Internet Firms Subject to Legal Regulations

Updated: 08/06/2015 23:34
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Learn more about the new directive and law regulations, due to which internet companies in Europe are subject to report serious violations to authorities
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Such Internet companies like Cisco (CSCO.O), Google (GOOGL.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O) will be subject to new legislation in the sphere of cyber-security. They will be obliged to accept tough security measures and inform of serious violations to national authorities, as reported by Reuters.

The so-called network and information security directive was put on hold in negotiations between the countries EU members and legislative authorities due to disputes about whether the digital platforms such as search engines, social networks, e-comemrce websites and cloud computing suppliers should come within the purview of the new regulations or not.

Members of European parliament vote for the law only to be referred to spheres, which they think are most critical, such as Power Supplies, Transport and Finances. However after several months of negotiations the digital platforms also come within the purview of the law, even though with a limited set of obligations taken according to the document, which does not imply the details of the obligations themselves.

The paper from Luxembourg, which currently holds the rotating European Union presidency, offers to accept an easier approach for digital service platforms, which as a rule don't refer directly to physical infrastructure, such as some nuclear power company.

Any company that meets the law's definition of a digital service platform which is still under discussion by the way will be covered automatically in order for the member countries to avoid taking different approaches and cause fragmentation across the 28-nation EU.

Any supplier of cloud computing or any other digital company, which provides services for the infrastructure operators will depend on the same rules applied to the operator itself according to the document, which can be changed as the result of further negotiations as summer comes to the end.

Internet companies will also be subject to notification requirements in case of security violations, although there is no agreement yet concerning whether this should be obligatory or voluntary.

The paper asks member states to express their preferences at a meeting in September, after which drafting of a full legal text will start.
The companies referred to digital sphere vote against implementing the law.

"We're pleased to see digital service platforms subject to a different regime but we're disappointed at the lack of recognition that it is the use of cloud that determines the security risk not the service itself," said Chris Gow, Senior Manager, Government Affairs at Cisco.

The European commission - EU executive - and some member countries consider that because of wide usage of internet services and the number of enterprises, which depend on networks, they should be subject to security rules and reporting requirements.

Currently, there is no global European cyber security law, only the telecom operators are subject to the incident-reporting requirements.


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