FiCom supports Finnish views on the Digital Services Act

The new Commission is in the process of reforming the regulations on digital services by reopening the E-Commerce Directive. The new regulation with working name Digital Services Act (DSA) has been set as priority in the Commission’s political agenda and would specifically target online platforms. The Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications has prepared a draft memorandum that contains preliminary views on the DSA legislative project. FiCom supports these views.

According to the memorandum, the DSA should enable new digital services and innovation without adding unnecessary administrative burden. Legislative drafting needs to address the needs of the industry, service providers and consumers. According to the Ministry's draft memorandum, the country of origin principle should remain the guiding principle for future regulation, and the current limited exemptions from secondary liability for information society service providers (internet intermediaries) should be maintained. Moreover, internet intermediaries should not be subject to general monitoring obligations.

Numerous legislative projects, both in Finland and in the EU, seek targeted changes providing exceptions to the limited liability of the internet intermediaries. Exemption from secondary liability has been the legal basis for the development of the European ICT sector. If this basis is eroded, the ability of the European ICT industry to respond significantly to international competition will be significantly reduced.

Illegal content should be tackled at its source, which means that competent authorities should always take priority action against the illegal content itself (the user) or the online platform. Only if the user or platform does nothing to remove the content, the competent law authority could, as a last resort, ask the the access provider to intervene. However, it is impossible for online platforms to tackle all illegal content being shared by their users. No online intermediary should be subject to a request that is impossible or commercially unreasonable for it to undertake.

FiCom supports the EuroISPA Principles for the Future of the EU Intermediary Liability Framework.

Asko Metsola is lawyer in FiCom specialized in copyright, electronic identification, cyber security and privacy.

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