EU Issues Overview – 16 July – 20 July 2016 Thumbnail
Newsletters 25 July 2016

EU Issues Overview – 16 July – 20 July 2016

Open Internet 

EU: ETNO publishes joint industry statement on BEREC Open Internet Guidelines 

  • The European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO), together with GSMA and Cable Europe, have issued a joint statement on the Open Internet Guidelines of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). They note that the guidelines create legal uncertainty and restrain customer choice, network innovation, as well as investment. 

Digital Single Market

EU: e-commerce sector-inquiry initial findings to be published in the Autumn

  • Commissioner Vestager told the law journal PaRR that initial findings from the European Commission’s sector inquiry into e-commerce will be presented during a meeting on 6 October. 
  • Commission officials will share their views on online content distribution, vertical restraints in the electronic sale of consumer goods, and the enforcement of competition law in the e-commerce sector


Turkey: Social media access may have been slowed, or even blocked, during coup attempt

  • Conflicting reports have emerged about people unable to access social media amid the attempted military coup of Saturday 16 July in a article by the Electronic Frontier Foundation which described Turkey a “bastion of Internet censorship”.
  • “Turkey Blocks”, an organization monitoring Internet censorship in Turkey, reported that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were blocked, while Vimeo and Instagram remained available. It appears there was not a full blockage but an intentional slowing of internet traffic throughout events. 

Data Protection/Data Retention

UK: Britain could become a “data haven” for online companies after Brexit

  • Josh Kallmer, head of global policy at the Washington-based Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), opined that Britain could become a more desirable destination for global tech firms following June’s Brexit vote, should EU policy makers attempt to control the activities of online companies and platforms. 

EU: ECJ Advocate General opinion could limit national data retention

  • In an opinion released on 19 July, the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice called for a balanced approach to data protection and for privacy standards to be respected at all times.
  • The opinion stated that only data which are strictly necessary to solve serious crimes should be retained. The Advocate General considers those obligations only concern metadata and should not include the content of text messages or telephone calls. 


EU: Copyright gets delayed as Commission struggles to put a date for the review

  • The European Commission’s Copyright review, originally expected in September 2016, could be delayed to the end of October as officials consider next steps. 
  • It is understood that the “value gap,” which addresses how artists should get paid for their work when it is posted online, is a key issue; it remains unclear if the Commission will call for platforms to pay more to copyright holders or if they will maintain the status quo.


EU: Report reveals importance of Internet of Things to business development

  • Vodafone’s fourth annual Internet of Things barometer report, found that companies see the Internet of Things (IoT) as increasingly important for the success of their business.
  • The use of IoT has driven an average growth of 20% in metrics such as revenue, cost, downtime and utilisation; three-quarters (76%) of companies believe IoT will become critical to their future success; 63% of decision-makers have seen “significant” return on investments. 
  • The report was conducted by Circle Research, who surveyed nearly 1,100 enterprise and public-sector executives from 17 countries.

EU: European Commission allows Deutsche Telekom to upgrade network with vectoring technology

  • On 19 July, the European Commission accepted a revised regulatory proposal presented by Deutsche Telekom introducing the necessary competitive safeguards. Following the Commission, these requirements will allow for gains in network performance while ensuring effective competition by alternative operators. 
  • Nevertheless, the Commission warned the German telecoms regulator that it will have to improve conditions through which alternative operators are entitled to provide internet access via Deutsche Telekom’s vectored networks.

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