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.

EuroISPA brings EU policymakers and industry together to discuss progress in efforts to create a safer Internet

Brussels, June 19 - On the morning of June 17, EuroISPA brought together leading EU policymakers to discuss the industry-led efforts to protect children online, in a policy breakfast co-hosted by MEPs Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (EPP) and Caterina Chinnici (S&D) in the European Parliament.

The Towards a Safer Internet for Children gathering focused on the crucial role played by the network of European Internet Hotlines, and the instrumental value of EU co-funding in sustaining the fight against Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) online.

MEPs Corazza Bildt and Chinnici facilitated the discussion in their capacity as co-chairs of the Parliament’s recently-formed Intergroup on Children’s Rights. The Intergroup features MEPs from across the Parliament’s committees and political groups, and seeks to bring new emphasis to children’s issues in the Institution’s work. Attendees at the event included MEPs, officials from the European Commission and Council of Europe, and Internet Service Providers from across the EU.

In his keynote presentation, EuroISPA Safer Internet committee co-chair Paul Durrant briefed attendees on the long-standing activity of EuroISPA in the area of child protection online. Focusing specifically on the Association’s stewardship of several national Hotlines dedicated to fighting CSAM, he thanked EU policymakers for their support in sustaining the fight thus far, but warned that the current gains were at risk if European Commission co-funding of Hotlines is not secured beyond its current expiration in 2018.

EuroISPA Safer Internet committee co-chair Paul Durrant said: “As the voice of Europe’s Internet Services Providers, EuroISPA abhors the misuse of our networks by those users who circulate Child Sexual Abuse Material. We will continue to work with policymakers in the Commission and Parliament to sustain the network of Internet Hotlines and build on the strong results to date”.

MEP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (EPP, Sweden) said:“The safety and protection of children on the Internet is a top priority for the Intergroup on Children’s Rights. It’s important for us to continue this constructive dialogue with industry, as we, as legislators, don't have all the solutions. We call on the industry to continue to take its shared responsibility to invest in finding innovative solutions. Lets join forces for a safer Internet for our children”.

MEP Caterina Chinnici (S&D, Italy) said: “We are here today to highlight the instrumental role played by EU co-funding in fighting crimes against children online. The maintenance of EU co-funding for European Hotlines will be essential if we are to maintain and build upon the encouraging progress made thus far.”

EuroISPA in South Korea to promote innovation-friendly intermediary liability environment

Brussels, 01 June 2015 - EuroISPA President Oliver Süme was in Seoul last week, addressing the South Korean Open Net-Harvard Berkman Center seminar on intermediary liability. Mr Süme briefed attendees on the liability environment facing European Internet intermediaries, and advised on the necessity of an innovation-friendly legislative framework to underpin economic growth.

Mr Süme’s address focused specifically on the European Union’s 2000 E-Commerce Directive, the legislative infrastructure that defines the European intermediary liability environment. In addition to unravelling the legal character of the Directive, Mr Süme also gave an insight into how the Directive has impacted on the operating environment for European ISPs on the ground.

The event featured addresses and panel discussions from other intermediary liability experts in the international community. It comes as South Korean lawmakers begin discussions on a new liability environment for intermediaries in the country and was organised to provide international perspectives on the makeup of an effective legislative framework. The audience included South Korean politicians, academia, civil society and industry actors.

The South Korean regulatory outlook is of particular interest to European ISPs, especially given the concern among the ICT community that recent amendments to the Korea Copyright Act may conflict with the Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Indeed, the obligation for Online Service Providers operating in South Korean to filter content under what is effectively a Notice and Staydown mechanism is contradictory to the FTA, especially in the context the recent EU Court of Justice rulings that prohibit the kind of general monitoring that a filtering obligation requires.

The Open Net engagement continues EuroISPA’s latest targeted campaign around intermediary liability, in the context of the Commission’s recently-published Digital Single Market Strategy. It follows the EuroISPA event Intermediary Liability in the Digital Single Market and recent media op-eds and European Parliament engagements by EuroISPA Officers.

Speaking after the event, EuroISPA President Oliver Süme said: “Europe is a key player in the global Internet environment, and as the voice of the continent’s Internet sector EuroISPA takes every opportunity to use its experiences in Europe to help drive innovation-friendly smart regulation in a global context.”

 

Stakeholders briefed on key intermediary liability issues at EuroISPA BOZAR event

The exhibition space of Brussels’ BOZAR EXPO was the scene of intense policy discussion on Monday 11 May, as policymakers and industry stakeholders gathered for EuroISPA’s Intermediary Liability in the Digital Single Market briefing. The lunch event featured a keynote speech by Mrs Jasmin Battista, Member of Cabinet, Commission Vice-President Ansip.

Mrs Battista took the opportunity to brief attendees on the Commission’s thinking regarding the Digital Single Market strategy, particularly in the context of the liability of intermediaries. The event was attended by over 70 key stakeholders. Participants included policymakers in the European Commission and Parliament, high-level digital policy officials from the Belgian government, as well as representatives from leading industry players and stakeholder associations.

In addition to engaging with an authoritative Commission official on the nuances of the Digital Single Market strategy, attendees were also offered the unique opportunity to partake in a guided tour of the Google Cultural Institute. The Institute, which celebrates the fusion of technology and culture, is currently on tour at BOZAR from its home in Paris.

Speaking at the event, EuroISPA President Oliver Süme said: "EuroISPA is delighted to have had the opportunity to welcome Mrs Battista to our policy discussion at BOZAR. As someone deeply involved in the crafting of the DSM strategy, Mrs Battista brings unrivalled insight into the Commission’s thinking. We look forward to hosting similar such events in the future, events that encourage deep policy discussion among the many stakeholders in Europe’s digital transformation."

Success of DSM strategy will depend on innovation-friendly intermediary liability environment

Tomorrow's publication of the Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy will be a key moment in the drive to create an enhanced and competitive digital Europe,  open to operators of any size, nature and establishment. That said, the European Internet Services Providers Association (EuroISPA) believes it is paramount that policymakers remain focused of the necessity of an innovation-friendly liability environment for Internet intermediaries. Without such, we fear the strategy’s lofty ambitions will be jeopardised.

The commitments the DSM will make on topics such as copyright reform, the free flow of data, and cross-border e-commerce constitute positive steps. Indeed, as having been a key participator in policy discussions on many areas of the strategy for several years, EuroISPA welcomes the Commission’s ambitions.

Nonetheless, it is paramount that we take this moment to reflect on the legislative infrastructure that forms the basis of a truly digital single market in Europe. An innovation-friendly intermediary liability environment, as prescribed by the 2000 E-Commerce Directive, will define the strategy’s success. We welcome the Commission’s acceptance in the DSM strategy that the intermediary liability environment enshrined in the E-Commerce Directive “has underpinned the development of the Internet in Europe”.

However, we are concerned about the impending strategy’s proposals to tackle illegal content online. The use of concepts such as “due diligence” and “duty of care” suggest that Internet intermediaries (as opposed to law enforcement authorities) will be asked to perform value judgments concerning the legality of certain pieces of content on the Internet. Such a legislative environment would place unworkable obligations on intermediaries, and would undermine the role of the courts in determining disputes over competing rights.

EuroISPA President Oliver Süme said: "EuroISPA looks forward to working with EU policymakers to ensure the right legislative infrastructure is maintained. The existing EU intermediary liability ethos has allowed Europe to be innovative, connected and competitive in all things digital. By maintaining this ethos when implementing the DSM strategy, EU policymakers will have the best chance of unleashing the digital single market’s growth and jobs potential."

Joint Stakeholder statement on the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

Att: Delegations to the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD)

We, the undersigned stakeholders, urge that CSTD Resolution on the WSIS review reflect the following recommendations:

  • The Resolution should recognise the significant progress achieved by information and communications technologies (ICTs) over the the last 10 years as outlined in the comprehensive CSTD review report.
  • ICT has had a profound impact on knowledge-sharing, innovation, affordable services, competition, sustainable development and economic development in emerging and developed countries. Users benefit from increased mobile penetration, multi-linguism, e-health, online educational tools, and information access which all help improve quality of life.
  • The WSIS process should continue to monitor development of the information society through assessments of progress on the WSIS Action Lines. The CSTD Resolution should renew our shared commitment and focus the UN’s scarce resources to bridging the digital divide and to capacity building.
  • The WSIS+10 review is an opportunity to recognise the role of ICT in bridging the digital divide and achieving internationally agreed development goals. More emphasis should be placed on the role of ICT and the Internet in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda goals. The assessment of the use of ICTs for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The spirit of a “people centered, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society” that was at the heart of the WSIS remains as relevant today as it was 10 years ago, and should guide WSIS related work post 2015.
  • The acknowledgement in the Tunis Agenda of the multi-stakeholder approach foresaw the crucial role of stakeholders from civil society, industry, the technical community, governments, and user groups w ould play in working together to achieve the WSIS goals. All stakeholders must remain involved in the development and implementation of the WSIS goals and targets.
  • The Resolution should recall that WSIS provided the mandate for the establishment of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The IGF has demonstrated its value in Internet policy development and become the a globally recognised platform for all stakeholders to exchange best practices and ideas. The Resolution should take note of the achievements of the IGF and the overwhelming global support for the IGF and recommend renewal of its mandate.
  • The Resolution should underscore the important role that the private sector has played in implementing the WSIS goals. From investing in infrastructure to developing new technologies and online services.
  • The Resolution should call on the UN General Assembly President, the WSIS+10 facilitators, and participants in the WSIS overall review to ensure multi-stakeholder involvement at all stages of discussion in line with the Tunis agenda, including at the High Level Event in December.

Signed by:

New data on performance of Hotlines highlight their essential role in creating a safer Internet for children

New data on the performance of European Internet Hotlines has further highlighted their effectiveness as a means of fighting Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) online. The data, compiled by the INHOPE network of 51 Hotlines in 45 countries worldwide, point to an ever-improving reporting and takedown rate of illegal content.

In 2014, 98% of verified reports of CSAM on the Internet were forwarded to law enforcement within 24 hours. This represents an 8% increase since 2011, a notable improvement given the already impressive figures.

Moreover, the coordination of CSAM removal between Hotlines, law enforcement, and Internet Services Providers has continued its upward trend. 93% of verified CSAM was removed from public access within 72 hours, a 13% improvement on the previous year.

These latest INHOPE figures illustrate the essential role played by the global network of Internet Hotlines in ensuring the effectiveness of the Notice and Takedown mechanism. EuroISPA remains a proud partner of INHOPE, with the 2300 ISPs represented by EuroISPA cooperating with and supporting Hotlines to create a safer Internet environment for children. In addition to this, EuroISPA members in Germany, France, Ireland and Austria oversee the management of their countries’ national Hotlines.

EuroISPA Safer Internet committee Co-Chairs Carole Gay and Paul Durrant said, “These figures highlight how an integrated network of Hotlines is essential for coordinating the fight against CSAM, a fight that is not confined by national borders. 

It is essential that the European network of Hotlines remains strong, through sustainable European Commission co-funding. The fight against CSAM is a societal one; and industry cannot be expected to carry the burden alone.”

See a full overview of the INHOPE Hotline data for 2014

EuroISPA: Proposed NIS Directive text could hamper creation of a true digital single market

The proposed Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive could create significant barriers to the creation of a true Digital Single Market (DSM). In an open letter to Commissioners, their cabinets, and MEPs, the Security Alliance for Europe (SAFE) Coalition has highlighted the worrying shortfalls in the current Directive text.

The SAFE coalition comprises industry associations from along the entire Internet value chain, including EuroISPA. EuroISPA and its SAFE partners welcomes the EU’s increased policy focus on network and information security, as considerable cybersecurity gaps exist across the EU today.

However, SAFE is concerned by proposals to extend the scope of the NIS Directive beyond those services and infrastructures that are truly critical for the functioning of the state and the economy. Under the proposed text, Member States may retain the right to define those “essential” services and infrastructure falling under the new measures. Moreover, under the EU Council’s preferred text, individual Member States will have liberty to choose the technical security standards governing the Directive’s implementation. Ultimately, as Member States will almost certainly differ in their definitions and standards, Internet enablers will be forced to contend with a patchwork of different obligations, severely hampering their ability to effectively operate in a cross-border context.

As the date for the unveiling of the Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy draws nearer, it is crucial that the potential shortcomings in the current NIS Directive be corrected in order to ensure the strategy’s effectiveness. Indeed, while the Commission’s efforts to improve cross-border e-commerce, cloud computing and other pan-European services are commendable, the NIS Directive risks creating an environment where these goals are unobtainable.

SAFE believes that as the first European-level legislation in the field of cybersecurity, the NIS Directive has the potential to ensure effective and efficient security measures that benefit citizens and innovators. In that context, we call on policymakers in the EU Council and Parliament to adopt a text that both ensures trust in online services and allows Internet enablers to help create a true digital single market.

Read the full text of the SAFE letter to EU policymakers

EuroISPA Officer vows to drive digital transformation forward after election to European Internet Forum board

European Internet Services Providers Association (EuroISPA) Officer Innocenzo Genna has been elected as a new member of the European Internet Forum (EIF) Board of Management. In his new capacity, Mr Genna will help the European political leadership to develop policy that is responsive to the challenges of the worldwide digital transformation.

Mr Genna brings to the EIF board a depth of experience of working within the EU policymaking sphere. He is an expert of European regulation and policies in the areas of Internet, telecommunications and ICT. Having played a leading role in EuroISPA for over a decade, he has worked with various actors in the digital sphere to help create a legislative environment that encourages innovation and secures the fundamental open characteristics of the Internet.

The EIF is at the crossroads of policymaking, industry, and civil society, and as such serves as a crucial space where insightful discussions on digital policy can take place. Mr Genna's EuroISPA experience is an asset in this regard, as through its transversal membership of 2300 firms along the Internet value chain, the association occupies a pivotal position in the European digital landscape.

EuroISPA Officer Innocenzo Genna said: "The next three years promise to be eventful ones for the Internet sector. At this time the work of the EIF is more important than ever, and it is essential that the Forum's Board facilitates insightful discussions that can feed into policymaking.  Alongside my fellow Board members, I aim to optimise the Forum's impact as Europe continues this digital transformation"

EuroISPA President discusses future of Internet governance at IEEE summit

EuroISPA has been an active contributor to high-level discussions surrounding the future of Internet governance for many years. The recently published IEEE Summit Report on Internet Governance gives an insight into the Association’s recent work to create a governance environment that is fit for purpose.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Summit on Internet Governance took place in Brussels in December, and brought together business leaders, academics, and policymakers to discuss issues concerning Internet governance.

EuroISPA President Oliver Süme was participant in a panel discussion on the future of Internet governance alongside Megan Richards (Principal Adviser, DG Connect), Jean-Jacques Sahel (Vice-President Stakeholder Engagement for Europe, ICANN), and Mark Raymond (Assistant Professor of International Security, OU).

With his fellow panelists, EuroISPA President Süme discussed the role of ICANN, the growing complexity of Internet governance, and its politicisation in the context of the Snowden revelations. Addressing an audience of technology leaders and policymakers, the EuroISPA President stressed that “Internet governance is not a question of bodies but more a question of mechanisms and processes and indeed, the accountability of such processes.”

Further insight into President Süme’s contribution and the summit generally can be found in the just-published IEEE Summit Report on Internet Governance.