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Internet Policy in the EU

Latest news and information on the Internet policies of the European Union.

Commission anti-trust decision against Telefonica - frequently asked questions
European Commission fine of EUR 151 million against Spanish telecom group Telefonica.

International Agreement on transfer of Passenger Name Records (PNR)
The European Community and the United States signed an International Agreement on 28 May 2004 that makes possible the transfer of air passenger data to the US, under certain conditions. It entered into force with immediate effect. This agreement goes hand-in-hand with the Decision adopted two weeks ago by the European Commission, establishing the adequacy of US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection’s personal data protection.

The SWIFT case and the American Terrorist Finance Tracking Program
After the 11th September 2001 terrorist attacks, the United States Department of the Treasury ("U.S. Treasury") developed the "Terrorist Finance Tracking Program" ("TFTP"). The TFTP is based on United States statutory mandates and Executive Orders authorising the U.S. Treasury to use appropriate measures to identify, track and pursue those who provide financial support for terrorist activity.

Defining the European Commission's global policy on the fight against cyber crime
The European Commission has adopted the Communication "Towards a general policy on the fight against cyber crime". Specific actions to improve coordination and cooperation between law enforcement authorities and between law enforcement and private sector operators will play an important role in the fight against cyber crime, and complement other actions taken at national, European and international level.

EU fight against cybercrime
The European Commission is exploring various avenues for preventing and combating cybercrime in order to tighten up the security of information infrastructures - SCADPlus

Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs)
The use of Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) can help to design information and communication systems and services in a way that minimises the collection and use of personal data and facilitate compliance with data protection rules. The use of PETs should result in making breaches of certain data protection rules more difficult and/or helping to detect them.

European households becoming increasingly digital: survey
The drive to get European citizens to go digital would appear to be gradually paying off, according to the findings of an EU-wide survey. It finds that more than half of European households have a computer - 4% more than in a similar study done at the end of 2006, while increasing numbers of people are switching to broadband and wireless internet access.

E-Communications household survey
The results of a special Eurobarometer survey conducted by TNS Opinion & Social between 17 November 2006 and 19 December 2006 to measure the attitude of European households and individuals towards fixed and mobile telephony, Internet access, TV broadcast services, bundled offers, 112 emergency call number, telephone directories, privacy and security. The survey covers the 27 EU Member States together with Candidate countries (Croatia and Turkey) and the Turkish Cypriot Community, with an average of 1.000 households interviewed per country. It follows on from the previous Eurobarometer survey that was conducted between December 2005 and January 2006.

.eu one year on - questions & answers
This April 2007, Europe's internet domain .eu celebrates its first year of being open to the public. Over 2.5 million domain names have been registered. This enormous number of active users makes .eu Europe's third most popular top level domain (TLD) and the seventh most popular worldwide. With a 17% increase of registrations over the past five months, .eu is also one of the fastest growing TLD names on the web. According to a recent Europe-wide study, use of the .eu has proved particularly effective for small businesses.

Europe's .eu a soaring success in cyberspace
The .eu online domain name is enjoying a runaway success in cyberspace with over 2.5 million registered users during its first year.

EU Microsoft Statement - questions & answers
Competition: Statement of Objections to Microsoft for non-compliance with March 2004 decision - frequently asked questions

Study of Gambling Services in the Internal Market of the European Union
To obtain a detailed overview of the legal and economic aspects of gambling and games of chance, the Commission asked the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law to carry out a study into the sector. The study is the result of close to two years work and provides an analysis of the legal regimes governing gambling and games of chance in the European Union.

i2010 - A European Information Society for growth and employment
The "i2010 – A European Information Society for growth and employment" initiative was launched by the Commission on 1 June 2005 as a framework for addressing the main challenges and developments in the information society and media sectors up to 2010. It promotes an open and competitive digital economy and emphasises ICT as a driver of inclusion and quality of life. The initiative contains a range of EU policy instruments to encourage the development of the digital economy such as regulatory instruments, research and partnerships with stakeholders.

Search for information technology companies in Europe
Information Technology companies in Europe

Fighting Spam in the EU
The EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive applies to the processing of personal data in connection with the provision of public electronic communication networks and service and thereby requires the Member States to create obligations for anyone involved in the forms of processing addressed by the Directive.

.eu Internet Domain Name
.eu was put in the root zone of the Internet Domain Name System (DNS) in March 2005 which means that, technically speaking; it has been in existence since then.

Data protection in the EU
Concerns about personal data collection on the Internet are increasing. Developments in the European Union fo create of a frontier free Internal Market and the EU's so-called 'Information Society' have greatly increases the cross-frontier flows of personal data between Member States of the EU.

Media policies in the EU
The audiovisual sector provides one million jobs in the European Union. It involves big commercial interests and issues of cultural diversity, public service and social responsibility. Each national EU government runs its own audiovisual policy, while the Union sets rules and guidelines where common interests, like open EU borders and fair competition, are concerned.

Data protection in the EU
Developments of a frontier free Internal Market and of the so called 'information society' increase the cross-frontier flows of personal data between Member States of the EU. In order to remove potential obstacles to such flows and to ensure a high level of protection within the EU, data protection legislation has been harmonised. The Commission also engages in dialogues with non-EU countries in order to insure a high level of protection when exporting personal data to those countries. It also initiates studies on the development on European and international level on the state of data protection.

eContentplus programme
The eContentplus Programme is a multiannual Community programme to make digital content in Europe more accessible, usable and exploitable. The 4-year programme (2005–08), proposed by the European Commission, will have a budget of EUR 149 million to tackle organisational barriers and promote take up of leading-edge technical solutions to improve accessibility and usability of digital material in a multilingual environment.

Electronic commerce and the European Union
The e-business concept goes well beyond e-commerce (buying and selling on-line) as it also encompasses the integration of ICT into business processes of enterprises. In this context managerial innovation and entrepreneurial spirit are as important as technological breakthroughs. The related policy challenge is therefore to help European enterprises, notably SMEs, to adapt themselves to structural changes, such as those fostered by the diffusion and pervasiveness of new technologies. It implies legal, technological, business and human challenges. EU main policy challenges are now to improve the managerial understanding of e-business and the availability of e-business solutions, as well as to promote networking and co-operation initiatives.

Safer Internet in the EU
The EU Safer Internet plus programme aims to promote safer use of the Internet and new online technologies, particularly for children, and to fight against illegal content and content unwanted by the end-user, as part of a coherent approach by the European Union.

Fighting Spam in Europe
Article 13(1) of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive requires Member States to prohibit the sending of unsolicited commercial communications by fax or e-mail or other electronic messaging systems such as SMS and MMS unless the prior consent of the addressee has been obtained (opt-in system).

Privacy Protection in the EU
The EU regulatory framework for electronic communications comprises a series of legal texts and associated measures that apply throughout the 25 EU Member States. The goals of the new framework are to encourage competition in the electronic communications markets, to improve the functioning of the internal market and to guarantee basic user interests that would not be guaranteed by market forces. The framework provides a set of rules that are simple, aimed at deregulation, technology neutral and sufficiently flexible to deal with fast changing markets in the electronic communications sector.

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