Feeds

EU hunts down online cross-border lawbook bureaucra-snaggles

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

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Like condoms, data now comes in big and HUGE sizes
Linux Foundation lights a fire under storage devs with new conference
Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts
Samba implementation? Time to get some devs on the job
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?