EuroISPA signs joint industry letter on the future of the ePrivacy Regulation

Ahead of the 8 June TTE Council, EuroISPA and 56 other national and pan-European association urge Member States to remain cautious in their examination of the draft ePrivacy Regulation (ePR). Limited progress has been achieved since the beginning of Council discussions early last year and many questions remain open. More time is needed to assess the ePR’s scope of application, its overlaps with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its impact on all sectors of the economy.

You can read the letter here: Joint industry letter on the future of the ePrivacy Regulation


Copyright Directive: EuroISPA criticises Council position and urges EP to adopt a targeted approach

Brussels, 25 May 2018 – Today, the Bulgarian Presidency was granted a mandate to negotiate with the European Parliament on the Copyright Directive reform. EuroISPA is seriously concerned that the compromises reached on Articles 11 (press publishers’ rights) and 13 (filtering measures) will hurt the European Internet industry. We call on the European Parliament and the Council to improve the text in the upcoming negotiations by adopting a more proportionate and targeted approach.

Article 11 – a danger to European users’ fundamental rights

It is unclear how Article 11 will benefit press publishers, especially bearing in mind catastrophic precedents in Spain and Germany. EuroISPA regrets that the text leaves it to Member States the freedom to determine whether a snippet of a press publication falls in the scope of the article. This will simply create 28 different regimes in the EU, generating legal uncertainty for the industry, and limiting the free and open nature of the Internet. In this context, we call for Member States to consider a reasonable compromise that had broad support, a presumption of transfer of rights to news publishers.

Article 13 – over-blocking and censorship

Article 13 makes intermediaries liable for uploads by their users, completely circumventing the E-Commerce Directive. Furthermore, it requires businesses to put in place filters to assess the legality of copyright-protected content – this will lead to over-blocking and censorship of lawful content, thus endangering European users’ fundamental freedoms.

The law-makers should clearly exclude from the scope of the text electronic communication services, including internet access providers, and, as the music industry has been their main concern in drafting this text, reduce it to phonograms. Furthermore, the obligations to remove content expeditiously should be based on knowledge of an illegal use of content, in line with the e-Commerce Directive, and not merely on information by the rightholder stating that it owns the work.

A proportionate and targeted approach

EuroISPA calls on the European Parliament and the Council to adopt a more proportionate and targeted approach in their upcoming negotiations, as suggested above. We stand ready to further collaborate with the Council and the European Parliament to contribute the perspective of European Internet Services Providers and work towards a good compromise for European citizens and the European Internet industry.

EuroISPA partners with Council of Europe to protect fundamental freedoms online

Strasbourg, 23 May 2018 – EuroISPA and the Council of Europe have officially joined forces to promote respect for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law on the Internet. Yesterday, Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland and EuroISPA President Oliver Süme exchanged letters to formalize an already fruitful co-operation.

Referring to the agreement, Oliver Süme commented: “We are delighted to partner with the Council of Europe to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms online.”

EuroISPA holds in high regard the work of the Council of Europe, especially in advocating for a balanced approach in dealing with illegal content online, in accordance with its Recommendation on the “roles and responsibilities of internet intermediaries.”

Oliver Süme added: “EuroISPA is concerned by the increasing trend of the privatisation of law enforcement. Our Members are being overburdened with increased responsibility and liability for policing content online and assessing its legality, without sufficient judicial oversight. In this context, the balanced approach promoted by the Council of Europe is a strong counterweight against invasive policy frameworks which are being developed both at the EU and at the national level”.

EuroISPA is looking forward to collaborating with the Council of Europe towards a balanced approach, which ensures the respect of the rule of law for users in the online sphere and which also supports European Internet Services Providers in effectively playing their role.

Czech media and technological house joins EuroISPA

Brussels – 7 May 2018: The European Internet Services Providers Association continues to grow: Czech media and technological house has joined its Industry Forum and further strengthened the association. is a leader within the Czech digital market. It offers over twenty services including full text search, online maps, a company catalogue, an e-mail service with 8 million of accounts, news services, TV broadcasting, a comparison tool and advertising.’s homepage is visited by an average of 6,5 million users per month, searching for news and information, connecting with friends, and using services to improve their everyday life, such as price comparison tools and original audiovisual content.’s Deputy CEO Aleh Drohal commented: “As a European Internet player, we are glad to join a community representing the European Internet sector. is looking forward to being an active voice within EuroISPA and participating in a dynamic dialogue with EU policy-makers.”

As the EU Institutions work on important policy topics such as the copyright reform, tackling illegal content online, cybersecurity, e-privacy etc., it is more important than ever that the European Internet sector speaks with one voice to preserve an innovation-friendly legislative environment for all Internet players.

You can find further information on’s activities at this link.

Moldovan ICT Association ATIC becomes first ever EuroISPA observer

Brussels – 7 May 2018: The Moldovan ICT Association ATIC has joined EuroISPA as an observer member, a first for the association.

The Moldovan Association of Information and Communications Technology Companies – ATIC – represents leading companies from the software development and services, hardware and communications subsectors. It aims to enhance the competitiveness and development of the sector, enlarging the market and attracting investment in Moldova.

Irina Strajescu, ATIC President, declared: “We are delighted to join EuroISPA as observers. It is important for us to participate to the European debate on internet policy, and we are excited to share our expertise on the Moldovan ICT business and regulatory framework”.

Oliver Süme, President of EuroISPA, commented: “We are thrilled to welcome ATIC, an association from the European neighbourhood, as an observer. Their perspective will be extremely valuable and will broaden our understanding of ICT policy beyond the EU”.

You can find further information on ATIC’s activities at this link.

EuroISPA co-signs letter with 145 organisations asking the EU Council not to rush negotiations on the Copyright Directive

Brussels, 26 April 2018–  EuroISPA has co-signed a letter with 145 organisations asking the EU Council not to rush negotiations on the Copyright Directive. We are deeply concerned that the latest text proposed by the Bulgarian Presidency does not reflect a balanced compromise. More time is needed in order to find a balanced approach.

The open letter was signed by European and global organisations, as well as national organisations from 28 EU Member States, representing human and digital rights, media freedom, publishers, journalists, libraries, scientific and research institutions, educational institutions including universities, creator representatives, consumers, software developers, start-ups, technology businesses and Internet
service providers.

Please find here the abovementioned letter: Open_Letter_on_Copyright_Reform_27_April_COREPER_Meeting

EuroISPA welcomes the European Commission’s Communication on AI, but warns that an unbalanced ePrivacy reform might stifle innovation

Brussels, 25 April 2018- EuroISPA, the pan-European association of European Internet Services Providers Associations (ISPAs), representing over 2,500 ISPs across the EU and EFTA countries, welcomes the European Commission’s Communication on “Artificial Intelligence for Europe”.

The Communication sends a positive signal to European businesses, as it seeks to strike the right balance between boosting Europe’s AI industrial capacity and tackling ethical, societal, and legal challenges created by these new technologies. In this respect, EuroISPA appreciates the Commission’s engagement to establish an EU Multi-stakeholder AI Alliance which will bring together relevant players to draft an AI Ethics Guidelines.

Oliver Süme, President of EuroISPA, commented: “If the European Union wishes to emerge as a leader in the field of Artificial Intelligence vis-à-vis China and the United States, it will need to create a future-proof, innovation-friendly regulatory framework. It will be crucial to engage in an active dialogue with industry, which is investing in research and innovation in the field of AI”.

While this initiative is encouraging, EuroISPA fears that the proposed ePrivacy Regulation, currently undergoing the legislative process, together with a still unclear definition of what “AI” actually means, might compromise EU efforts to boost the European AI industry as it lacks the needed flexibility for businesses to process data and innovate.

Oliver Süme added: “We hope that current discussions on the ePrivacy Regulation will be reconciled with the bold vision that the Commission has on Artificial Intelligence, also in line with the Council Conclusions on an EU industrial policy strategy from March 2018. EuroISPA will follow with interest EU efforts in the field of the regulation of AI and stands ready to provide feedback from the European ISP industry”.

EuroISPA sceptical about EU Commission’s plan to task vigilantes with guarding the Internet

Brussels, 1st March 2018: Upon the adoption of the European Commission’s Recommendation on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online, EuroISPA has reiterated that the rule of law must not be sacrificed in the fight against illegal content online. Today’s Recommendation demands that Internet intermediaries are bound to suppress content at the request of state investigators or vigilante actors, without any independent assessment of legality. This places Internet businesses at risk of violating their obligations to respect fundamental rights in the online sphere.

The Recommendation proposes the use of automated filters to assess the legality of content, which will lead to over-blocking and censorship of lawful content. Proactive measures, especially in combination with such automated filtering methods, clearly run counter to recent jurisprudence of both the Court of Justice of the European Union as well as Member State court rulings.

Burdening Internet intermediaries with such immense responsibilities is not only troubling due to the lack of court oversight, it also serves to further reinforce the worrying trend of the privatisation of law enforcement online. This deeply disquieting tendency is further sharpened by the Recommendation’s encouragement of dealing with disputes with an out-of-court settlement mechanism, and by the extremely limited time frame of just one hour, within which Internet intermediaries are expected to remove content upon referral. EuroISPA is especially alarmed as such extreme time constraints clearly reflect that European law-makers fail to understand that such obligations would be almost impossible to put in place for the vast number of small and medium size businesses all over Europe.

EuroISPA is furthermore troubled by the recommendation that Internet intermediaries should simply comply with demands to remove content from private vigilante organisations, which the European Commission designates as “trusted flaggers”. The proliferation of such entities, with the suggestion to extend these competences further to users and copyright holders, shows the Commission’s worrisome acceptance of the absence of court oversight and supports a system afflicted with a clear lack of impartiality: the entity making the complaint would often be the same which assesses the validity of the complaint.

Such an approach would also have severe detrimental effects on the current system of hotlines, whose valuable work on tackling Child Sexual Abuse Material online would be undermined.  EuroISPA thus points out that, without the need of a court order, the increased power of referrals and take down or access restriction orders by competent authorities, will make it impossible to uphold due process and the rule of law online.

EuroISPA, and its over 2,500 member companies from all areas of the European internet ecosystem, have long been and continue to be dedicated in leading the fight against illegal content online, notably through its Members responsible for national hotlines, as well as supporting anti-malware and anti-spam initiatives across Europe. We reiterate our call for a policy framework to tackle illegal content online only in the context of due process and strong judicial oversight. Fundamental freedoms of European Internet users must be upheld, which can only be ensured through a system underpinned by court authority.

Marking Safer Internet Day 2018

Brussels, 6 February 2018– To mark Safer Internet Day 2018, the European Internet Service Providers Association (EuroISPA) has reiterated the crucial role played by Internet Hotlines and their efforts in fighting Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) and other illegal content online.

EuroISPA is the voice of the Internet industry, representing over 2,500 service providers along the Internet value chain across Europe, taking the lead in advocating for these important hotlines. Indeed, three of EuroISPA’s member associations are responsible for their respective national hotlines, where they undertake the key task of processing and taking action on thousands of reported cases of illegal content each year.

EuroISPA has supported the European Institutions’ insight in providing public funding to establish and ensure the running of the network of hotlines in Europe today, in turn also supporting EuroISPA Members’ efforts in this regard.

However, this essential EU co-funding has recently seen a downward trend, putting at risk the progress and successes of the hotlines in tackling CSAM and illegal online content. EuroISPA continues to advocate to EU policy-makers the importance of sustained co-financing, so that hotlines have the necessary resources to deploy their efforts in their daily work towards a safer Internet.

EuroISPA Safer Internet Committee Chair Nicolas D’Arcy said: “Safer Internet Day is a brilliant opportunity to highlight the important role undertaken by hotlines across Europe, especially in tackling CSAM online. EuroISPA will continue to advocate for financial and political support from EU policy-makers, underscoring the hotlines’ crucial role in the Internet ecosystem and in ensuring a safe environment for all online.”

EuroISPA: Rule of Law must not be sacrificed in fight against illegal content online

Brussels, 28 September 2017- EU lawmakers must not sacrifice the rule of law to advance the fight against illegal content online, EuroISPA warned today as the European Commission published its new guidelines on notice & action. The guidelines endorse the trend that has seen policymakers across Europe force online intermediaries to play judge, jury and […]