Position Paper on the Proposal for a Regulation laying down rules to prevent and combat child sexual abuse

14 September 2022EuroISPA publishes its Position Paper expressing concerns about the Proposal for a Regulation laying down rules to prevent and combat child sexual abuse. The document highlights risks of inoperability and technical unfeasibility, concerns around compatibility with the GDPR, DSA, ePrivacy Directive, NIS2, and the Open Internet Regulation, as well as emphasising worries about excessive administrative burdens on SMEs.

EuroISPA, a pan-European association which represents over 3,000 Internet Services Providers (ISPs), works to advocate for the needs both of the wider industry and of users. This position paper is one example of how the association’s members work together to draft recommendations for EU policy makers that can be implemented by the industry in order to tackle the issue at hand.  EuroISPA members are at the forefront of the efforts to protect children online and have a longstanding relationship with law enforcement authorities to assist them in the fight against child exploitation.

Download the Position Paper here.

PRESS RELEASE: EuroISPA voices concerns regarding CSAM proposal’s impact on user privacy

Brussels, 18 May 2022EuroISPA, the pan-European association of Internet Services Providers Associations, highlights concern about privacy, freedom of speech, and overbearing obligations in relation to the recently proposed Regulation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse.  

Alexandra Laffitte, President of EuroISPA, noted: “Our members share the view that obligations in relation to detecting, reporting, removing, and blocking of content in this proposal raise questions about intrusion into user privacy and potential surveillance by authorities or malicious actors, as well as about operational viability. Furthermore, in order to ensure consistency across the ecosystem and a proper balance with regards to fundamental rights and freedoms, the proposal needs to be aligned with the DSA and the GDPR. This is particularly important with regards to principles such as non-general monitoring and the confidentiality of electronic communications. Encryption tools are part of the framework which allows Internet and online services to be trusted and ensure ongoing cybersecurity and data protection. The weakening of end-to-end encryption would damage the economy as well as damaging efforts to create an Internet which enhances trust, user privacy, and freedom of expression”. 

EuroISPA represents Internet Services Providers (ISPs) across the European continent, creating a common voice aiming to promote and protect the interests of its members whilst working towards a safer Internet for all.  

Within EuroISPA, the Safer Internet Committee aims to contribute to the shaping of policies on child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online and cooperates with law enforcement authorities by sharing practical experience and infrastructure control. Several EuroISPA members also manage national level hotlines which contribute to the tackling of illegal content online.  

“This proposal puts forward a new approach to combatting child sexual abuse, a crucial issue that we have been dedicated to for many years. However, it is important to note that the proposal only focuses on the Internet ecosystem, without considering and supporting the existing local-level schemes which have proven their efficiency in fighting and preventing child sexual abuse. EuroISPA is analysing the text in detail to ensure that the future framework will effectively help prevent child sexual abuse, and that the obligations on intermediaries do not have a burdensome effect on smaller players in the sector, as SMEs are at the core of EuroISPA’s membership and play a vital role in the Internet sector as a whole. We hope our voice and the voices of fellow industry players will be taken into account as discussions continue about the proposal, in order to protect all the fundamental rights of users whilst tackling the very real concern of CSAM online at an operational level,” added Asko Metsola, Chair of EuroISPA’s Safer Internet Committee. 

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Recap of Past Event: The Upcoming DSA Trilogues and the Future of Content Moderation 

On 26 January 2022, EuroISPA presented the sixth and final online event of its DSA in Focus series, kindly sponsored by LINX. This time, the panelists took stock of the discussions the co-legislators had in 2021 and shared insights on what can be expected in the upcoming trilogues. You can revisit the interventions of our speakers here or below. 

The event gathered a distinguished expert panel comprised of Mathieu Weill, Head of the Digital Economy Department at the French Ministry of Economy, Stefano Montanari, Adviser to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and Tobias Schmid, Commissioner for European Affairs of the German Media Authorities (DLM) and former Chair of ERGA.  

Alexandra Laffitte, President of EuroISPA, moderated the panel. In her introductory remarks, she commended the progress made by the co-legislators and the preservation of key principles of the E-Commerce Directive in the DSA, such as the limited liability regime and the prohibition of general monitoring obligations.  

Mathieu Weill emphasized that the DSA is a horizontal framework. Besides, he mentioned that the regulatory burden that has been added was proportionate to the size and the type of players. Finally, he stated that the French Presidency will try to advance the mandate of the Council rapidly and that they are very encouraged by the vote in the European Parliament.  

The necessity to assess and adapt the DSA on a regular basis, was highlighted by Stefano Montanari, as the digital world evolves more rapidly than the regulatory one. Moreover, he argued that having strict safeguards and clear limits on the work of trusted flaggers will be needed.  

Finally, from the perspective of a media regulator, Tobias Schmid stressed that the DSA is not very concrete in certain areas and that the trilogues should focus on how to find a balanced system between regulation, co-regulation and self-regulation.  

This session marked the end of our DSA in Focus series, and EuroISPA would like to once again thank all the speakers for sharing their expertise during this series. From discussing the DSA’s liability regime to reflecting on its transparency and reporting obligations, we have covered a variety of topics, and we would like to extend our gratitude to the audiences for the open exchanges. In the coming months, we hope to announce more events on legislative files relevant to European ISPs and other industry stakeholders, so stay tuned!  

PRESS RELEASE: EuroISPA welcomes progress on the DSA

Brussels, 20 January 2022: EuroISPA, the pan-European association of Internet Services Providers Associations, welcomes today’s plenary vote on the Digital Services Act (DSA) in the European Parliament, paving the way for interinstitutional negotiations and a potential final agreement in 2022.

Malcolm Hutty, Chair of EuroISPA’s Intermediary Liability Committee, said: “We commend the work of the Rapporteurs and the Shadow Rapporteurs to create a regulatory framework ensuring a safe online environment for users while fostering innovation and competitiveness within the Single Market. The preservation of key principles of the E-Commerce Directive, such as the limited liability regime and the prohibition of general monitoring obligations, will ensure that the Internet industry can continue to thrive for the benefit of all Europeans.”

At the same time, further work in the interinstitutional negotiations will be needed to guarantee a truly future-proof framework. For instance, a clearer distinction between online platforms and pure hosting services providers is needed in order to grant legal certainty for all parties. Provisions on orders to take down content and to provide information to authorities should respect the country-of-origin principle and should be in line with existing and upcoming legislation such as the e-evidence package.

Alexandra Laffitte, President of EuroISPA, shared the association’s views on the upcoming interinstitutional negotiations: “We encourage policymakers to keep the DSA a horizontal framework, to avoid creating obligations which would result in primary liability for service providers, and to ensure that the upcoming rules are balanced and proportionate, especially taking into account the type and size of businesses. We stand ready to support the co-legislators in their efforts to formulate a future-proof framework for the online environment.”

Recap of Past Event: Implementation, Extra-Territorial Application and Enforcement

On 2 December 2021, EuroISPA presented the fifth online event of its DSA in Focus series, sponsored by LINX. This time, the event focused on the DSA’s provisions on the country-of-origin principle, extra-territorial jurisdiction and the Digital Services Coordinators. You can revisit the interventions of our speakers here or below.

The event gathered a distinguished expert panel debating the implementation, the extra-territorial application and the enforcement of the DSA. It was formed by Michał Pukaluk, Director of the Digital Policy Department in the Office of the Polish Prime Minister, Christian Dawson, Executive Director with the i2Coalition, as well as Malcolm Hutty, Chair of EuroISPA’s Intermediary Liability Committee.

Thomas Bihlmayer, Member of the Board of EuroISPA, moderated the panel. In his introductory remarks, he emphasized EuroISPA’s support for increased harmonisation of procedures to tackle illegal content across the EU, in order to ensure legal certainty for businesses and a safe environment for users online.

Michał Pukaluk mentioned that, while the country-of-origin principle needs to be preserved, it will be important to ensure the involvement of the country of destination in the enforcement. Besides, he stated that during the negotiations in the Council, the basic exemptions for SMEs were maintained. Moreover, he expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the DSA is ensuring that illegal content is treated equally offline and online.

Christian Dawson pointed out the dangers of web blocking imposed on Internet infrastructure. He reminded that the Internet infrastructure is mostly formed by small companies, which drive the economy, and which are struggling with burdensome regulatory requirements, such as the ones imposed by the GDPR. 

Malcolm Hutty stated that EuroISPA is supportive of the Commission’s attempt to balance the text and welcomes its broad, cross-cutting and horizontal perspective. Besides, he argued that the country-of-origin principle needs to be respected to ensure EU principles.

EuroISPA wishes to extend its gratitude to the speakers for sharing their knowledge on the new DSA regime and for the open exchange with the audience. We are looking forward to our final event, taking place on Wednesday, 26 January 2022, wrapping up the series.

PRESS RELEASE: EuroISPA Calls for Robust Regulatory Digital Framework for the EU and a Timely Decision on the Digital Services Act

Brussels, 12 November 2021 – EuroISPA, the pan-European association of Internet Services Providers Associations, co-signed a letter calling on the European Parliament to develop a robust regulatory digital framework for the EU with the Digital Services Act (DSA), as part of a broader coalition of leading start-ups and SMEs, alongside technology, advertising, and media organisations of different sizes.

The letter highlights the key areas the signatories believe should be focused on in order to ensure a timely co-legislative process, which will be crucial to strengthening the EU internal market. The letter comes in light of the upcoming Internal Market and Consumer Affairs Committee (IMCO) vote on the matter and notes the need to:

  • Maintain the horizontal approach of the Digital Services Act
  • Preserve and build on the cornerstones of the e-Commerce Directive
  • Build a workable, balanced, future-proof Regulation
  • Ensure consistency with the EU’s existing legal framework

Alexandra Laffitte, President of EuroISPA, commented: “EuroISPA is in a unique position to represent the needs of European Internet Services Providers, so we feel it is particularly crucial to highlight that the DSA should maintain the e-Commerce Directive principles at its core while remaining horizontal in its scope; it should not address issues that are best left to specific, vertical legislation. Along with our fellow signatories, we hope that this letter will emphasise our willingness to bring expertise to the discussions at any point and that it will help policy makers tackle the DSA in a timely and relevant manner.”

EuroISPA represents over 2,000 Internet Service Providers of all sizes across Europe and is an advocate for the needs of the wider internet industry. The Association aims to ensure that policymakers are aware of the needs of EuroISPA’s members in order to make informed decisions.

Read the letter in full here:


PRESS RELEASE: EuroISPA welcomes newest member to association, AMS-IX

Brussels, 21 October 2021 – EuroISPA, the pan-European association of Internet Services Providers Associations, welcomes a new Council member, AMS-IX (Amsterdam Internet Exchange), a member-based association that operates interconnection platforms around the world.

Alexandra Laffitte, President of EuroISPA, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming AMS-IX as the newest member of EuroISPA. AMS-IX will play an important role in the association, contributing enthusiastically to our discussions on policy impacting the infrastructure of the Internet. As the digital sphere continues to change in shape and dynamics, we at EuroISPA believe that it is increasingly important to be able to represent the whole Internet value chain and work together to achieve common goals. We extend our wholehearted welcome to AMS-IX.”

EuroISPA is the representative body of Internet Services Providers (ISPs) across the European continent. Founded in 1997, EuroISPA functions as an ‘umbrella’ association representing ISP associations on policy and legislative issues and facilitates the exchange of best practices between members. The association is structured around different, topical Committees, which allow members to regularly exchange ideas and views on specific policy matters and dossiers.

AMS-IX a neutral member-based association that operates multiple interconnection platforms around the world. Its leading platform in Amsterdam plays a crucial role at the core of the internet and has more than 880 connected networks and over 10 Terabits per second (TBps) of peak traffic.

Peter van Burgel, CEO of AMS-IX, stated: “In the coming years, the European Union will have a major impact on the technical functioning of the Internet by means of new legislation and European stimulation programs. By joining EuroISPA, AMS-IX wants to actively participate in the discussions on the future of the Internet and give a voice to the values that have made the Internet such a huge success.”

About AMS-IX

AMS-IX (Amsterdam Internet Exchange) is a neutral member-based association that operates multiple interconnection platforms around the world. Our leading platform in Amsterdam has been playing a crucial role at the core of the internet for more than 25 years and is one of the largest hubs for internet traffic in the world, with over 10 Terabits per second (Tbps) of peak traffic. Connecting to AMS-IX ensures customers such as internet service providers, telecom companies and cloud providers can route their global IP traffic in an efficient, fast, secure, stable and cost-effective way. This allows them to offer low latency and engaging online experiences for end-users. AMS-IX interconnects more than 1000 IP-networks in the world. AMS-IX also manages the world’s first mobile peering points: the Global Roaming Exchange (GRX), the Mobile Data Exchange (MDX) and the Internetwork Packet Exchange (I-IPX) interconnection points.

More information: www.ams-ix.net

Recap of Past Event: Liability of Intermediaries

On 29 September 2021, EuroISPA presented the fourth online event of its DSA in Focus series, sponsored by LINX. This time, the event focused on the DSA articles on the limited exemption from secondary liability for intermediary services, due diligence, own-initiative investigations and general monitoring provisions. You can revisit the interventions of our speakers here or below.

The event gathered a distinguished expert panel debating the objectives of these measures, the practical challenges for implementation and possible ways forward. It was formed by MEP Patrick Breyer, Rapporteur for the LIBE Opinion on the DSA, Dr. Christina Angelopoulos, Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Cambridge, Catherine Garcia-van Hoogstraten, Director Responsible Technology Policy, EU Government Affairs at Microsoft, as well as Malcolm Hutty, Chair of EuroISPA’s Intermediary Liability Committee.

EuroISPA’s President, Alexandra Laffitte, moderated the panel. In her introductory remarks, she emphasized that EuroISPA has been advocating for over 20 years in favour of the limited exemption from secondary liability established in the E-Commerce Directive.

MEP Patrick Breyer shared his opinion on the European Commission’s proposal on the DSA, providing for a limited exemption from secondary liability for mere conduit, caching, and hosting service providers. He argued that there is consensus that these provisions are working well and adding new categories would constitute a risk. Moreover, with regards to the own-initiative investigations of intermediaries, he stressed that law enforcement should be kept in the hands of judicial independent authorities, rather than private actors.

Dr. Christina Angelopoulos agreed with MEP Patrick Breyer and insisted that intermediaries are not duty bearers. Besides, she stated that the European Parliament should not move away from the horizontal approach of the European Commission on sector-specific legislation.

Catherine Garcia-van Hoogstraten argued that online service providers should be able to proactively take down illegal content with appropriate tools. Besides, she agreed with preserving the current categorization of the European Commission’s proposal on the DSA.

Malcolm Hutty also welcomed the horizontal approach of the European Commission. Commenting on amendments which created primary liability for intermediaries, he pointed out that this would be unproportionate and lead to over removal of legitimate content. Furthermore, he stressed the need for strict rules against requiring general monitoring.

The panel discussion was followed by an open Q&A session, where participants had the opportunity to exchange with our speakers on these issues.

EuroISPA wishes to extend its gratitude to the speakers for sharing their knowledge on the new DSA regime and for the open exchange with the audience. We are looking forward to our fifth event, taking place by the end of October, which will focus on the implementation, the extraterritorial effect, and enforcement of the DSA.

Recap of Past Event: Reporting Obligations and Transparency

On 9 September 2021, EuroISPA presented the third online event of its DSA in Focus series, sponsored by LINX. This time, the event focused on the transparency requirements for intermediaries, online platforms and VLOPs, as well as on the issue of access to data, statements of reasons, vetted researchers and access to data, etc. You can revisit the interventions of our speakers here or below.

The expert panel was formed by:  

  • Irene Roche Laguna, Deputy Head of Unit, E-Commerce and Platforms at DG CNECT;  
  • Michal Feix, Senior Public Affairs Advisor to Seznam.cz; and  
  • Diego Naranjo, Head of Policy of EDRi.  

EuroISPA’s President, Alexandra Laffitte, moderated the panel after sharing introductory remarks, highlighting the role of EuroISPA as a strong proponent of transparency obligations for intermediaries which strike the right balance between the competing interests of Governments, users and the protection of companies.  

On the European Commission’s side, Irene Roche Laguna stressed that transparency is the true spirit of the DSA but that it must work in both ways: with a framework for users and authorities to understand why platforms and ISPs take certain decisions and for regulators to report on their activity. She also agreed on the need for grading the access to information depending on the nature of the risks.  

Michal Feix highlighted the importance for the DSA to build on the principles of the e-commerce Directive that have withstood the passing of time but also to consider the differences between, e.g., platforms and other services or recommender systems and advertising, when introducing new rules. In this regard, he noted it is crucial to have limits to transparency requirements in order to maintain the quality of the services they provide. Finally, when touching upon the issue of the statements of reasons, he warned the obligation to anonymize and publish all the decisions would particularly impact companies of the size of Seznam, as they will have to dedicate considerable resources to comply. 

Diego Naranjo emphasized the need for a transparent and balanced notice and action system, that tackles the risks related to the right of removal which would be granted to different stakeholders. He also noted the importance of making algorithms subject to scrutiny by authorities and understandable for users, stating that “online tracking and profiling practices needed to stop”. 

The panel discussion was followed by an open Q&A session, where participants had the opportunity to exchange with our speakers on these issues. 

EuroISPA wishes to extend its thanks to the speakers for sharing their knowledge on the new DSA regime and for the open exchange with the audience. We are looking forward to our fourth event, taking place on 29 September, which will allow our audience to learn about the intermediary liability framework, from own-initiative investigations to the “no general monitoring” rule. 

For further information on the upcoming events visit our dedicated webpage on euroispa.org/dsa-in-focus.

mySCCcreator: E-Tool Available on EuroISPA Website

Brussels, 23 July 2021 – With the modernisation of the standard contractual clauses (SCCs) for the international transfer of personal data in June 2021, as foreseen in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European Commission hoped to ensure that personal data is properly safeguarded when being transferred to third countries. This means that data controllers or processors in the EU must be up to date and compliant in their related activities.

The mySCCcreator tool offers a simple solution that provides a well-structured Word Document with all the relevant information, following a short questionnaire.

EuroISPA has integrated the tool into its website in order to expand the reach and availability of the tool for data controllers and processors within its membership and partners.

Note: the mySCCcreator is supplied by Fieldfisher on Bryter.io. The information entered is not processed by EuroISPA nor on the EuroISPA servers.