EuroISPA welcomes new member, Cambium Networks

Brussels, 6 July 2021 – EuroISPA, a pan-European association of Internet Services Providers Associations welcomes a new Forum member: Cambium Networks, an infrastructure provider which offers wireless connectivity to people worldwide.

EuroISPA represents Internet Services Providers (ISPs) across the European continent, creating a common voice aimed at promoting and protecting the interests of its members. Active since 1997, EuroISPA acts as un ‘umbrella’ association representing ISP associations on policy and legislative issues and facilitates the exchange of best practices between members. EuroISPA’s Industry Forum allows companies with a legitimate interest in the Internet industry to participate in EuroISPA’s activities, acting in an advisory capacity and providing input on relevant policy issues.

Alexandra Laffitte, President of EuroISPA, stated: “We are delighted that Cambium Networks is joining our community as a new member. EuroISPA represents the common voice of European Internet Services Providers, and the valuable addition to our membership of Cambium Networks strengthens our position as a prominent stakeholder representative body in the sector.”

Cambium Networks provides advanced wireless communication network infrastructure to private network operators in the business, including education and hospitality, local and national government, defense, and industrial markets, in addition to the broadband Internet Service Provider community supported by EuroISPA. Cambium Networks’ end-to-end solutions include Fixed 5G, 60 GHz mmWave networks capable of delivering multiple gigabits of data wirelessly to the edge, and indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi 6, among others. 

Martín de la Serna, Vice President for Europe, Middle East, and Africa of Cambium Networks said: “Cambium Networks is pleased to join EuroISPA as a Forum Member and collaborate with EuroISPA to further its critical mission. Internet Service Providers and policymakers across Europe find themselves at a unique inflection point marked by rapid services evolution, promise and potential and can benefit greatly from EuroISPA’s leadership. Cambium Networks, as a leading technology supplier to wireless internet service providers around the globe, looks forward to supporting EuroISPA and its stakeholders as Europe advances towards its Gigabit Decade goals.”

EuroISPA criticises strict one-hour takedown deadline in the new Terrorist Content Regulation

April 30 2021 – Brussels

Following last week’s adoption of the EU Regulation to prevent the dissemination of terrorist content online by the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee (Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs), the Regulation has now been adopted by the Plenary in second reading, without a final vote.  

Malcolm Hutty, Chair of the Intermediary Liability Committee, commented: “While we welcome several improvements in the final text, EuroISPA regrets the inclusion of an inflexible one-hour timeframe to execute removal orders. Forcing companies to move too fast will inevitably impair the quality of decisions and will risk inappropriate removals of legitimate content and mis-use of the system. This will be especially problematic for smaller businesses without previous experience of encountering terrorist content, who will not have pre-existing relationships with anti-terrorist police and awareness of good practice guidance.”  

EuroISPA also notes that the text could be attacked at the domestic level leading to legal uncertainty for service providers. For instance, the final Regulation contains provisions which are similar to the rules established by the French Law on tackling hate speech online (so called “Avia law”), which were declared to be unconstitutional by the French Constitutional Council in 2020.  

At the same time, EuroISPA notes some important positive changes in the final text. For instance, penalties determined by Member States will need to take into account the nature and size of the hosting service provider, mitigating risks of high sanctions for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). “It was important that the regulation does not stipulate obligations to use automatic tools and pursue active content monitoring. However, we will have to observe how the relevant rules will turn out in practice”, said Malcolm Hutty.  

Going forward, EuroISPA’s national members will maintain a constructive dialogue with their respective Competent Authorities and will keep tackling terrorist content online efficiently and responsibly, in order to ensure a safe Internet for EU citizens and businesses.   

Press Release: EuroISPA Announces Election of New Board

Brussels, 23 November 2020EuroISPA, the association of European Internet Services Providers, announces the appointment of it new board members, following an election during the latest General Meeting. The newly elected President, Alexandra Laffitte, was previously on the board as Treasurer and Vice-President; Innocenzo Genna takes on the role of Vice-President once more; whilst Thomas Bihlmayer joins the EuroISPA board as Treasurer in his first mandate. As members from FFTélécoms (France), AIIP (Italy), and eco (Germany), respectively, the new EuroISPA board reflects the multinational nature of the association.

Alexandra Laffitte (FFTélécoms) stated, “I am delighted to have been elected President of EuroISPA, and I look forward to continuing the work the association has achieved in the past years, and to building upon the work of the previous presidencies. This nomination is very humbling, and I would very much like to thank EuroISPA’s membership and extend my gratitude to Maximilian Schubert for having been an outstanding, forward-thinking President for the past two years. My time on the EuroISPA board over the past two years has given me great insight into the valuable work the association does. I am excited to continue to push forward EuroISPA’s programme and priorities in the context of policy issues like the Digital Services Act.”

Innocenzo Genna (AIIP) said, “It is a great pleasure to once more be part of the EuroISPA board. In the past years we have focused on the key policy topics that impact our industry and our members, and I look forward to contributing to this actively. While new European rules are expected to address the issues arising from the rise of digital markets and the conflicts with traditional industries, it is of utmost importance that the Internet remains an open space where innovators can launch and develop new services and business models beyond the limitations of legacy technologies and national borders; EuroISPA is in the interesting position of helping ensure this can happen.”

Thomas Bihlmayer (eco) added, “EuroISPA has a strong position in enabling its members from across the continent to be represented vis-á-vis EU policy makers, and I am happy and extremely honoured to have been elected as the association’s Treasurer. It will be an exciting challenge to help this association grow and expand, whilst working towards its goals and priorities. I look forward to further shaping the role and influence of EuroISPA with the new board, and thank the members for their trust in me to do so.”

As a pan-European association, EuroISPA represents over 2,300 ISPs across the European continent. The association advocates for the needs of the wider internet industry at EU level on specific policy issues, working to make sure that industry priorities are highlighted to external stakeholders. The board is elected every two years, and ensures the governance and daily running of the association, as well as ensuring the positioning of EuroISPA on key policy topics.

NEWS: EuroISPA co-signs letter on Terrorist Content Online Regulation

This week, EuroISPA co-signed a letter to representatives of the Council of the EU, the European Parliament and the European Commission on the fourth trilogue on the Proposal for a Regulation on Preventing the Dissemination of Terrorist Content online. We look forward to seeing the outcome of this trilogue, which we hope will take into account the items noted in this letter, including: clarifying the definition of terrorist content, empowering competent authorities to deal with this content effectively, ensuring that over-blocking does not take place, prohibiting general monitoring obligations for hosting service providers and protecting user data.

Read the letter here.

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.

Terrorist Content Online: EuroISPA concerned as Commission privatises law enforcement

Brussels, 12 September 2018- Less than one week after the transposition of the Directive on Combatting Terrorism, the European Commission has published its proposal on “preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online”. EuroISPA strongly criticises the steps towards the further privatisation of law enforcement, as the proposal would oblige hosting service providers to proactively decide on the legality of allegedly terrorist content, with profound implications for fundamental rights and freedoms. Malcolm Hutty, Intermediary Liability Chair, stated: “Handing off responsibility for detecting terrorist content to internet intermediaries is passing off one of the State’s most fundamental responsibilities. Internet companies can neither identify terrorist content reliably, nor act as guarantors for freedom speech. Only competent public authorities have the ability to protect both our safety and our freedoms. The proper role for Internet companies is simply to act swiftly to remove material that an independent authority has determined to be illegal by due process of law”.

With this proposal the Commission mandates a large part of the Internet value chain to proactively decide on the legality and nature of content online, following a risk assessment of their service. Such requirements, combined with vaguely defined duty of care obligations are deeply worrying, raising issues of transparency, legal clarity, accountability and certainty. As a result, fundamental freedoms of expression as well as of sharing and receiving information are endangered.

The proposal’s provision for a one-hour timeframe poses risks to due process and legal clarity. This timeframe, combined with sanctions, is simply not feasible for SMEs, who do not have the resources to provide a 24/7 service. Therefore, an SME exemption should be included, in order not to disadvantage SMEs vis-à-vis larger platforms.

The included data retention obligation, running contrary to existing case-law, is equally concerning. The vast range of data covered by the scope of the Regulation will ultimately endanger European users’ privacy. Moreover, the possibility for competent authorities to renew the data retention obligations an unlimited number of times might prove extremely burdensome for SMEs.

While technological progress and service providers’ efforts have led to a higher rate of removal of terrorist content in recent months, filtering only constitutes a quick fix. It does not solve the root issues of dealing with the perpetrators or providing justice to victims.

Dedicated Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) and referral units, such as Europol’s Internet Referral Unit, work closely in collaboration with Internet Service Providers (ISPs). These existing procedures have dramatically accelerated the removal of terrorist content online. However, EuroISPA expresses its concerns over the tendency in privatising law enforcement activities, placing this responsibility in the hands of ISPs. EuroISPA calls for careful consideration of this proposal, to strive towards greater legal clarity, transparency and accountability in line with legal safeguards. Due consideration should be given to already existing voluntary processes, and the close cooperation between industry and law enforcement. This voluntary approach has proven thus far to be efficient and effective in tackling terrorist content online.

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.”