keep their domain name registration details secret until the campaign officially begins. Or someone may want to secure a domain name while waiting for their “opt-out” request to be processed. For such situations, a domain name can be registered under the registrar’s name without being linked to any nameservers, making it ‘inactive’ and thus unreachable.

New General Terms and Conditions

In light of the ban on privacy and proxy services for .nl domains, SIDN is revising its general terms and conditions for .nl domain name holders and registrars, effective from October 1, 2023.

Reza Rafati https://cyberwarzone.com

Reza Rafati, based in the Netherlands, is the founder of Cyberwarzone.com. An industry professional providing insightful commentary on infosec, cybercrime, cyberwar, and threat intelligence, Reza dedicates his work to bolster digital defenses and promote cyber awareness.

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