Blacknight "won't wait for a court order" in cases of serious abuse

Irish Web Host Announces Campaign for Safer Internet Day

As schools and youth organisations around the country prepare to mark Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 11 February, Ireland's leading web host Blacknight has launched a campaign to promote Internet safety and tackle online crime.

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Blacknight hosts almost a third of Ireland’s websites, and provides email, connectivity and cloud services to almost 100,000 customers around the world. The Carlow company is proud of its role in Ireland’s internet success and its CEO, Michele Neylon, believes it’s important to protect and nurture the internet as a positive force in society.

Internet technology has allowed small businesses to flourish and grow without having to be in big towns or cities. I can just as easily work with colleagues in the US, as I can with people in Siberia or West Clare. But for all of that to work there needs to be a sense of trust in the entire system. Trust is not something that can be forced. It’s something that’s earned and every single time you have a bad experience online that will erode your trust in the system. Michele Neylon, CEO, Blacknight

Maintaining that trust is a shared responsibility, says Neylon, given the Internet’s nature as an open platform for the exchange of information. No one person or organisation owns the Internet commons and infrastructure providers like Blacknight cannot simply vet every piece of content that is published, or the internet would grind to a halt.

We're not in the business of Internet censorship and there are areas which are quite properly the domain of the police and the courts. Internet service providers like us take very seriously our responsibility in this regard, which is why the Internet Service Provider Association of Ireland (ISPAI) operates the service in cooperation with the Gardaí. Michele Neylon, CEO, Blacknight was established in 1998 to provide a free, secure and anonymous service where the public can report suspected illegal online content including child sexual abuse material (CSAM), human trafficking, hate speech and financial scams. More than 12,000 reports were received by the service in 2018.

As well as supporting the work of, Blacknight has gone further and recently joined international industry leaders including GoDaddy, Nominet and Amazon, to agree a common Framework to Address Abuse of the Domain Name System (DNS) by criminals.

48 companies have committed to the Framework and others are expected to follow. The Framework identifies four types of web content abuse which a domain name registry or registrar should act to disrupt, without waiting for a court order. These are: (1) child sexual abuse materials; (2) illegal distribution of opioids online; (3) human trafficking; and (4) specific and credible incitements to violence.

“The important thing is to develop cooperation between internet companies”, explains Neylon. “We already have these policies in place, as do many other companies, but the Internet is a distributed system. A site’s domain name is often registered with one company, while it points to content hosted by one or more others”.

While companies like Blacknight have an important role, Mr Neylon is anxious to stress the importance of public awareness and Internet literacy. “Safer Internet Day is an important initiative in raising awareness among young people, in particular, and their families. We all need to play our part, by spreading awareness of internet safety and encouraging people to report illegal content”.

The company has also published a guide for Internet users titled Seven Simple Steps to Online Security.


Further information, photos and, audio clips for radio

For interview, contact:

Audio Clip 1: The Framework to Address Abuse

Duration: 0'12". Out: "... without getting a court order"

Audio Clip 2: "We are not the Internet Police ..."

Duration: 0'15". Out: "... there needs to be trust in that system"


Favicon for Blacknight Solutions - Domains | Hosting | Email
Favicon for Safer Internet Day 2020 -
Favicon for Seven Simple Steps to Online Security
Favicon for DNS Abuse Framework

Photo: Mr Michele Neylon, CEO, Blacknight

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About Blacknight

Blacknight ( are an Irish based, ICANN accredited domain registrar and hosting company. Recipients of several awards for their revolutionary use of social media, Blacknight are one of Europe’s most cutting edge Internet companies. Blacknight constantly seek to lead the way by introducing innovative solutions for its client base and provide dedicated servers and co-location as well as a comprehensive range of Microsoft Windows and Linux based hosting services and domain name registration services to business globally. IP transit services and other solutions for more demanding business and academic customers are offered a la carte. Fibre broadband services for both business and domestic users are also available throughout most of Ireland.

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