Newsletters 29 April 2017

European Regional Bureau Newsletter – 14 April – 21 April 2017

Internet Access

EU: EP TRAN Committee adopts Opinion on the report on Gigabit Society and 5G

  • The European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted Kosma Złotowski’s (PL, ECR) Opinion on Internet connectivity for growth, competitiveness and cohesion: European Gigabit Society and 5G, with 40 votes in favour, 2 against, 3 abstensions.
  • The Opinion insists on the need to create a dynamic European Gigabit Society, calls for Member States to use the Commission’s 5G Action plan as a guide towards establishing the Electronic Communications Code governing the telecom sector, and calls for further financing for 5G.

EU: EP TRAN Committee adopts Opinion on the promotion of Internet connectivity in local communities

  • The European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted Claudia Țapardel (RO, S&D)’s Opinion on the proposal for a regulation as regards the promotion of Internet connectivity in local communities, with 44 votes in favour, 2 against, no abstentions.
  • The Opinion recommends extending the range of entities to which support is given to provide free Wi-Fi to local transport services and touristic sites.

EU: EU launches set of public consultation into fears about future of Internet

  • The EU is launching a succession of surveys to find out what Europeans fear most about the future of the Internet, from privacy and security to artificial intelligence, net neutrality, big data and the impact of the digital world on jobs, health, government and democracy.
  • The first questionnaire is already out. Results will be compiled in June 2017.

EU: Rumours over Google’s plans to introduce ad-blocker to Chrome browser

  • Europe’s Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has said she would closely scrutinize rumoured plans (not confirmed) by Google to introduce an ad blocker to its market leading Chrome browser.

The Netherlands: T-Mobile Netherlands can continue its “Data-Free Music” offer

  • On 20 April, the Court of Rotterdam backed T-Mobile’s zero-rated music offer, launched in October and challenged by the Dutch regulator ACM due to its supposed violation of the Dutch net neutrality law.
  • The Court ruled that the Dutch net neutrality law contradicted the EU’s law on open Internet access and therefore allowed T-Mobile to continue its offer.

EU: Working Party on Telecommunications and Information Society meets on 28 April

  • The WP on Telecommunication and Information Society is meeting on April 28.
  • The agenda includes the European Interoperability Framework – Implementation Strategy, the Action Plan for the implementation of 5G, and the free flow of data in international agreements issue.

EU: Digitising European Industry Working Group to meet on 4 May

  • The Digitising European Industry Working Group on Digital Technologies and Digital Industrial Platforms will meet on Thursday 4 May in Brussels (registration here).
  • The industry representatives that attend will contribute to the finalisation of the WG2’s report on digital industrial platforms, formulating recommendations to be addressed to the representatives attending the Digitising European industry roundtables.


EU: EU considering economic sanctions on countries engaging in cyber warfare

  • The Council of the European Union is drafting a “cyber toolbox” designed as a series of joint diplomatic measures to be taken by the EU in case a country suffers a state-sponsored cyber-attack. This is being drafted amid the updating of the EU 2013 Cybersecurity Strategy, which is expected after the summer.

UK: House of Commons Committee report on Post-Brexit Data Transfers and Privacy Standards

  • The House of Commons Exiting the European Union Committee published a report in response to the UK Government’s Brexit White Paper.
  • In the report, the Committee supports the Government’s intention to ensure the uninterrupted flow of personal data between the UK and the EU, by retaining the same data protection standards as the EU.

Russia: Google agrees $7.8 million antitrust settlement with Russia

  • On 17 April, Google agreed to pay a $7.8 million fine to Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) and open its Android mobiles to competing search engines in Russia in an antitrust settlement reached after two years.

EU: EU examines Germany’s hate speech bill

  • Germany proposed new rules threatening Internet companies with fines of up to €50 million if they fail to delete criminal or hateful content on their platforms quickly enough.
  • The law is being examined by Commission officials to ensure it adheres to EU rules on tech, such as the 2000 e-Commerce Directive.

Global: INTERPOL and TNO partnership to combat cybercrime

  • On 19 April, INTERPOL and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) signed an agreement to further enhance and extend their collaboration in combatting cybercrime.

Global: Privacy watchdogs ask US for explanation on Yahoo

  • Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, the Chairwoman of the Article 29 Working Party sent a letter to U.S. intelligence chief Dan Coates asking whether any order was issued or any access request was sent to Yahoo! concerning its European customers.

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