Feeds

EU hunts down online cross-border lawbook bureaucra-snaggles

But are they dangerous to biz? Commish to 'assess' risks

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The European Commission is to conduct an "in-depth review" of the risks present in conflicting laws and jurisdictions that apply online.

The Commission made the announcement in a new communication it issued last week on internet governance.

The Commission identified "a number of contradictory legal decisions" that have been applied in an online setting and said that the review of risks presented by conflict laws and jurisdiction is merited due to the "sheer quantity of cross-border transactions of various types which take place online".

It said that "a certain degree of legal uncertainty" could arise due to the "complexity and, in some cases, the opaqueness" of both contractual arrangements between businesses and consumers and the "non-contractual obligations" that online businesses and intermediaries are subject to.

EU rules resolve some of these issues within the trading bloc, the Commission claimed, but rules to address conflicting laws and jurisdictions internationally are "insufficiently developed" and this has the potential to harm growth in some online industries that are "cross-border in nature", the Commission said.

The Commission said that its review would reflect the fact that "one single mechanism" may not be suitable for addressing some issues where conflicts of law and jurisdiction can arise.

"The European Commission will launch an in-depth review of the risks, at international level, of conflicts of laws and jurisdictions arising on the Internet and assess all mechanisms, processes and tools available and necessary to solve such conflicts," the Commission's communication (12-page/102KB PDF) said.

"All options for action at the Union or international level will subsequently be carefully considered, including possible legislative initiatives or additional guidelines as needed, subject to appropriate impact assessments. This work will build on existing policies."

The Commission's communication also called for a change in the way the internet is governed. It called for the globalisation of ICANN, the body that oversees the identification of websites, and IANA, the body that is responsible for responsible internet protocol resources such as domain names and IP addresses. It also called for multiple stakeholders, not just governments, to have a say in internet governance matters, among other things.

EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "Some are calling for the International Telecommunications Union to take control of key Internet functions. I agree that governments have a crucial role to play, but top-down approaches are not the right answer. We must strengthen the multi-stakeholder model to preserve the internet as a fast engine for innovation."

Copyright © 2014, Out-Law.com

Out-Law.com is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.