Policy Observatory

New administrative notice-and-takedown procedure in Greece

Tue, 2017-08-15 20:34
Greece has recently adopted a new administrative procedure to tackle online copyright infringements. According to this provision, which was transposed into the Greek Copyright Act (Law 2121/1993) as Article 66E, in case of alleged online copyright infringement, copyright holders shall have the right to file an application with the Committee for the notification of online copyright infringements.

U.S. judge says LinkedIn cannot block startup from public profile data

Tue, 2017-08-15 16:00

A U.S. judge on Monday ruled that Microsoft Corp's LinkedIn unit cannot prevent a startup from accessing public profile data, in a test of how much control a social media site can wield over information its users have deemed to be public.

Romanian National Authority for Regulation in Communications is investigating zero-rating offers

Fri, 2017-08-11 17:38
The National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) is investigating offers such as Vodafone Pass which include a preferential treatment for some apps. Traffic on Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Whatsapp, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, Viber is unlimited, while on other apps it is being charged. Romanian digital rights NGO, ApTI filed a complaint to ANCOM which responded that it extended its investigation to other possible zero rating offers.

Brazil: multistakeholder internet governance model in crisis

Fri, 2017-08-11 16:46

The Brazilian government is proposing changes in domestic internet governance that would endanger the participation of civil society and the multistakeholder model.

On August 8th, the government published a call for comments that would allow important changes in the national Internet Governance Steering Committee (“CGI.br”), without even first consulting the committee itself. This has taken the Brazilian internet community by surprise.

UK government releases statement of intent describing new data protection bill

Fri, 2017-08-11 16:17

The UK has released a statement of intent describing a forthcoming bill that would make major revisions to the the country's data protection law. The new rules would follow the EU's General Data Protection Regulation by strengthening rules for obtaining consent, making it easier for consumers to withdraw consent, and improving consumers' ability to access, move, and remove data about themselves. The bill would also expand the definition of "personal data" to include DNA and IP addresses and would make it a crime to re-identify individuals from anonymized data.

Deciphering China’s VPN Ban

Fri, 2017-08-11 15:37

This weekend Apple took a dispiriting step in the policing of its Chinese mainland App store: the company removed several Virtual Private Network (VPN) applications that allowed users to circumvent the China’s extensive internet censorship apparatus. In effect, the company has once again aided the Chinese government in its censorship campaign against its own citizens.

Dutch House of Representatives passes dragnet surveillance bill

Fri, 2017-08-11 15:34

On Tuesday February 14, 2017 the bill for the new Intelligence and Security Services Act was passed by the Dutch lower house. Despite being met with serious opposition from experts, regulators, civil society, political parties and citizens, the revised bill passed virtually unchanged from the proposal submitted to the lower house.

On several points the revised bill is an important improvement on the current law, and on the proposal that was put up for public consultation in 2015. For instance, many of the agency’s powers now will require a sign-off from the Minister of the Interior and a review committee. We’re also pleased to see the construction of a framework for online research conducted by the agencies.

Turkey: Court backs MP over intelligence service human rights complaint

Tue, 2017-08-01 00:42

Human rights judges have backed a Turkish MP, who complained that the six week interception and surveillance of all electronic communication in the country, amounted to a breach of human rights. The European Court of Human Rights’ 18 July decision in the case Mustafa Sezgin Tanrıkulu v. Turkey (no. 27473/06) declared a Violation of Article 8 and a Violation of Article 13.

The decision is available here.

Amazon win sets good precedent

Tue, 2017-08-01 00:38

In a victory for fairness and rule-based Internet governance, an independent review panel has decided that ICANN was wrong to deny retailing giant Amazon, Inc. the top level domain AMAZON. Key elements of the decision were unanimous, particularly the conclusion that the Board “cannot accept GAC consensus advice as conclusive".

France: 13 million in damages awarded for linking to downloadable copyright works

Tue, 2017-08-01 00:00
Now that the CJEU has confirmed that linking to protected content could lead to infringing copyright comes in some cases (see see herehere and here), a slew of practical questions arise. Not least, how much do copyright owners lose from online platforms hosting links to unauthorized copies of their works uploaded by third parties? In other words, how much damages should be awarded by courts, and on what basis?

Google right to be forgotten spat returns to Europe’s top court

Mon, 2017-07-31 23:32

Google's dispute with France's privacy watchdog over a call to apply "right to be forgotten" rules globally to some Web links will be weighed by Europe's top court.

German court asks CJEU what a 'quotation' is: only unaltered reproductions or also something else?

Mon, 2017-07-31 23:15
Germany's Federal Court of Justice has referred a new copyright case to the Court of Justice of the European Union: I ZR 228/15 - Reformistischer Aufbruch.
According to the relevant press release (and its Google Translate translation), similarly to the two other references mentioned above, also this new case seeks guidance on – among other things – the interplay between copyright protection and the protection of third-party rights and freedoms (including freedom of the press), as well as the proper interpretation of relevant exceptions in the InfoSoc Directive – in this case, news reporting and quotation within, respectively, Article 5(3)(c) and (d) of the InfoSoc Directive.

Oversight Board report: Illegal surveillance of Danish citizens

Mon, 2017-07-31 22:46

The annual report from the Danish Intelligence Oversight Board (TET) was published on 7 July 2017. Under Danish law, TET is tasked with overseeing the data collection and data processing practices of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) and the Danish Defence and Intelligence Service (DDIS). Both intelligence services operate mostly outside European Union (EU) law because of the national security exemption in the EU Treaties.

PNR: EU Court rules that draft EU/Canada air passenger data deal is unacceptable

Mon, 2017-07-31 22:43

Today, on 26 July 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) confirmed that the EU/Canada deal on collection of air travellers’ data and sharing it breaches European law. This is the third time that the European Court has ruled against arrangements for mandatory storage of personal data.

Copyright Directive discussed in Romania

Mon, 2017-07-31 22:42

On 23 June 2017, EDRi member Asociația pentru Tehnologie și Internet (ApTI) along with The National Association of Librarians and Public Libraries of Romania (ANBPR) and the Center for Independent Journalism (CJI) organised a meeting on the topic of the proposed EU Copyright Directive. Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Victor Negrescu took part in the event.

Norway introduces forced biometric authentication

Mon, 2017-07-31 22:40

On 5 April 2017, the Norwegian government proposed an amendment to the Norwegian code of criminal proceedings to allow the police to compel the use of biometric authentication. After two quick debates, the Norwegian Parliament passed the proposition into law on 21 June.

Dutch Senate votes in favour of dragnet surveillance powers

Mon, 2017-07-31 22:37

On 11 July 2017, the Dutch Senate passed the bill for the new Intelligence and Security Services Act. With the Senate vote, a years-long political battle has come to an end: the secret services have been given dragnet surveillance powers.

European court halts retention, bulk transfer of passenger data

Mon, 2017-07-31 22:35

The top EU Court has struck down an EU-Canada agreement on the processing of airline passenger records. The Passenger Name Record agreement mandated data retention and permitted the bulk transfer of personal data provided by passengers booking a flight. The Court of Justice of the EU explained "the PNR agreement may not be concluded in its current form because several of its provisions are incompatible with the fundamental rights recognised by the EU." The data can reveal "a complete travel itinerary, travel habits, relationships existing between two or more individuals, and information on the financial situation of air passengers, their dietary habits or their state of health."

CULT Committee wants educators to pay for content that they now use for free

Mon, 2017-07-31 22:23

Last week, the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) of the European Parliament voted on its final opinion concerning the Commission’s Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

FOIA requests for blocking porn websites in Romania

Sun, 2017-07-30 00:24
ApTI submitted access to information requests to the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) with regard to the application of Law 196/2003 on combating pornography. Porn website owners have to charge a tax per minute view and declare the income to the fiscal authorities. From ANCOM's response, most of the requests sent to ISPs date from 2011. As ANCOM's response indicates a confusion between ISP blocking and requesting Internet hosting services to delete the website, ApTI submitted another FOIA request to clarify this aspect.