Building Trust 16 February 2017

EU Issues Overview – 3 February – 10 February 2017

Internet Access

EU: Visegrad countries issue paper on Electronic Communications Code

  • Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia jointly signed a 5-page position paper this week, outlining their position on the telecoms reform.
  • Regarding the use of spectrum bands for 5G, the 4 countries demand greater flexibility on time frames and ask the Commission to take into account the specific conditions of Member States bordering with non-EU countries and cross-border coordination.
  • The group welcomes the Commission’s proposal to provide basic universal voice and broadband services for affordable prices and the extension of telecoms rules to over-the-top services.

Sweden & Netherlands: Spotify-Tesla deal could violate net neutrality guidelines

  • A complaint was filed arguing that a deal between Spotify and Tesla Motors contains zero rating data and is therefore unfair to Spotify’s rivals. The deal allegedly allows drivers to listen to streaming music without paying for the data.


EU: Concept paper on data flows in trade agreements

  • Late January, the Commission forwarded a concept paper on data flows in trade agreements to national trade policy experts, who discussed the file this Wednesday.
  • The document is a result of hurdles over data flows in the EU-Japan FTA negotiations. It suggests introducing free flow of data clauses in trade agreements while ensuring that privacy is protected.
  • Any proposal will be the outcome of extensive negotiations between DG Justice and DG Trade.

EU: Rules on transatlantic data flows trembling

  • The think tank Bruegel analysed the grounds of the Privacy Shield, concluding that whereas both the US and the EU are committed to data protection, the transfer mechanism does little to address the concerns raised by the Schrems decision relating to US mass surveillance and access to personal data.
  • Also the Wall Street Journal explained this week that much of the former political commitments could be undone by new US president Trump.

Ireland: Facebook case in the Irish High Court has reached an important stage

  • In the coming weeks, a hearing will be held in the context of the Irish High Court’s proceedings on standard contractual clauses that Facebook and others rely to export data to the US. The outcome of this new Schrems case might be the re-introduction a significant level of uncertainty in transatlantic data flows.
  • The Irish Data Protection Authority is keen on having the Irish High Court forward the case to the European Court of Justice to get a pan-European ruling on the matter.

EU: Commission lays down measures for high level of security of network and information systems

  • In its implementing decision of 1 February, the Commission lays down the establishment of a Cooperation Group, composed of representatives of the Member States, the Commission and ENISA.
  • Amongst its tasks, the Cooperation Group is to provide strategic guidance for the activities of the Computer Security Incident Response Teams Network, exchange information and best practices, and discuss capabilities and preparedness of the Member States.

EU: ENISA threat landscape report published

EU: ENISA report on challenges in security certification

  • A new report outlines the challenges of security certification in emerging ICT environments.
  • The study provides a detailed description of the cyber security certification status concerning the sectors electricity, healthcare, ICT, railway and water transport.

EU: Council discusses cyber issues

  • A paper released on 8 February summarises the discussions of the Council’s Working Party on Cyber issues that took place on 20 January.
  • During their meeting, the Maltese Presidency said it will prioritise cyber detection and awareness raising.
  • Various Commission departments provided extensive updates on the latest actions and upcoming projects, such as internet governance issues, data retention questions, e-Evidence and encryption.

EU: Industry Committee to lead Data Economy Package

  • The European Parliament’s Committee for Industry, Energy and Research will be the leading standing committee on the data economy package, released by the European Commission on January 10.
  • Other committees will participate in the discussion as opinion givers, such as the Committee for the Internal Market and the Committee on Civil Liberties. A rapporteur has not yet been identified.

EU: National actions against fake news

  • Next week, the Irish Minister for Communications will meet with ministerial colleagues to discuss the creation of a watchdog to monitor social media in an effort to remove abusive content. Called the “Digital Safety Commissioner”, the authority will produce a code of conduct for platforms to remove such content.
  • In France, 8 media outlets will work with Facebook to reduce the posting of fake news on the platform.

EU: More on national cyber threats

  • The US intelligence community cooperates with governments across the EU by sharing classified information on a number of incidents that occurred during the US presidential campaigns.
  • The French Presidency will soon hold a high-level meeting to discuss concerns related to possible Russian hacking and disinformation in the upcoming presidential election.
  • In Germany, a year-long investigation into potential Russian interference in German politics did not uncover any evidence of Kremlin-backed meddling.

Belgium: Government launched website for people to control online privacy

  • The Belgian Government launched the website to help users control their privacy online.
  • The Belgian State Secretary for Privacy said that privacy is high on the Belgian political agenda and that awareness raising is an important part of the government’s agenda.

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