Austria’s Internet Celebrating 4 Anniversaries in 2018

30 years ago Austria’s ccTLD was delegated. In 1998, the Austrian Registry nic.at was founded along with the reporting hotline for illegal content, Stopline. And then 10 years later CERT.at (Austria’s Computer Emergency Response Team) was founded.

“Who would have thought 30 years ago, that two little letters in a US database would make up the home base of Austrians in the World Wide Web?“, Richard Wein and Robert Schischka, the CEO and CTO of nic.at, are still wondering. They proudly look back to the success story of Austria’s Internet, which they were able to shape in the past years.

It all started at the University of Vienna on January 20th, 1988 with an email that read “DONE”. Internet pioneer Jon Postel had confirmed Peter Rastl, former head of the IT department, that .at was added to the global Domain Name System. Three years later, the University of Vienna started to delegate domain names publicly, at first only under .co.at (for companies), .ac.at (for universities) and .gv.at (for governmental institutions). Then in 1997 it became possible to register directly under .at.

The growing commercial interest in the Internet had let to the creation of 30,000 domain names and pushed the University of Vienna and the Internet Service Providers Austria (ISPA) to professionalise the domain management. They founded nic.at – the Austrian Domain Registry – in 1998. Today, nic.at has done this job for 20 years and is looking after 1.23 million .at domains.

In parallel to founding nic.at, ISPA founded Stopline, the Austrian reporting hotline for illegal content online, primarily child pornography and national socialism. In order to run Stopline, nic.at closely cooperates with ISPA and has processed over 65,000 reports.

The social commitment of nic.at peaked at the next milestone in 2008 when the Austrian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT.at) was founded. CERT.at was jointly founded by nic.at and the Austrian Federal Chancellery. Ten years into its work, CERT.at has become indispensable for the Austrian IT-Security community. The CERT.at experts are highly valued within and outside of Austria.

“We are very happy to support the Austrian Internet Community and will continue to contribute to a safe and stable Internet infrastructure in Austria”, Richard Wein and Robert Schischka assert.

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