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.

EuroISPA signs joint industry letter on Free Flow of Data

Brussels - 15.11.16: EuroISPA has signed a joint industry letter on the Free Flow of Data initiative which has been sent to both Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Oettinger today.

The letter can be found here: 1611_Joint_Industry_Letter_Free_Flow_of_Data

The letter calls for an EU-wide ban on national data localisation requirements which hinder the completion of the Digital Single Market (DSM) and are detrimental to businesses, SMEs and digital consumers.

The letter is sent ahead of the European Commission's presentation of the Free Flow of Data Initiative, which is expected to be launched in January 2017.

Restoring legal certainty to transatlantic data transfers will boost digital innovation in the EU and US

Brussels - 12.07.2016: Today’s official adoption of the Privacy Shield data transfer framework is an important boost to digital innovation in the EU and US.

As representative of 2500 Internet Services Providers across Europe, EuroISPA has consistently advocated for a robust legal framework that ensures legal certainty and innovation while safeguarding our network users’ privacy and data protection.

On that basis, EuroISPA recognises the achievements of EU and US policymakers and national data protection authorities in securing a new agreement that can ensure trust in ever-advancing Internet-based services.

EuroISPA President Oliver Süme said: “European Small and Medium-sized Enterprises especially benefit from legal certainty around data transfers to the US. As the representative voice of the European Internet sector, EuroISPA urges all stakeholders to honour the commitments of the new Privacy Shield framework, an essential instrument to promote the innovative and empowering character of the Internet for the European economy

Empowering trust and innovation by repealing the e-Privacy Directive

Brussels, 5 July 2016 – The tech and telecom industries call for the e-Privacy Directive to be repealed. We believe that simplifying and streamlining regulation will benefit consumers by ensuring they are provided with a simple, consistent and meaningful set of rules designed to protect their personal data.

Joint Industry Statement_ePrivacy_FINAL (002)

EuroISPA response to European Commission consultation on ancillary copyright and the ‘panorama’ exception

Ahead of the upcoming legislative revision of the EU Copyright Directive, the European Commission has been consulting on whether to include new measures on ancillary copyright and the freedom of panorama.

Below you can find EuroISPA's contribution to the public consultation that advocates for a copyright regime that allows innovative digital-based business models to thrive.

1605_EuroISPA Ancillary Copyright consultation

Platform communication opens door to renewed dialogue on improving the fight against illegal content online

The European Commission has today delivered a strong endorsement of industry-led efforts to tackle illegal content online in its Communication on the Platform Economy. The 2500 European Internet Services Providers represented by EuroISPA look forward to working with the Commission to ensure a safer Internet that supports the objectives of the Digital Single Market and safeguards fundamental rights.

The Commission’s endorsement of self- and co-regulation opens the door to greater collaboration among stakeholders to develop improved frameworks of cooperation in the fight against illegal content. EuroISPA members have consistently led the way in such matters, from their stewardship of industry hotlines dedicated to fighting child sexual abuse online, to anti-spam and anti-malware initiatives across Europe.

Crucially, the Commission has opted to solidify its commitment to the E-Commerce Directive, the legislative cornerstone of the information society in Europe. The horizontal liability framework of the E-Commerce Directive allows business in the EU to concentrate on developing innovative legal business models that serve their customers, while at the same time ensuring that they have effective system in place to deal with various types of illegal content. This predictable compliance environment is the catalyst of digital innovation in Europe, and instrumental in ensuring Internet Services Provides can rapidly and effectively tackle illegal content online.

In particular, EuroISPA looks forward to enhancing dialogue with the European Commission and other stakeholders concerning improvements to the Notice-and-Takedown mechanism. The Internet is a global public sphere, but standards of illegality are defined on a country-by-country basis. This creates a major dilemma for ISPs, as they are not in a position to make proper judgements as to the context-dependent legality of content. On that basis, there is a clear opportunity to improve the fight against illegal content by exploring mechanisms to improve the clarity, judicial oversight and transparency of takedown requests issued to ISPs.

Adoption of new EU Data Protection rules a key milestone for the Digital Single Market

The adoption today of new EU data protection rules constitute a key milestone in the Digital Single Market strategy, according to the European Internet Service Providers Association (EuroISPA). After three years of intensive negotiations, the new rules balance innovative uses of data with the need for consumer protection and privacy.

EuroISPA engaged intensively throughout the process of developing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Internet Services Providers have a crucial interest in ensuring users have trust and confidence in online services. The new agreement achieves that, without jeopardising European ISPs’ ability to innovate and drive the European economy forward. Crucially, the regulation provides future-proof flexibility to ensure development of data-focused technologies and consumer services.

While the new regulation mainstreams data protection rules across sectors, it is essential that the legislation is implemented across the EU in a harmonised manner. The GDPR was inspired by the need to harmonise fragmented data protection rules across the EU. This ambition needs to be maintained in the crucial implementation phase. EuroISPA will continue to engage with both the European Commission and national data protection authorities, to ensure that GDPR implementation allows the European Single Market to thrive.

EuroISPA President Oliver Süme said: “With today’s adoption of the GDPR, Europe is laying down an important milestone in terms of creating trust in the digital economy. After engaging in the three year process leading up to this day, EuroISPA will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure the ambition and momentum of the Digital Single Market is maintained in important upcoming policy discussions”.

EuroISPA elects Dr Maximilian Schubert as new Vice-President

Brussels – 11.04.2015: The European Internet Services Providers Association has a new Vice President, following the election to the board of Dr Maximilian Schubert.

Dr Schubert is General Secretary of the Austrian Internet Service Providers Association and has been an active national representative in EuroISPA for several years. In his new role, Dr Schubert will support the EuroISPA President in representing over 2500 European ISPs to the highest levels of the EU Institutions.

Thanking EuroISPA members for their overwhelming support, Dr Schubert committed to ensuring that EuroISPA “continues to find common ground with all stakeholders towards achieving a balanced and innovation-friendly legislative environment for European Internet intermediaries”.

He added, “EuroISPA brings together various elements of the European Internet infrastructure, creating the perfect space for building and communicating  policies that enhance Europe’s digital economy. I look forward to representing ISPs of all sizes and nature, harnessing our sector’s technical powerful insight”.

In public Wi-Fi case, European Court of Justice takes significant step forward for the information society

Brussels - 16.03.2016: Today the European Court of Justice took a significant step forward in strengthening the legislative infrastructure that underpins the European information society.

In a preliminary Opinion on the “McFadden case”, the Court’s Advocate General (AG) has found that operators of free public Wi-Fi cannot be held liable for copyright infringements committed on their networks.

This assessment represents a crucial interpretation of the EU E-Commerce Directive, the legal basis that the European legislator has rightly identified as being key to the development of Internet technologies in Europe.

If confirmed, this ruling would provide the legal certainty necessary for a dramatic expansion of public Wi-Fi access points, potentially to the point that free Wi-Fi could become commonly available across European commercial/retail environments.

As per enforcement of copyrights, the AG Opinion’s rightly considers copyright as just one of the many fundamental rights of EU citizens, one that can only be enforced as part of a balanced approach that reflects the importance of competing rights. In particular, the Opinion strongly vindicates the right to privacy of communications, by precluding the providers of Internet services from undertaking general surveillance of user activities on their network in search of copyright-infringing content.

In that context, EuroISPA hopes the Court of Justice of the EU will adjudicate positively with respect to the Advocate-General’s Opinion in McFadden. Strong protections against misplaced liability burdens are a crucial element in efforts to widen and deepen the information society in Europe.

EuroISPA Intermediary Liability committee chair Malcolm Hutty said: "Today’s AG Opinion further strengthens the consensus that copyright enforcement measures must be balanced with fundamental rights. It says that restricting the availability of Wi-Fi access would be a disadvantage for society as whole, that cannot be justified by benefits to copyright holders. I agree: the economic future of Europe depends on the widespread availability of Internet access, wherever you go, whenever you need it."