Policy Observatory

French DPA issues formal notice to Microsoft to comply with data protection rules

Mon, 2016-07-25 10:31

The Chair of the National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) has ordered Microsoft to stop collecting excessive user data and to stop tracking the web browsing of Windows 10 users without their consent.

Judge dismisses movie piracy case - linking IP address to a download is not enough

Fri, 2016-07-22 12:09

In what's believed to be a first of its kind ruling, a federal court in Oregon has dismissed a direct infringement complaint against an alleged movie pirate from the outset. According to the judge, linking an IP-address to a pirated download is not enough to prove direct copyright infringement.

Bulgaria adopted open source law

Fri, 2016-07-22 11:46

The Bulgarian parliament has voted and approved a series of amendments to the Electronic Governance Act that require all software written for the government to be open-source and to be developed as such in a public repository.

US court: No expectation of privacy if using computers connected to the Internet

Fri, 2016-07-22 11:41

A federal judge for the Eastern District of Virginia has ruled that the user of any computer that connects to the Internet should not have an expectation of privacy because computer security is ineffectual at stopping hackers.

UN council passed online freedom resolution

Fri, 2016-07-22 11:35

A UN resolution entitled "The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet" effectively extends human rights held offline to the internet. It was passed by consensus, but only after a determined effort by a number of countries, including China and Russia, to pull out key parts of the text.

China tightens rules for mobile app developers

Tue, 2016-06-28 12:10

China has tightened rules for mobile app developers including requiring real-name registration and preserving users' activity logs, the country's internet regulator said on Tuesday, as Beijing looks to strengthen oversight of the growing app market.

US Customs wants to collect social media account names at the border

Tue, 2016-06-28 11:51

US Customs and Border Protection have entered a new proposal into the federal register, suggesting a new optional field in which persons entering the country can declare their various social media accounts and screen names.

Internal market committee to greenlight Network and Information Security directive

Wed, 2016-06-15 01:11

MEPs sitting on the internal market committee have welcomed plans for a new cybersecurity law, which was approved by national ministers in May. The Network and Information Security (NIS) directive will require “essential services” operators and “digital service providers” to notify the authorities about any cyber “incidents".

The committee will vote on Tuesday and is expected to give the plan its blessing. The European Parliament as a whole is then likely to follow suit, paving the way for national laws in the next two years.

CJEU asked to determine the legal status of data transfers under Standard Contractual Clauses

Wed, 2016-06-15 00:54

The Irish High Court refers Facebook privacy case to the Court of Justice of the European Unionin order to determine the legal status of data transfers under Standard Contractual Clauses. Therefore, Facebook could face questions from the CJEU about the validity of the model clauses it uses to transfer data outside of the 28-member-state bloc.

US government asks to join key EU privacy case on transatlantic data flows

Wed, 2016-06-15 00:41

The US government has asked to be joined as a party in the Irish High Court case between the Austrian privacy activist and lawyer Max Schrems, and the social network Facebook. The American Chamber of Commerce, Business Software Alliance, and the Irish Business and Employers Confederation also asked to join the procedure, as these organisations’ members also use standard contractual clauses to transfer data to the United States.

US: Net neutrality rules upheld by Court of Appeal

Tue, 2016-06-14 22:29

A U.S. appeals court upheld the Obama administration's landmark rules barring internet service providers from obstructing or slowing down consumer access to web content. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit backed the Federal Communications Commission's so-called net neutrality rules put in place last year to make internet service providers treat all internet traffic equally.

NTIA approves IANA transition proposal

Sat, 2016-06-11 10:05

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today that the proposal developed by the global Internet multistakeholder community meets the criteria NTIA outlined in March 2014 when it stated its intent to transition the U.S. Government’s stewardship role for the Internet domain name system (DNS) technical functions, known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions.

IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal assessment report is available here and more details are available here.

Privacy Shield: more robust and sustainable solution needed

Mon, 2016-05-30 23:45

The EDPS statement regarding the Privacy Shield: "as it stands is not robust enough to withstand future legal scrutiny before the Court. Significant improvements are needed should  the  European  Commission  wish  to  adopt  an  adequacy  decision,  to  respect  the essence of key data protection principles with particular regard to necessity, proportionality and redress mechanisms. Moreover, it’s time to develop a longer term solution in the transatlantic dialogue."

EDPS opinion and press release.

European Commission adopts new rules on the creation of advisory expert groups

Mon, 2016-05-30 14:43

Today, the Commission has adopted new rules on the creation and functioning of the advisory expert groups which provide external expertise to help inform the policy-making process. The Decision provides a single set of rules and principles aimed at increasing transparency, avoiding conflicts of interest and ensuring a balanced representation of interests. The new rules are binding on all Commission departments.

EU Commission under investigation for EU Internet Forum documents

Mon, 2016-05-30 14:01

In the past year, EDRi made numerous formal requests to get more information about the EU Internet Forum. This Forum was set up by the EU Commission to persuade companies to do “more” to fight terrorism. After months of obstruction from the European Commission, EDRi made a maladministration complaint to the European Ombudsman. As a result, a formal inquiry has been launched.

Will the UN kill the IGF?

Mon, 2016-05-30 11:41

The UN Internet Governance Forum was the most important product of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). It was supposed to serve as a bridge between the private sector-based Internet governance institutions (such as ICANN, IETF, ISOC, and the RIRs) and the world of national governments and the United Nations, a meeting ground where stakeholder silos would dissolve and fruitful dialogue would take place.

The multistakeholder basis of the IGF, however, may be breaking down. The UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) seems to be claiming authority over the IGF as its own project.

NSA internal newsletter released by The Intercept

Tue, 2016-05-24 21:14

SIDtoday is the internal newsletter for the NSA’s most important division, the Signals Intelligence Directorate. After editorial review, The Intercept is releasing nine years’ worth of newsletters in batches, starting with 2003. The agency’s spies explain a surprising amount about what they were doing, how they were doing it, and why.


Launch of draft BEREC Net Neutrality Guidelines public consultation

Sat, 2016-05-21 22:05

On 6 June 2016, from 14.30 to 16.00, BEREC will launch the public consultation on draft BEREC Guidelines on the Implementation by National Regulators of European Net Neutrality Rules and hold a public debriefing for presenting the results from its 27th plenary meeting to take place on 2 and 3 June 2016 in Vienna.

Data protection reform - Parliament approves new rules fit for the digital era

Wed, 2016-05-04 23:19

New EU data protection rules which aim to give citizens back control of their personal data and create a high, uniform level of data protection across the EU fit for the digital era was given their final approval by MEPs on Thursday. The reform also sets minimum standards on use of data for policing and judicial purposes.

General Data Protection Regulation just published

Wed, 2016-05-04 23:04

The text of the General Data Protection Regulation has been published and it is available here.