EuroISPA presents its Principles for the Future of the EU Intermediary Liability Framework

Brussels, 13 November 2019: EuroISPA has published its guiding principles for policy development in the context of the possible revision of the current EU intermediary liability framework.

As the discussions around the reopening of the E-Commerce Directive intensify in Brussels and the new Commission’s President, Ursula von der Leyen, sets the Digital Services Act as priority in the Commission’s political agenda, EuroISPA puts forward a set of guiding principles for a sensible policy development in the field of intermediary liability.

Maximilian Schubert, President of EuroISPA, said: The upcoming revision of the e-commerce directive is an unprecedented opportunity for the EU to develop a forward-looking legislation that embraces innovation and allows the EU Internet industry to remain competitive in the global digital markets. EuroISPA’s members look forward to working with EU policymakers to ensure that legal certainty, trust and confidence in the Digital Single Market are preserved and that the EU legislative framework allows the very diverse European Internet ecosystem to continue unfolding its full potential for growth and jobs in Europe.

Malcolm Hutty, Chair of the Intermediary Liability Committee of EuroISPA commented: “The existing EU intermediary liability ethos has allowed Europe’s digital economy to thrive and thus, EuroISPA’s Intermediary Liability Committee has worked to put together a consensus position that reflects on the fundamental aspects to consider when revising the rulebook for digital services. This consensus is been translated into a set of 17 principles that put liability protections as the key structural element of all digital services.

With these principles, EuroISPA’s members propose a business oriented and innovation-friendly approach that safeguards the rights of users and service providers.

You can download the paper here.

About EuroISPA: EuroISPA is the world's largest association of Internet Services Providers (ISPs), representing over 2,500 ISPs across the EU and EFTA countries. EuroISPA is recognised as the voice of the EU ISP industry, reflecting the views of ISPs of all sizes from across its member base.

EuroISPA to participate to stakeholder dialogue on Article 17 of the Copyright Directive

Brussels, 8 October 2019: EuroISPA has been selected as a member of the European Commission’s stakeholder dialogue under Article 17 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

The dialogue, which follows an unprecedented controversial discussion last year will gather a wide range of stakeholders to discuss possible practical solutions for the implementation of Article 17 of the Directive, with a focus on cooperation between online content-sharing service providers and rightsowners. The discussions will feed into the European Commission's guidelines for the application of Article 17.

Innocenzo Genna, EuroISPA’s Chair of Innovation and Growth, said: “We are honoured to participate in the stakeholder dialogue under Article 17 of the Copyright Directive. EuroISPA has always demonstrated its willingness to work towards a solution in line with the expectations of the market and the rights of European citizens”.

61 industry associations call for reassessment of ePrivacy proposal

Brussels, 8 October 2019: 61 European trade associations, including EuroISPA, urged Member States to ask the European Commission to reconsider its proposal for an ePrivacy Regulation in an open letter.

The draft ePrivacy Regulation was proposed in January 2017. However, several questions about the essential aspects of the proposal remain unanswered. The current ePrivacy proposal has generated great uncertainty across a wide range of industries, whose efforts to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) risk being jeopardised by an incoherent ePrivacy text.

Therefore, while the signatories fully support the objectives of the proposal, they ask for a fresh new attempt to reassess the proposal. The arrival of a new European Commission in November and European Parliament represents an opportunity for a fresh start in the debate, which can only happen if the proposal is fundamentally reassessed in light of the many outstanding concerns, the new legislative landscape and technology development.

You can read the full letter here.

EuroISPA strongly supports end-to-end encryption and opposes calls for backdoors

Brussels, 7 October 2019: The UK, Australia, and the United States asked Facebook and other companies to delay their plans to implement end-to-end encryption across their messaging services and to provide law enforcement with lawful access to their users’ encrypted content. In this context, EuroISPA reiterates its support for strong encryption, a fundamental element to ensure cybersecurity and users’ privacy.

On 4 October 2019, high ranking officials from the UK, Australia and the USA addressed a letter to Facebook requesting it does “not proceed with its plan to implement end-to-end encryption across its messaging services without providing [...] means for lawful access to the content of communications to protect our citizens."

Maximilian Schubert, President of EuroISPA and Chair of the Cybersecurity Committee, reacted: “EuroISPA’s members continuously work with law enforcement towards making the online sphere a safer space for businesses as well as individuals. At the same time, EuroISPA firmly supports strong encryption, as it plays a fundamental role in ensuring cybersecurity and users’ privacy”.

End-to-end encryption in messaging services, as well as cryptographic protocols such as TLS (Transport Layer Security) and HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), are essential for creating trust in the Internet. The now suggested techniques aim to allow law enforcement to access private communications. Experience has however shown that such measures will always be exploited by ill-intentioned hackers, undermining cybersecurity and privacy for all users and businesses online. This would weaken that very trust and might result in a slower take-up of online services throughout the EU.

Therefore, given the societal advantages of encryption and the negative effects of mandatory backdoors, EuroISPA opposes the request of the United Kingdom, Australia, as well as the United States. EuroISPA’s members stand ready to collaborate with law enforcement authorities to assist them in criminal investigations.

Statement

Brussels, 21 August 2019: It is with great sadness that we have learnt today about the loss of Giovanni Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor.

Through his immense contribution to the debate about data protection and privacy, he highlighted the interdependence between this matter and the transformation of society, economy, and technology as a whole. His brilliant mind and constructive dialogue will be greatly missed in the EU data protection community.

We send our sincere condolences to his family and colleagues.

EuroISPA report on Priority Flagging Partnerships in Practice

We are happy to share EuroISPA’s report on Priority Flagging Partnerships in Practice.

The document provides a first structured insight into best practices from companies with priority flagging partnerships in place in order to improve their management of illegal content online, where the information was gathered through a written survey shared amongst EuroISPA Forum Members and external companies.

A broad range of ISPs, including online marketplaces, social networks, search engines and providers of content delivery networks shared their input and insights. Thanks to this survey, we gathered information on the variety of stakeholders involved, on the existing selection processes, on the rights and duties of priority flaggers, on the different types of content reported, etc.

The report can be found here

EuroISPA Annual Report 2018

We are happy to share  EuroISPA’s Annual Report for 2018, which documents the achievements and engagement of the Association over the course of last year.

The Annual Report provides an overview of the Association’s actions and outreach in 2018, from terrorist content online and ePrivacy, from data retention to the e-evidence proposal, the Report showcases the achievements both in Brussels and beyond. The Annual Report can be found here.

10 organisations share concerns on unworkable 1-hour timeframes to remove terrorist content online

Brussels, 5 April 2019: EuroISPA and nine other organisations from the digital sector and civil society call on the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee to adopt the proposal on tackling the dissemination of terrorist content online without an unworkable one-hour timeframe to remove content. 

The proposed timeframe does not take into account the size and economic capacity of hosting service providers. European small and medium-sized enterprises not operating a 24/7 service, for instance, would not be able to comply with removal orders being sent outside of working hours.

Instead, we suggest to follow a more pragmatic approach which would mandate hosting service providers to execute removal orders “as soon as possible”. Such an amendment would be compliant with European citizens’ fundamental rights and protect the competitiveness of digital businesses, while ensuring a good framework of cooperation between hosting service providers and Member States to tackle the dissemination of terrorist content online.

You can read the full letter here

EuroISPA regrets plenary vote on EU Copyright Directive

Brussels, 26 March 2019 – EuroISPA regrets that the majority of the European Parliament endorsed the Copyright Directive reform, with its Articles 11 and 13 featuring in the final agreement.

Innocenzo Genna, Chair of the Innovation and Growth Committee, commented: “A majority of policy-makers in the European Parliament ignored the concerns of more than 5 million users, civil society, the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, creative SMEs and startups, innovative media and publishers,  and the Internet industry at large”.

EuroISPA members are concerned that upload filters necessary to comply with Article 13 will impact the competitiveness of European SMEs, while pushing overly cautious platforms to remove potentially legal content in order to avoid liability, with detriment for users’ rights. Furthermore, Article 11 on press publishers’ rights could limit European users’ ability to share snippets and hyperlinks online, due to unclear and partial carve-outs included in the text.

As the Copyright Directive will be transposed at the national level, EuroISPA’s national members will make concerted efforts to minimize the damage for the Internet ecosystem across Member States and address the lack of clarity in same areas of the proposal.

Industry and civil society share concerns on Regulation on terrorist content online with MEPs

Brussels - 18 March 2019: EuroISPA and eight organisations representing civil society and industry sent a letter to the European Parliament highlighting concerns on the proposal for a Regulation on Preventing the Dissemination of Terrorist Content Online.

The co-signatories suggest several measures to improve the proposal, such as limiting the definition of "hosting service providers", amending the extremely short one-hour deadline to comply with removal orders, and clearly aligning the proposal with the e-Commerce Directive.

You can read it here.

The letter has been signed by: