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Building Trust 7 October 2017

European Regional Bureau Newsletter – 30 Sep – 06 Oct 2017

Internet Access

EU: EP ITRE Committee adopts Electronic Communications Code report

  • On October 2, the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) adopted its draft report on the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC), the overhaul of EU telecom rules.
  • The document includes provisions on the use of end-to-end encryption to protect the confidentiality of communications and for radio spectrum licences to last 25 years to incentivise investments.
  • Another measure prevents the charging of additional fees to users calling from mobiles or landlines to another EU member state.
  • The draft report also adapts the Commission’s proposal on co-investment, granting national regulators more flexibility in how they apply these rules.

EU: European guidelines for telecom market regulation – Results of public consultation

  • On October 5, the European Commission published the results  of a public consultation related to the review of Guidelines on market analysis and significant market power (SMP Guidelines).
  • The majority of respondents stated the criteria in the current SMP Guidelines related to the significant market power are still appropriate and that the present SMP Guidelines do not require a major review of the competition law principles of market definition. However, several respondents suggested amendments are needed.
  • The majority of the respondents emphasized that guidance relative to the regulatory obligations should be aligned with the objectives of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC).
  • By the end of the year, the Commission will present the draft guidelines to the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) to comment. The Commission will then finalise and adopt the guidelines in the first half of 2018.

EU: DIGITALEUROPE views on 5G Licensing and Authorisation

  • DIGITALEUROPE, the European organisation representing the digital technology industry, has published a report on its considerations on 5G licensing and authorisation.
  • DIGITALEUROPE states it is paramount for governments to select spectrum award procedures that favour investment. It stresses the need to prevent excessive spectrum fees and adopt longer licence duration, and highlights the urgency to incentivise spectrum access innovations to achieve spectrum sharing.
  • In regards to 5G, the association recommends harmonizing at European level not only the technical conditions to access a band, but also the associated regulatory conditions.

EU: French Ministers release measures to reinforce transparency on online platforms

  • On October 5, France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and digital economy Minister Mounir Mahjoubiissued, released a series of decrees introducing higher levels of transparency on Internet platforms.
  • The document outlines that, by the end of 2017, all platforms that promote content, assets or services offered by third parties, such as search engines, social networks or price comparison websites, will have to specify the criteria used and the extent to which the amount of their remuneration affects the way the content is presented.
  • By the end of 2018, all platforms with more than 5 million visitors will have to publish and implement a code of conduct on clarity, transparency and loyalty, and make it accessible online.
  • Minister Mahjoubi said the initiative aims to move forward the proposals President Emmanuel Macron presented during the Tallinn Digital Summit.


EU: Europol and Interpol reconfirm commitment to fight cybercrime

  • At the fifth annual Europol-Interpol Cybercrime Conference in The Hague, the two law enforcement organisations committed to building on successful instances of their cooperation.
  • Europol and INTERPOL reconfirmed their strong commitment to continue their collaboration in the fight against cybercrime, building on effective examples such as the Global Airline Action Days or the No More Ransom initiative.
  • In their opening remarks, Europol’s Executive Director, Rob Wainwright, and EU Security Commissioner Julian King, stressed the need for improved cyber security and resilience and a better joint response to the increasing threats from cybercrime.

EU: EP ITRE Committee discusses digital trade strategy

  • On October 2, the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) debated their draft opinion on the report “Towards an EU strategy on digital trade”.
  • The opinion calls on the leading Committee on International Trade (INTA) to include references to the global nature of ICT standards, and to support the protection of personal data as long as this is not used as a means to restrict data flows.
  • It was also noted that prohibiting data localisation was key in future negotiations, while respecting fundamental rights.

EU: EP ITRE and JURI Committees adopt opinion on ePrivacy

  • On October 2, the European Parliament Committees on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and on Legal Affairs (JURI) adopted their opinions on ePrivacy.
  • The ITRE rapporteur Kaja Kallas (ALDE, EE) supports the extension of the scope of this Regulation to over-the-top services in light of the increasing role of such services in enabling communications. Regarding technology neutrality, MEP Kallas believes that the original Commission’s proposal is too focussed on browsers, rather than Internet of Things platforms.
  • Axel Voss (EPP, DE), rapporteur for the JURI report, does not support the proposal on ePrivacy. He believes it will generate legal inconsistency with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will enter into force in May 2018, and with the European Electronic Communications Code.

EU: European Parliament adopts own-initiative report on the fight against cybercrime

  • On October 3, the European Parliament adopted an own-initiative report on the Fight against Cybercrime by a large majority (623 votes in favour, 27 against and 39 abstentions).
  • On the previous day, the rapporteur Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi (EPP, Greece) presented the document to her colleagues. The debate highlighted the rapid increase of crimes of this nature and focused on the urgency of implementing a harmonised EU legislation that balances the need for security and privacy rights.
  • MEP Vozemberg-Vrionidi highlighted the need for prevention, data exchange and pooling experience from the Member States. She stated that the report is in line with the European Commission’s recently released cybersecurity strategy.

EU: Interpol and BT join forces in the fight against cybercrime

  • On October 4, BT, the UK telecommunications multinational, has announced that it has become the first telecoms provider to sign a data exchange accord with INTERPOL, as part of a new initiative to tackle cybercrime globally.
  • The agreement offers a framework for cyber-threat information exchange, especially on data relating to criminal trends in cyber-space, emerging and existing cyber-threats and attacks.
  • Mark Hughes, CEO of BT Security, stated that threat intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies and the private sector was essential in the fight against cyber-crime.
  • Noboru Nakatani, Executive Director of the Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI), said the agreement is “an important step in continued efforts to ensure law enforcement worldwide has access to the information needed to combat evolving cyber threats.”

EU: Horizontal WP on Cyber Issues meeting

  • On October 6, the Horizontal Working Party on Cyber Issues met in Brussels.
  • The cyber attachés discussed the Draft Council Conclusions on the Joint Communication to the EP and the Council: Resilience, Deterrence and defence: Building strong cybersecurity for the EU.
  • On the same day, the Estonian Presidency of the Council delivered an overview on the practical follow-up to the Digital Summit held in Tallinn on 29 September, while the Commission presented its Communication on “Tackling Illegal Content Online: Towards an enhanced responsibility of online platforms.”
  • Moreover, the European External Action Service made a presentation on the state-of-play of EU cyber dialogues and other international developments.
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