Platform communication opens door to renewed dialogue on improving the fight against illegal content online

Platform communication opens door to renewed dialogue on improving the fight against illegal content online

The European Commission has today delivered a strong endorsement of industry-led efforts to tackle illegal content online in its Communication on the Platform Economy. The 2500 European Internet Services Providers represented by EuroISPA look forward to working with the Commission to ensure a safer Internet that supports the objectives of the Digital Single Market and safeguards fundamental rights.

The Commission’s endorsement of self- and co-regulation opens the door to greater collaboration among stakeholders to develop improved frameworks of cooperation in the fight against illegal content. EuroISPA members have consistently led the way in such matters, from their stewardship of industry hotlines dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse online, to anti-spam and anti-malware initiatives across Europe.

Crucially, the Commission has opted to solidify its commitment to the E-Commerce Directive, the legislative cornerstone of the information society in Europe. The horizontal liability framework of the E-Commerce Directive allows business in the EU to concentrate on developing innovative legal business models that serve their customers, while at the same time ensuring that they have effective system in place to deal with various types of illegal content. This predictable compliance environment is the catalyst of digital innovation in Europe, and instrumental in ensuring Internet Services Provides can rapidly and effectively tackle illegal content online.

In particular, EuroISPA looks forward to enhancing dialogue with the European Commission and other stakeholders concerning improvements to the Notice-and-Takedown mechanism. The Internet is a global public sphere, but standards of illegality are defined on a country-by-country basis. This creates a major dilemma for ISPs, as they are not in a position to make proper judgements as to the context-dependent legality of content. On that basis, there is a clear opportunity to improve the fight against illegal content by exploring mechanisms to improve the clarity, judicial oversight and transparency of takedown requests issued to ISPs.