City of Trust
The Internet can be a dangerous place with scams and malware around every corner. New York City has the opportunity to create a trustable TLD - more like .gov and .edu than .com. It can be a place where people feel safe visiting our websites, a place they frequent for our expertise, our products and services. Here we discuss making .nyc the foundation of a City of Trust.
Success in building this digital city requires a collaborative effort between these stakeholders:
8,200,000 Stakeholders - aka residents who realize their city's future is tied into the success of its Internet presence.
TLD-Watch - trained moderators (citizens) who react when spotting illegal or inappropriate content.
300,000 strong civic workforce - with city agencies educating and enforcing current city law and regulations on the Internet, providing civil & Internet recourse protections.
Enter any store in New York and you'll see signs like the above providing assurance and recourse should something go wrong. Depending upon the store's functions, these might reference the Department of Health, the Department of Consumer Affairs, or a handful of other agencies. The existence of these agencies and the posting of signs reflects the city's long experience with possible abuses.
To create a City of Trust, New York should mandate, as a condition of using the .nyc TLD, the placement of Trust Buttons on every .nyc web page. See Trust Buttons.
Imagine a city where residents recognize that the quality of their city's brand - how their city is perceived by residents and outsiders - is vital to their individual economic success.
Imagine a city where residents commit their city's traditional police power - as exercised through its environmental, health, police, legal, consumer protection, and other civic resources - to help assure the integrity of products and services sold under their city's TLD. And that to enable this protective force, they built digital systems that tie residents into these enforcement channels.
And imagine that residents were trained to use these systems to protect their (city's) brand, and that they exercised their individual capacities to monitor and report sites that damaged that brand.
With these beliefs and systems part of New York's culture, our city would be on its way to become a "City of Trust" where residents local and global would feel comfortable doing business, believing that goods and services purchased from .nyc sites were backed by the resources of New York City's government, its businesses, and its people.
Toward a City of Trust
Steps required to create a City of Trust include:
- To the maximum extent possible, make sure that domain names reflect their common or traditional meaning, that the .nycTLD is intuitive.
- Make sure domain names Acceptance by the city administration that the .nyc TLD is part of the city's brand, that a crime or violation of trust on a website using the .nyc TLD is no different than a pickpocket or swindle in Times Square. Both equally damage the city's brand and diminish our city.
- Appointment of a Chief Trust Officer to coordinate with government agencies, the private sector, civil society, and residents the development of projects and programs that enhance the trustability of the city of New York, its people, and its resources. The CTO's responsibility should include:
- Tying traditional city regulatory structures - Department of Consumer Affairs, NYPD, 311, etc. - into support for the .nyc TLD.
- Educating residents on the importance of the .nyc TLD to the city's future, how our brand's efficacy impacts the city's economic vitality and quality of life.
- Fostering a TLD-Watch program, modeled after the Block-Watch safety programs, where residents are trained to identify and report online violations.
- Designing Trust Buttons, including their language, look, and placement on .nyc websites. (See sidebar.)
- Developing programs to enable all city residents to exercise their stakeholder roles.
- Assist with marketing the City of Trust globally.