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CDT’s Response to EC ‘Fake News’ Consultation: How to Tackle the Issue and Protect Free Expression?

On 23 February, CDT filed its response to the European Commission’s Consultation on Tackling ‘Fake News’. Commissioner Gabriel should be commended for launching this initiative, and we are hopeful it contributes solid European data and analysis, without which it is impossible to make recommendations for policy. However, CDT worries that the group generally lacks participation from NGOs and experts focused on protecting free expression, which brings up broader questions.

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ePrivacy Regulation, one year later: Needs focus on communications confidentiality and information security

One year after the publication of the European Commission’s proposal for an ePrivacy Regulation (ePR), the debate about how the ePR should ‘particularise and complement’ the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been contentious. This post looks at the progress made so far, and highlights the multiple issues to be resolved in the legislative process that lies ahead.

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European Policymakers Continue Problematic Crackdown on Undesirable Online Speech

One of the biggest technology policy debates in Europe this year is around the question of how societies should respond to a variety of online speech issues. Terrorist content, hate speech, copyright infringement, and ‘fake news’ – however defined – are key topics. These issues certainly warrant attention from policymakers, the companies that host the speech, and society at large. But the direction these policy responses are taking raises serious concerns about censorship and free expression.

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EC Will Not Push For Encryption “Backdoors”, But Member States Might

The European Commission (EC) announced this week a package of counter-terrorism measures as part of its European Agenda on Security initiative. These include, among other things, “measures to support law enforcement and judicial authorities when they encounter the use of encryption in criminal investigations”. It is heartening that the EC restates its recognition of encryption as a crucial element in ensuring both cybersecurity and the right level of security for processing personal data. We welcome the explicit realisation that backdoors, or any form of weakening online security, would have disastrous consequences for online communications and commerce.

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Tackling ‘Illegal’ Content Online: The EC Continues Push for Privatised Law Enforcement

The European Commission’s Communication on Illegal Content Online, released last week, is the latest in a long line of EU policy initiatives aimed at addressing the availability of (possibly) illegal content online. It envisages replacing decision-making by courts with that of private companies, and misses an important opportunity to provide EU-wide guidance on how notice-and-action processes should work. The Commission could have explained in more detail the obligations of those notifying content for removal, and the evidentiary standards notifications should meet to be actionable. The guidelines could have stressed the principle that decisions of legality and illegality are fundamentally for courts and judges to make, and that any notice-and-action process should provide for due process, including recourse to courts.

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