EU Policy Update - November 2016
The year-end EU Policy Update comes in quite some density – and therefore with a new structure. No EU institution wanted to be perceived as idle, so you’ll find last-minute publications (consumer protection), (partial) positions (geo-blocking, terrorism, roaming), and reinforced initiatives (hate speech) – so that everyone is able to tell a success story after all. Still, some core proposals for 2016 had to be postponed to next year (ePrivacy, IPRED) – at least on the Commission’s agenda, since the incoming EU Presidency (Malta) might have set its priorities elsewhere. With so many digital files in course, you will find more background information in this update than usual – not least to keep you busy over Christmas! (By the way: If you are still in search of an advent calendar, Europol has the solution.)
EU Policy Update - October 2016
When it comes to sharing EU citizens’ data with the US, the EU likes to think of itself as the bastion of data protection. However, the walls of protection are thinner within the EU itself, especially when EU and national law-makers declare war on terrorism. Governments and law enforcement alike increasingly request to access, retrieve and retain personal data and to limit the availability of encryption to users and companies. Their greatest challenge, however, seems to be to draft legal texts that reflect and respect how the Internet works. This includes defining clear, non-ambiguous measures that effectively tackle the identified problems without compromising the openness, resilience and stability of the Internet. In this EU Policy Update, you will find news on Digital Single Market files, international data transfer agreements, mass surveillance as well as landmark cases, such as Breyer vs. Germany or Microsoft vs. DOJ.
EU Policy Update - September 2016
The long-awaited copyright proposal is finally out: The Commission displays itself as the guardian of artists and the defender of rights holders and publishers. Obviously, this can't make everyone happy. No real surprises with regards to the telecom review ever since the impact assessment was published. The free flow of data will be another "big one" – scheduled for end of November. Europol and Interpol had their big yearly conference, where they identified major challenges and corresponding priorities for the coming years. Meanwhile, Europol's terrorism-related units expand their reach and activities. Both Commission and Europol focus on enhancing collaboration between the public and private sectors and with law enforcement confirming the worrying trend to privatise responsibilities for otherwise state or law enforcement-related tasks.
EU Policy Update - August 2016
Europe’s net neutrality rules are ready to be tested on the ground: BEREC, the body of European regulators for electronic communications, published guidelines for national regulators who will be responsible for overseeing the rules when applied by telecom providers. The latter will see their opportunities to diversify data speed offers reduced (but hold their tongues for now). In the meantime, (draft) documents keep leaking out of the Commission – copyright and the telecom review being first on the list. Official versions expected in Q4 include: Telecoms review (13/9), copyright (21/9), Cloud computing (October), Startup initiative (November), free flow of data (30/11), VAT for e-commerce and e-Privacy (December).
EU Policy Update - July 2016 (II)
Will the EU see a new data retention law? The Commission’s plans for a new EU-wide data retention law will have been reinvigorated by the recent opinion of the ECJ’s Advocate General. The latter states that a general obligation to retain data may be compatible with EU law provided that strict safeguards are in place. Accordingly, the “bulk collection” of data would only be admissible in the fight against serious crime, when strictly necessary to do so and when limited to the strictly necessary. It will be up to national courts to decide if these requirements are met. However, one can assume that in order to avoid a fragmented approach across the EU, the Commission will want to put it under the umbrella of an EU directive.
EU Policy Update - July 2016
With the European Parliament entering its last meeting week, summer recess is creeping into the otherwise buzzing EU-quarters in Brussels – giving the (new) Slovakian EU Presidency a smooth start into its 6-month reign. The European Commission has closed a couple of public consultations and made sure to send out some “good vibes” before the break (e.g. finalising the EU-US Privacy Shield, announcing investment into cybersecurity). Legal cases are also part of this EU Update, with US internet companies going through gain and pain, and Facebook being party to the next landmark case potentially shaking not only transatlantic but also global data transfers of personal data.
EU Policy Update - June 2016
The European Commission continues pumping out proposals and new initiatives in a bid to get Europe up to digital speed standards. It’s not all that innovation-focused though: the ultimate aim seems to be to ensure that all the (‘new’) actors that keep shaking up the Internet “as we know it” do not escape legislation and take on their fair share of responsibility. Topics in this update: ICT standardisation, tackling hate speech, consumer & data protection, IPR, and encryption.
EU Policy Update - May 2016 (II)
Europol competences to fight terrorism strengthened – The European Parliament approved a regulation, which expands Europol’s powers to fight terrorism and cybercrime. Under the new rules, the Internal Referral Unit will be able to directly ask social media companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, to delete illegal online content or sites run by terrorists.
EU Policy Update - May 2016
New DSM announcements in May - After some delay, the Commission is set to publish on 25 May several proposals linked to its digital single market strategy (DSM), including geo-blocking, parcel delivery and Internet platforms. DSM measures of most relevance to ccTLD are: Internet platforms (with a potential review of the intermediary liability provisions), the copyright review (expected end of September, including enforcement rules), and a review of the e-Privacy directive (in December).
EU Policy Update - April 2016
EU Member States ill-prepared for cyber threats - This is the result of a recent ENISA study analysing the crisis management frameworks in the sectors of aviation, civil protection, border control, counter-terrorism and health and disease control. It is particularly important to focus not only on the mitigation of the effect of (a) cyber crisis, but also on the mitigation of the cyber incidents that caused it, the report states.