logo
logo
logo
logo
Robert Pedigo 2017-11-14
img

The stakes are high, as Theresa May’s has a working majority of just 13 - although with ‘Labour Leave’ MPs that rises to nearly 25 on Brexit matters.

Even with the backing of anti-EU Labour MPs, it is still going to be a nervous few weeks for the Government as it tries to steer its flagship Bill through the Commons.

Secondly, the Government needs to copy over 40 years of EU law to make sure the everything continues as it currently does the day after Brexit.

But instead of coming to Parliament to get MPs approval every time a change is needed, the Government wants to give itself extra powers to allow ministers to make alterations.

The only exceptions set out in the Bill are to do with taxes, creating new criminal offences and anything to do with the Human Rights Act.

Another worrying aspect of the Bill is the “sunset clause”.

collect
0
Raymond Powers 2017-11-01
img

If you are British, the Vatican is probably the safest place to debate with participants from the 26 member states the future of the European Union.

We were attending a conference there last week, an unusual mix of former and present EU officials, bishops, cardinals, MEPs, national parliamentarians, civil society leaders and academics, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, some 350 in all.

It was even more daunting to hear between sessions from reliable sources that Brussels believed the UK would crash out of the EU, without agreement, in the "off a cliff scenario".

This was not the story of bloated bureaucracy and the shape of bananas sold in the tabloid press The British public have never heard voices of this sort.

While the Remain campaign never rose above deploying its own theme of fear - about the economy.

But to portray the role of the key founding fathers, Catholic statesmen Adenauer, de Gasperi and Schumann, as evidence of a Roman Catholic plot lacks evidence.

collect
0
Steven Condon 2017-09-29
img

The European Union is still not satisfied with how leading tech companies are handling the removal of illegal content online.

On Thursday, it released a new set of guidelines for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Microsoft, giving them just months to shape up—or face unspecified future regulation.

“With the surge of illegal content online, including online terrorist propaganda and xenophobic and racist speech inciting violence and hatred, online platforms carry an increasing societal responsibility in terms of protecting users and society at large and preventing criminals from exploiting the online space,” the EU wrote in a statement on Thursday.

The statement noted that there has been an increase in the removal of illegal hate speech—from 28 per cent to 59 per cent—but that 28 per cent of the removed content was only taken down after more than a week had passed, signalling a persistent lack of urgency.

A few suggestions the EU listed in the latest guidelines included creating tools that make it easy for users to report illegal content, developing automated tech to target repeat offenders and illegal content, and cooperating with authorities, among a number of other directives.

Some tech companies are already adopting some of the aforementioned tools into their arsenal of online harassment tech.

collect
0
Robert Flenard 2017-11-20
img

Prudent technology spending is crucial to meeting GDPR standards by the 2018 deadline, but one in four privacy professionals in Europe doubt their company will be ready in time, according to new research.

Investment in training is the number one action to avoid fines over non-compliance to the GDPR, the report from International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and Ernst & Young confirms.

Other necessary steps include appointing a Data Protection Officer (DPO) before the May 25 implementation date.

In third place is not obtaining data subject consent and improperly handling international data transfers.

Analysts estimate the cost of enabling customers to request companies to find and delete data held on them could hit $7.8bn, the FT reports.

This amounts to a rough average of $16m outlay per organisation.

collect
0
Charles Houston 2017-12-06
img

‘Significant concerns’ over transatlantic data flow deal

European data protection agencies have told authorities to address their “significant concerns” about Privacy Shield, or risk having the deal tested in court.

The Privacy Shield agreement governs transatlantic data flows and is the product of a lengthy wrangle after the Safe Harbor agreement was ruled invalid back in 2014.

Like its predecessor, Privacy Shield has come under fire from privacy campaigners and the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) - the name the merry band of European Union data protection agencies take when working together.

The first such investigation reported in October, concluding that the deal provided an “adequate” level of protection for personal data.

The WP29 has now released its own review of Privacy Shield, which isn't quite so diplomatic, saying that - although it’s better than Safe Harbor, there are still “significant concerns” to be addressed.

collect
0
Randall Vincent 2017-10-26
img

Narrow vote goes against the 'it'll stifle innovation' crowd

MEPs have today voted in favour of moving on with legislation that aims to give users more rights over websites that wish to track them.

The committee tasked with leading the policy's progress through parliament passed the rules last week – 31 in favour, 24 against – but opposition MEPs then forced a full vote on the legislation in today's plenary session of the European Parliament.

The latest vote was again a close-run affair, with 318 for, 280 against and 20 abstentions, but it gives parliament the mandate it needs to begin negotiations with the Council.

The move has been welcomed by privacy campaigners and pro-privacy MEPs, who believe the proposed rules - which will update a directive last amended in 2009 - are necessary to prevent companies excessive snooping on users.

Yes The European Parliament has a mandate for negotiations on a strong ePrivacy regulation.

collect
0
George Starling 2017-12-07
img

The European Commission has urged the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter to do more to remove extremist content - or face further regulation.

EU home affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos warned "the real battlefield is against 21st century terrorism".

He said most of the recent terrorist attackers had never travelled to Syria or Iraq.

"But most of them had been influenced, groomed and recruited to terrorism on the internet."

Avramopoulos said he believed it was feasible to reduce the time it takes to remove content to a few hours.

“There is a lot of room for improvement, for this cooperation to produce even better results, starting with the reporting from the companies, which must become more regular and more transparent.”

collect
0
Christopher Johnson 2017-12-20
img

The Court of Justice of the European Union, the bloc’s top court, has ruled that Uber is properly classified as a transportation service and as such can be regulated under member states’ local laws.

Uber had previously claimed, as it has in the United States, that as merely a "platform" or "intermediation service" that simply connects those who want rides with those who seek them, it is not bound by historic taxi and other transportation rules.

Stateside, the company initially ran roughshod through local regulations and, in many cases, got state and local governments to create an entirely new class of regulations for "transportation network companies" or TNCs.

The CJEU didn’t buy it.

"That intermediation service must thus be regarded as forming an integral part of an overall service whose main component is a transport service and, accordingly, must be classified not as ‘an information society service,’" the court found in Wednesday's ruling, "but as ‘a service in the field of transport’ within the meaning of Article 2(2)(d) of Directive 2006/123."

The CJEU largely followed the May 2017 recommendation of the court's advocate general.

collect
0
Howard Marsh 2016-06-22
img

To be honest, I'll probably go with banana arguments.

Before the Cold War ended I was regularly scared about the four-minute warning, and my parents' generation were tangled up in WWII, foreigners were frightening, different was bad.

And a good point from the bloke about to fix my guttering, that we have no bloody clue what will happen if we leave, whereas the Devil EU know is much more predictable for good or ill, and every business from his to City types hate unnecessary uncertainty…

The big problem with the straight in/out question is that I suspect Cameron never thought he'd actually have to follow through on it, given a likely Tory minority at the last election.

As it happens, since you haven t asked but might be wondering, my a la carte EU feast might look like this:

Free movement of people and money, with some effort to minimise benefit/health tourism by the truly feckless

EU-wide standards for products such as those of my previous financial startup and my current energy saver; I only want to have to develop and certify/comply once, not 28 times, to reach a half-billion-person market

Eventually something like the Euro, when everyone has stopped cooking the books, ignoring rules that they invented but now don't like, putting in their own placemen in positions of authority, sabotaging it for short-term domestic politics, and so on; a widely circulated dependable common currency seems to serve the US well...

Maybe not much more political union for us unless/until the views of UK punters converge with those of the EU 'core' countries; no hurry on this one since there's scope for more integration in fridge-freezer efficiency labels and Daily Mail compulsory outrage than in many other of the 'social' aspects that might make some squirm.

I changed my votes in the recent London mayoral elections based on the candidates' Brexit positions because my livelihood depends in part on their actions, but I wonder if I wasn't being a tiny bit tribal too?

It is said that the rise of nationalism and more extreme populist positions is fuelled by the poorly-performing global economy since 2008, on the entirely understandable basis that if you're not feeling well off you're less likely to feel generous to others not exactly like you.

collect
0
John Burns 2016-08-16
img

News: The move aims to increase investment in innovation.

The European Commission plans to set a new minimum of 25 years for spectrum licenses to be held to boost investment in the sector.

The Commission would be able to adopt binding guidance on conditions of the assignment process such as the deadlines for spectrum allocation and spectrum sharing, according to the documents seen by Reuters.

There would be provisions for member states to voluntarily organise spectrum auctions to award licenses across multiple countries or across the whole EU.

The documents also propose establishing a peer review mechanism to review the measures of national regulators on spectrum allocation.

"Long-term license durations of at least 25 years proposed in this option will increase stability and certainty of investments as well as innovation requirements," the document explains.

collect
0
Robert Pedigo 2017-10-06
img

The annual, European Commission supported EU Code Week kicks off tomorrow, running for two weeks through to October 22.

As per last year there are thousands of free introductory coding events being run by various organizations in different European countries (and a smattering beyond).

Local events can be found via the EU Code Week website’s events page by selecting your location and browsing what’s on offer.

Across EU Code Week last year, the number of events and attendees stepped up to 23k and nearly 1M respectively, growing from 3k events and 10k attendees in 2013, the first year it was held.

Italy is offering by far the most events of any of the participating countries this year, with 2,659 events currently listed (vs a rather more modest 187 taking place in the U.K.).

Poland is second, with 497 events listed; followed by Turkey (244), France (228) and Germany (225).

collect
0
Jeffrey Baldwin 2017-09-13
img

Google, Facebook, Twitter and other big internet companies are facing the possibility that EU law may demand they become more proactive in removing illegal and extremist content.

Such content continues to flourish on the net despite many crackdown attempts, and the European Union has had enough.

Its executive arm, the European Commission, has drafted new guidelines detailing the ways the companies must step up, Reuters reported Wednesday.

"They need to be proactive in weeding out illegal content, put effective notice-and-action procedures in place and establish well-functioning interfaces with third parties (such as trusted flaggers) and give a particular priority to notifications from national law enforcement authorities," say the guidelines, according to Reuters.

Already this year, social media companies have signed a code of conduct, according to which they must make every effort to remove illegal content from their platforms within 24 hours.

As well as adopting EU proposals for tackling hate speech and other problematic content, the companies have also made their own efforts to deal with the issue.

collect
0
Adam Amie 2016-08-15
img

Eurocrats, tech sector face off over future of ePrivacy Directive

The tussle over the future of the ePrivacy Directive is warming up: while tech and telcos want the directive relaxed or scrapped, the European Union is considering extending it to cover services like WhatsApp and Skype.

Last month, the GSMA published a joint industry statement asking Europe to scrap the e-Privacy Directive; Europe's response could well be to extend it.

The GSMA's open letter offered up fairly predictable bromides about simplifying and streamlining regulation .

The group also said getting rid of Europe's privacy protection would benefit consumers, by giving them a consistent and meaningful set of rules protecting their personal data.

According to Reuters, what Europe now has in mind is quite the opposite of what the techs and telcos want.

collect
0
Angel Collins 2018-05-25
img

But some websites in the U.S. have decided to block their services entirely rather than adhere to the new regulations.

Dozens of American newspapers are currently blocked in Europe and web services like Instapaper have suspended operations in the European Union for the foreseeable future.

First reported by the BBC, news sites owned by media companies like Tronc and Lee Enterprises are now totally dark in European Union countries.

Gizmodo was able to confirm that the websites were being blocked in Europe by using a VPN service that routed internet traffic through various European countries.

We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market.

We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.

collect
0
Emma Martin 2016-06-30

PARIS—Britain s exit from the European Union risks stripping companies of their ability to freely store information about EU residents on British soil, potentially creating a new barrier to trade in the region.

Under current EU law, an independent country needs to convince the EU that it guarantees individual privacy up to EU standards for companies there to retain unfettered access to everything from European payroll records to EU residents cellphone-location data.

There would be an awful a lot of scrutiny of what our surveillance laws permit, said Joel Harrison, a partner in the London office of law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.

To be sure, the potential dangers of Brexit for technology firms and their customers could be years away.

But the possibility of a breakdown similar to that between the EU and the U.S. is enough of a concern that companies are taking it into account, tech lawyers and an official from one U.S. tech firm said.

The threat is similar to that faced by thousands of companies that store European data in the U.S., which have been operating in legal limbo since the EU s top court last year struck down a trans-Atlantic data-sharing agreement on the grounds that it exposed Europeans to bulk surveillance by the U.S. government.

collect
0
David Reilly 2017-09-26

Google is reportedly spinning off its comparison shopping service into a “standalone unit” after it was the subject of a record €2.42 billion fine ($2.7 billion) from the European Union.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the tech giant will comply with the EU’s ruling by separating Google Shopping from the rest of its search business.

The service will remain part of Google itself, but will “operate separately and use its own revenues to bid for ads.”

The EU targeted Google Shopping in a seven-year antitrust investigation that culminated in the fine this June.

EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Google had “abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors.” As well as the fine, the company was ordered to change its business to comply with “the simple principle of giving equal treatment to [rivals].”

The EU’s investigation found that when users searched for products to buy in Google Shopping, the company systematically displayed its own links above those from other shopping comparison sites — regardless of relevancy.

collect
0
Robert Pedigo 2017-11-14
img

The stakes are high, as Theresa May’s has a working majority of just 13 - although with ‘Labour Leave’ MPs that rises to nearly 25 on Brexit matters.

Even with the backing of anti-EU Labour MPs, it is still going to be a nervous few weeks for the Government as it tries to steer its flagship Bill through the Commons.

Secondly, the Government needs to copy over 40 years of EU law to make sure the everything continues as it currently does the day after Brexit.

But instead of coming to Parliament to get MPs approval every time a change is needed, the Government wants to give itself extra powers to allow ministers to make alterations.

The only exceptions set out in the Bill are to do with taxes, creating new criminal offences and anything to do with the Human Rights Act.

Another worrying aspect of the Bill is the “sunset clause”.

Steven Condon 2017-09-29
img

The European Union is still not satisfied with how leading tech companies are handling the removal of illegal content online.

On Thursday, it released a new set of guidelines for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Microsoft, giving them just months to shape up—or face unspecified future regulation.

“With the surge of illegal content online, including online terrorist propaganda and xenophobic and racist speech inciting violence and hatred, online platforms carry an increasing societal responsibility in terms of protecting users and society at large and preventing criminals from exploiting the online space,” the EU wrote in a statement on Thursday.

The statement noted that there has been an increase in the removal of illegal hate speech—from 28 per cent to 59 per cent—but that 28 per cent of the removed content was only taken down after more than a week had passed, signalling a persistent lack of urgency.

A few suggestions the EU listed in the latest guidelines included creating tools that make it easy for users to report illegal content, developing automated tech to target repeat offenders and illegal content, and cooperating with authorities, among a number of other directives.

Some tech companies are already adopting some of the aforementioned tools into their arsenal of online harassment tech.

Charles Houston 2017-12-06
img

‘Significant concerns’ over transatlantic data flow deal

European data protection agencies have told authorities to address their “significant concerns” about Privacy Shield, or risk having the deal tested in court.

The Privacy Shield agreement governs transatlantic data flows and is the product of a lengthy wrangle after the Safe Harbor agreement was ruled invalid back in 2014.

Like its predecessor, Privacy Shield has come under fire from privacy campaigners and the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) - the name the merry band of European Union data protection agencies take when working together.

The first such investigation reported in October, concluding that the deal provided an “adequate” level of protection for personal data.

The WP29 has now released its own review of Privacy Shield, which isn't quite so diplomatic, saying that - although it’s better than Safe Harbor, there are still “significant concerns” to be addressed.

George Starling 2017-12-07
img

The European Commission has urged the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter to do more to remove extremist content - or face further regulation.

EU home affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos warned "the real battlefield is against 21st century terrorism".

He said most of the recent terrorist attackers had never travelled to Syria or Iraq.

"But most of them had been influenced, groomed and recruited to terrorism on the internet."

Avramopoulos said he believed it was feasible to reduce the time it takes to remove content to a few hours.

“There is a lot of room for improvement, for this cooperation to produce even better results, starting with the reporting from the companies, which must become more regular and more transparent.”

Howard Marsh 2016-06-22
img

To be honest, I'll probably go with banana arguments.

Before the Cold War ended I was regularly scared about the four-minute warning, and my parents' generation were tangled up in WWII, foreigners were frightening, different was bad.

And a good point from the bloke about to fix my guttering, that we have no bloody clue what will happen if we leave, whereas the Devil EU know is much more predictable for good or ill, and every business from his to City types hate unnecessary uncertainty…

The big problem with the straight in/out question is that I suspect Cameron never thought he'd actually have to follow through on it, given a likely Tory minority at the last election.

As it happens, since you haven t asked but might be wondering, my a la carte EU feast might look like this:

Free movement of people and money, with some effort to minimise benefit/health tourism by the truly feckless

EU-wide standards for products such as those of my previous financial startup and my current energy saver; I only want to have to develop and certify/comply once, not 28 times, to reach a half-billion-person market

Eventually something like the Euro, when everyone has stopped cooking the books, ignoring rules that they invented but now don't like, putting in their own placemen in positions of authority, sabotaging it for short-term domestic politics, and so on; a widely circulated dependable common currency seems to serve the US well...

Maybe not much more political union for us unless/until the views of UK punters converge with those of the EU 'core' countries; no hurry on this one since there's scope for more integration in fridge-freezer efficiency labels and Daily Mail compulsory outrage than in many other of the 'social' aspects that might make some squirm.

I changed my votes in the recent London mayoral elections based on the candidates' Brexit positions because my livelihood depends in part on their actions, but I wonder if I wasn't being a tiny bit tribal too?

It is said that the rise of nationalism and more extreme populist positions is fuelled by the poorly-performing global economy since 2008, on the entirely understandable basis that if you're not feeling well off you're less likely to feel generous to others not exactly like you.

Robert Pedigo 2017-10-06
img

The annual, European Commission supported EU Code Week kicks off tomorrow, running for two weeks through to October 22.

As per last year there are thousands of free introductory coding events being run by various organizations in different European countries (and a smattering beyond).

Local events can be found via the EU Code Week website’s events page by selecting your location and browsing what’s on offer.

Across EU Code Week last year, the number of events and attendees stepped up to 23k and nearly 1M respectively, growing from 3k events and 10k attendees in 2013, the first year it was held.

Italy is offering by far the most events of any of the participating countries this year, with 2,659 events currently listed (vs a rather more modest 187 taking place in the U.K.).

Poland is second, with 497 events listed; followed by Turkey (244), France (228) and Germany (225).

Adam Amie 2016-08-15
img

Eurocrats, tech sector face off over future of ePrivacy Directive

The tussle over the future of the ePrivacy Directive is warming up: while tech and telcos want the directive relaxed or scrapped, the European Union is considering extending it to cover services like WhatsApp and Skype.

Last month, the GSMA published a joint industry statement asking Europe to scrap the e-Privacy Directive; Europe's response could well be to extend it.

The GSMA's open letter offered up fairly predictable bromides about simplifying and streamlining regulation .

The group also said getting rid of Europe's privacy protection would benefit consumers, by giving them a consistent and meaningful set of rules protecting their personal data.

According to Reuters, what Europe now has in mind is quite the opposite of what the techs and telcos want.

Emma Martin 2016-06-30

PARIS—Britain s exit from the European Union risks stripping companies of their ability to freely store information about EU residents on British soil, potentially creating a new barrier to trade in the region.

Under current EU law, an independent country needs to convince the EU that it guarantees individual privacy up to EU standards for companies there to retain unfettered access to everything from European payroll records to EU residents cellphone-location data.

There would be an awful a lot of scrutiny of what our surveillance laws permit, said Joel Harrison, a partner in the London office of law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.

To be sure, the potential dangers of Brexit for technology firms and their customers could be years away.

But the possibility of a breakdown similar to that between the EU and the U.S. is enough of a concern that companies are taking it into account, tech lawyers and an official from one U.S. tech firm said.

The threat is similar to that faced by thousands of companies that store European data in the U.S., which have been operating in legal limbo since the EU s top court last year struck down a trans-Atlantic data-sharing agreement on the grounds that it exposed Europeans to bulk surveillance by the U.S. government.

Raymond Powers 2017-11-01
img

If you are British, the Vatican is probably the safest place to debate with participants from the 26 member states the future of the European Union.

We were attending a conference there last week, an unusual mix of former and present EU officials, bishops, cardinals, MEPs, national parliamentarians, civil society leaders and academics, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, some 350 in all.

It was even more daunting to hear between sessions from reliable sources that Brussels believed the UK would crash out of the EU, without agreement, in the "off a cliff scenario".

This was not the story of bloated bureaucracy and the shape of bananas sold in the tabloid press The British public have never heard voices of this sort.

While the Remain campaign never rose above deploying its own theme of fear - about the economy.

But to portray the role of the key founding fathers, Catholic statesmen Adenauer, de Gasperi and Schumann, as evidence of a Roman Catholic plot lacks evidence.

Robert Flenard 2017-11-20
img

Prudent technology spending is crucial to meeting GDPR standards by the 2018 deadline, but one in four privacy professionals in Europe doubt their company will be ready in time, according to new research.

Investment in training is the number one action to avoid fines over non-compliance to the GDPR, the report from International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and Ernst & Young confirms.

Other necessary steps include appointing a Data Protection Officer (DPO) before the May 25 implementation date.

In third place is not obtaining data subject consent and improperly handling international data transfers.

Analysts estimate the cost of enabling customers to request companies to find and delete data held on them could hit $7.8bn, the FT reports.

This amounts to a rough average of $16m outlay per organisation.

Randall Vincent 2017-10-26
img

Narrow vote goes against the 'it'll stifle innovation' crowd

MEPs have today voted in favour of moving on with legislation that aims to give users more rights over websites that wish to track them.

The committee tasked with leading the policy's progress through parliament passed the rules last week – 31 in favour, 24 against – but opposition MEPs then forced a full vote on the legislation in today's plenary session of the European Parliament.

The latest vote was again a close-run affair, with 318 for, 280 against and 20 abstentions, but it gives parliament the mandate it needs to begin negotiations with the Council.

The move has been welcomed by privacy campaigners and pro-privacy MEPs, who believe the proposed rules - which will update a directive last amended in 2009 - are necessary to prevent companies excessive snooping on users.

Yes The European Parliament has a mandate for negotiations on a strong ePrivacy regulation.

Christopher Johnson 2017-12-20
img

The Court of Justice of the European Union, the bloc’s top court, has ruled that Uber is properly classified as a transportation service and as such can be regulated under member states’ local laws.

Uber had previously claimed, as it has in the United States, that as merely a "platform" or "intermediation service" that simply connects those who want rides with those who seek them, it is not bound by historic taxi and other transportation rules.

Stateside, the company initially ran roughshod through local regulations and, in many cases, got state and local governments to create an entirely new class of regulations for "transportation network companies" or TNCs.

The CJEU didn’t buy it.

"That intermediation service must thus be regarded as forming an integral part of an overall service whose main component is a transport service and, accordingly, must be classified not as ‘an information society service,’" the court found in Wednesday's ruling, "but as ‘a service in the field of transport’ within the meaning of Article 2(2)(d) of Directive 2006/123."

The CJEU largely followed the May 2017 recommendation of the court's advocate general.

John Burns 2016-08-16
img

News: The move aims to increase investment in innovation.

The European Commission plans to set a new minimum of 25 years for spectrum licenses to be held to boost investment in the sector.

The Commission would be able to adopt binding guidance on conditions of the assignment process such as the deadlines for spectrum allocation and spectrum sharing, according to the documents seen by Reuters.

There would be provisions for member states to voluntarily organise spectrum auctions to award licenses across multiple countries or across the whole EU.

The documents also propose establishing a peer review mechanism to review the measures of national regulators on spectrum allocation.

"Long-term license durations of at least 25 years proposed in this option will increase stability and certainty of investments as well as innovation requirements," the document explains.

Jeffrey Baldwin 2017-09-13
img

Google, Facebook, Twitter and other big internet companies are facing the possibility that EU law may demand they become more proactive in removing illegal and extremist content.

Such content continues to flourish on the net despite many crackdown attempts, and the European Union has had enough.

Its executive arm, the European Commission, has drafted new guidelines detailing the ways the companies must step up, Reuters reported Wednesday.

"They need to be proactive in weeding out illegal content, put effective notice-and-action procedures in place and establish well-functioning interfaces with third parties (such as trusted flaggers) and give a particular priority to notifications from national law enforcement authorities," say the guidelines, according to Reuters.

Already this year, social media companies have signed a code of conduct, according to which they must make every effort to remove illegal content from their platforms within 24 hours.

As well as adopting EU proposals for tackling hate speech and other problematic content, the companies have also made their own efforts to deal with the issue.

Angel Collins 2018-05-25
img

But some websites in the U.S. have decided to block their services entirely rather than adhere to the new regulations.

Dozens of American newspapers are currently blocked in Europe and web services like Instapaper have suspended operations in the European Union for the foreseeable future.

First reported by the BBC, news sites owned by media companies like Tronc and Lee Enterprises are now totally dark in European Union countries.

Gizmodo was able to confirm that the websites were being blocked in Europe by using a VPN service that routed internet traffic through various European countries.

We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market.

We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.

David Reilly 2017-09-26

Google is reportedly spinning off its comparison shopping service into a “standalone unit” after it was the subject of a record €2.42 billion fine ($2.7 billion) from the European Union.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the tech giant will comply with the EU’s ruling by separating Google Shopping from the rest of its search business.

The service will remain part of Google itself, but will “operate separately and use its own revenues to bid for ads.”

The EU targeted Google Shopping in a seven-year antitrust investigation that culminated in the fine this June.

EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Google had “abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors.” As well as the fine, the company was ordered to change its business to comply with “the simple principle of giving equal treatment to [rivals].”

The EU’s investigation found that when users searched for products to buy in Google Shopping, the company systematically displayed its own links above those from other shopping comparison sites — regardless of relevancy.