Policy Observatory

Domain name holders' personal data remain protected

Fri, 2017-05-19 23:42

The Chamber of Deputies of the Romanian Parliament has rejected the project for domain name owners personal data to be publicly made available without their consent. The project has been rejected after the Romanian Government showed that this would violate European Union norms.

EU fines Facebook 110 million euros over WhatsApp deal

Fri, 2017-05-19 23:33

European Union antitrust regulators fined Facebook 110 million euros ($122 million) on Thursday for giving misleading information during a vetting of its deal to acquire messaging service WhatsApp in 2014.

Calling it a "proportionate and deterrent fine", the European Commission, which acts as the EU's competition watchdog, said Facebook had said it could not automatically match user accounts on its namesake platform and WhatsApp but two years later launched a service that did exactly that.

EU data protection watchdogs support stronger ePrivacy legislation

Tue, 2017-05-09 23:51

On 10 January 2017, the European Commission published its long-awaited proposal for an e-Privacy Regulation (ePR) to replace the 2002 e-Privacy Directive (ePD). In April 2017, two Opinions were issued to provide comments and recommendations on how to better safeguard the right to privacy, confidentiality of communications, and the protection of personal data in the proposed ePR; one by the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (WP29), and another one by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS).


CJEU to rule on enforceability of German press publishers' right

Tue, 2017-05-09 23:47

In 2013, Germany adopted a new neighbouring right over news content and in favour of press publishers (Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverlege, LSR). The newly created sections 87f, 87g and 87h of the German Copyright Act provide for the exclusive right of press publishers to exploit their contents commercially for one year, thus preventing search engines and news aggregators from displaying excerpts from newspaper articles without paying a fee.

This article discusses the latest development in relation to the neighbouring right in favour of press publishers is today's decision of the Landgericht Berlin to make a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the context of litigation between the collecting society responsible to collect royalties in favour of publishers and Google, to receiving guidance on the actual enforceability of the German press publishers' right.







German court blocks Facebook's efforts to obtain WhatsApp user data

Tue, 2017-05-09 23:39

A German court has upheld an order requiring Facebook to suspend the import of users' personal data from WhatsApp. Following Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp, WhatsApp announced that it would transfer users' personal data to Facebook, violating the company's privacy promises. A Data Protection Commissioner in Germany ordered Facebook to halt the data transfer. This week a German court refused Facebook's attempt to block the order, ruling that Facebook had no legal basis for the transfer and no effective consent from WhatsApp users. The transfer is also under investigation by the Article 29 Working party, a group of European privacy officials.

The FCC wants to eliminate net neutrality protections

Tue, 2017-05-09 23:37
According to several news reports, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is planning to gut the FCC’s Open Internet Order, eliminating hard-fought net neutrality protections.

The right to be forgotten may apply all over the world

Tue, 2017-05-09 23:28

The Swedish Data Protection Authority (DPA) has checked how Google handles the "right to be forgotten", i.e. the possibility to have search results deleted. The DPA concludes that if Google is required to delete the result of a search, it may also be necessary to delete the search result when searches are made from other countries outside of Sweden.

Wikipedia blocked in Turkey

Tue, 2017-05-09 22:59

The Turkey Blocks monitoring network has verified restrictions affecting the Wikipedia online encyclopaedia in Turkey. A block affecting all language editions of the website detected at 8:00AM local time Saturday 29 April, 2017. The loss of availability is consistent with internet filters used to censor content in the country.


Spain is removed from the US content piracy blacklist

Tue, 2017-05-09 22:57

The US Department of Commerce has published their annual '301 Special Report' that removes Spain from the content piracy watch list and recognizes Spanish efforts illegal digital contents.

FBI director Comey backs new push for decrypt bill

Tue, 2017-05-09 22:56

Answering questions at a Senate oversight committee hearing, FBI Director James Comey has hinted at growing consensus between technology companies and intelligence agencies over the controversial issue of how to access encrypted data. He also supported what appears to be a fresh push by Senator Dianne Feinstein to introduce legislation to enable courts to order access to encrypted devices.

Leaked document reveals UK plans for wider internet surveillance

Tue, 2017-05-09 22:54

The UK government is planning to push greater surveillance powers that would force internet providers to monitor communications in near-realtime and install backdoor equipment to break encryption, according to a leaked document.

Digital Economy Act 2017 — UK Parliament

Tue, 2017-05-09 22:50

The Digital Economy Act 2017 includes a provision to allow providers of internet access services to engage in filtering of their service for child protection purposes, where this is in accordance with the terms of service. In light of net neutrality, this supports the position of the existing popular parental control filters offered by UK ISPs to their customers.

BSG Publishes New Open Internet Code of Practice

Tue, 2017-05-09 22:47

In June 2016 the Broadband Stakeholder Group (a multi-stakeholder industry advisory group to Government) published its new Open Internet Code. This is signed up to by all major UK ISPs and MNOs, and is a self-regulatory set of commitments on open internet that complement the EU Regulation. It forms an update and merger of the previous existing two self-regulatory codes on open internet and traffic management.

The Open Internet Access (EU Regulation) Regulations 2016

Tue, 2017-05-09 22:45

UK is subject to EU Regulation 2015/2120 laying down measures concerning open internet access, the net neutrality aspects of which came into force in April 2016.  

UK has introduced the Open Internet Access (EU Regulation) Regulations 2016, which came into force in June 2016 to allow Ofcom, as the UK National Regulatory Authority, the powers to monitor compliance with the EU regulation, to enforce its provisions and to impose penalties for non-compliance.

German DPA prohibits mass data sharing between WhatsApp and Facebook

Thu, 2017-04-27 16:58

The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection today announced a decision prohibiting Facebook and Facebook-owned Whatsapp from sharing data from their respective users. The commission did note that it would still be possible to create a process for WhatsApp users to opt into sharing their data declared illegal an automatic massive transfer.

The FCC just released a plan to undo its own net neutrality rules

Thu, 2017-04-27 16:55

The proposal from the Chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai marks the first step toward undoing a key decision of the Obama era, one that forced Internet providers to behave more like legacy telephone companies. The stricter rules for ISPs had made it illegal to block or slow down websites for consumers.

Spanish Supreme Court rejects the request of the content creators industry to be compensated for digital canon

Wed, 2017-04-26 20:18

After declaring illegal the allocation to the General Budget of the State of equitable compensation for private copying (aka "digital canon"), the Spanish Supreme Court rejects the request from the industry for 120 million euros.

Irish Broadband providers ordered to block illegal streaming sites

Tue, 2017-04-25 22:35

Six major film and TV studios have secured injunctions directing Irish Internet service providers to block access to websites involved in illegal streaming or downloading of films and TV shows. The companies argued digital piracy is costing the studios hundreds of millions annually and hundreds of jobs.

Unauthorized subtitles for movies & TV shows are illegal, Dutch court rules

Tue, 2017-04-25 22:29

A group of fansubbers who turned the tables on BREIN by taking the anti-piracy group to court have lost their legal battle. The Free Subtitles Foundation sought a legal ruling determining that fansubbers act within the law, but this week the Amsterdam District Court sided with BREIN on all counts.