Annual Report 2019: The Voice of the European Internet Industry

We are happy to share with you our Annual Report for 2019, which documents the achievements and engagement of the association over the course of last year.

In 2019, EuroISPA has been able to engage on several important policy issues, focussing on intermediary liability, data protection, and the legal framework for the cross-border exchange of electronic evidence, among other things. We are proud of our continuing efforts and engagement on these files, and of being the first industry association to have established a position on the Digital Services Act, a particular priority in the coming years.

The Annual Report can be found here. We hope that you will enjoy reading it.

NEWS: EuroISPA signs letter to strengthen the fundamental principles of the E-Commerce Directive in new Digital Services Act, along with other industry players

June 2020

Spearheaded by Danish Entrepreneurs, Allied for Startups, and DSA4Startups, and signed by industry players including EuroISPA, the letter highlights that it is the opportune moment to re-examine the role of online platforms in the European economy and society, and to update the 20-year-old E-Commerce Directive through the upcoming review of the Digital Services Act (DSA).

The letter notes that the principles present in the E-Commerce Directive are crucial for the sector, as the directive “enshrines an important balance between the intermediary’s responsibilities and the user’s right to expression and information”. These principles include the limited liability regime, the prohibition of general monitoring obligation, and the country of origin principle. EuroISPA and the other signatories of this letter view that these principles should not be discounted in future discussions on the DSA, as they represent the key tenets of the European platform economy. 

The letter also underlines the need to take into account the growth of the industry in any regulatory changes made to the E-Commerce Directive, and emphasises the need for a multi-stakeholder approach to discussions. As the time for reviewing the DSA approaches, the letter’s signatories request that the new regulation take into account learnings gleaned from the COVID-19 crisis, be nimble and future-focused in its approach, and that it be clear and proportional, in order not to have unintended consequences for smaller actors in the space.

EuroISPA represents over 2,300 ISPs of all sizes across Europe and is an advocate for the needs of the wider internet industry; it is therefore particularly keen to support this, and similar activities. The association is now focusing on the open public consultation on the DSA, which will be crucial to bringing the already strong E-Commerce Directive up to speed with the current economic climate. The association aims to ensure that the industry priorities are highlighted to policymakers, in order to formulate a new balanced legal framework.

Read the letter in full here.

EuroISPA publishes points of critique on the German Draft Act amending the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG)

EuroISPA recently published its points of critique on the German Draft Act amending the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) on the European Commission’s portal for notifications of national laws: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/tris/en/search/?trisaction=search.detail&year=2020&num=174.

Having closely followed the ongoing discussions on the NetzDG on combatting hate speech online, EuroISPA voiced its concerns on certain details of the proposal which pose multiple risks, particularly in the context of the association’s work on EU initiatives on intermediary liability. EuroISPA fears an increased risk of fragmentation of the European internal market, with online platforms operating in different European Member States having to put in place specific compliance mechanisms for each individual market, thus making it virtually impossible for new entrants.

EuroISPA supports legislative consistency across the Digital Single Market, and therefore encouraged the German government to wait before further amending the NetzDG. This is particularly important in the context of the open public consultation on the Digital Services Act and how online platforms should be regulated in the future, which is open until 8th September 2020.

Press Release: EuroISPA welcomes new member to association, asut

Brussels, 19 March 2020EuroISPA, an association of European Internet Services Providers, today announces newest member to the association during its General Meeting. asut, a Swiss association for internet service providers, advocates for the ongoing development of the Swiss ICT sector.

Dr Maximilian Schubert, President of EuroISPA, said, “We are delighted to be welcoming EuroISPA’s newest member, particularly as we consolidate cooperation across Europe and beyond the EU borders. The influence that ISPs can have on consumers and societies is continually growing; as such, it is increasingly necessary for the industry to come together and address concerns together. With a Swiss member in the association, we will be better able to address issues that are facing our neighbour, and which also affect our other members across the continent.”

EuroISPA is a pan-European association which represents over 2,500 ISPs across the European continent. The association advocates for the needs of the wider internet industry, particularly in relation to safer internet, cybersecurity, data protection, and innovation, working to ensure that the industry priorities are highlighted to external stakeholders. The General Meeting gathered representatives of ISPs from across the continent to discuss concerns facing the industry, including cybersecurity and intermediary liability, and how these impact on consumers and society.

A leading Swiss association for ISPs, asut encompasses ISPs from across the jurisdiction taking into account how best to promote the needs of the industry in Switzerland, as well as Swiss consumers. As the voice of the Swiss ICT and telecommunications industry in sectors ranging from economics, to politics and administration, it works towards establishing a competitive landscape for industry players.

“It is increasingly important that the role and impact of ISPs on our societies be emphasized and addressed in a coordinated manner. Our General Meetings are important moment to focus on our mission to make the internet safer and more privacy focused. Our joint endeavours with old and new members alike are what will have a multilateral impact on the industry; and with asut now among our association, we are excited to be continue expanding ISP cooperation beyond EU borders,” concluded Schubert.

Press Release: EuroISPA coordinates event on encryption and data protection with European Internet Forum

Brussels, February 18, 2020EuroISPA, an association of European Internet Services Providers, coordinates an event today to discuss encryption at the European Parliament together with the European Internet Forum (EIF). With data encryption as the core of its agenda, the event is hosted by MEPs Patrick Breyer and Rasmus Andresen, and gathers industry experts, policy makers, stakeholders, and civil society to discuss the future of encryption and data protection.

EuroISPA, a pan-European association which represents over 2,500 ISPs across the European countries, advocates for the needs of the wider internet industry, particularly in relation to safer internet, cybersecurity data protection, and innovation. Encryption tools are part of the framework which allow internet and online services to be trusted and ensure ongoing cybersecurity and data protection. The absence of encryption weakens this trust, and concerns about illegal activities online have led to debates around the decryption of data for crime investigations and interception of criminal communication.

Dr Maximilian Schubert, President of EuroISPA, stated, ‘In discussing encryption, it is crucial to have an evidence-based exchange of information on the security issues a lack of encryption presents. EuroISPA aims to highlight the crucial role of encryption in enhancing users’ privacy, trust in the internet, and free expression online. Weakening encryption through software backdoors puts these at risk: while such tools might initially help law enforcement to prosecute criminals, in the long run they can potentially be exploited by hackers or even enable mass surveillance. As such, there can be no middle ground in designing online security. We hope that by gathering experts from Europe and afar, this event will help establish a clearer exchange of knowledge around these issues, and highlight both the industry’s and users’ requirements.’

Gathering attendees from across Europe, the event aims to allow for a balanced exchange on the benefits and concerns around the protection of encrypted data. Speakers include, Bert Hubert, Founder of PowerDNS, Cathrin Bauer-Bulst, Acting Head of the Cybercrime Unit, European Commission DG HOME, Ceren Ünal, Regional Policy Manager Europe, Internet Society, and Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Internet Archive Fellow, Electronic Frontier Foundation, as well as EIF members.

‘An effective exchange of ideas and the establishment of priorities should be at the core of policy decisions that impact on the data privacy and cybersecurity of consumers and users, and therefore on their fundamental rights. At EuroISPA, we hope that enabling multilateral discussions will lead to a broader understanding of the implications of data decryption, as well as allowing for an exploration of alternate ways of assisting law enforcement whilst protecting user rights,’ concluded Schubert.

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