ETNO and the GSMA provide their comments below in response to the ‘Statement by the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS on the Two-Pillar Approach to Address the Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitalisation of the Economy’.
Joint response by GSMA, ETNO, Small Cell Forum, DIGITALEUROPE and GSA
1 April 2020
Our organizations welcome the European Commission proposal to give effect to the SAWAP provisions of the EECC to allow harmonized light deployment regimes leveraging simple criteria such as volume, emission power and compliance of SAWAP installation with the applicable European Standards (EN50401 and EN62232). We welcome Recital 16 that allows Member States to adopt less restrictive approaches, noting that many Member States already permit larger volumes or higher powers than those defined in the proposed SAWAP regulation or provide for no restrictions at all indoor as opposed to the proposed SAWAP regulation.
ETNO, the GSMA and Cable Europe, as the voice of Europe’s leading telecom and cable operators, have been heavily invested in the debate surrounding the draft e-Privacy Regulation, since its publication in January 2017.
The Domain Name System (DNS) is a critical element of the Internet infrastructure. DNS resolvers in particular play an essential role for operators and Internet Service Providers in providing access to the web for their customers. These resolvers are intermediaries that see the vast majority of DNS traffic sent today from and to their end-users to access the Internet, from web content to cloud infrastructures.
A new protocol “DNS over HTTPS” (or DoH) was developed in order to enhance user privacy and security. This was itself followed by various announcements from browser makers on the deployment of the protocol. ETNO is of the opinion that, as a protocol, DoH may provide some improvement to currently deployed DNS technology. However, the foreseen deployment models raise a number of issues, not least related to policy, law enforcement, user privacy and governance.
The deployment models of DoH will have a technical impact on operators, as well as a significant policy impact. Investigations and blocking against malicious content risk becoming more difficult, with operators no longer being able to comply with legal requests for blocking; and the impact of a failure will be multiplied on account of a single point of failure. Less accountability, less transparency, and reduced geographical diversity among public DNS resolvers may have broader impacts on existing EU policies which rely on a secure and transparent Internet ecosystem: ePrivacy, eEvidence, data and competition, and digital services.
ETNO calls for a broader, international discussion – beyond the technical community – to consider the non-technical consequences related to data protection, regulation, competition and law enforcement. Policymakers should review DoH technology and its deployment models to consider its policy implications, while the technical community should work together to develop mechanisms to address the negative technical impacts.
Implementation within Member States of provisions of Council Directive 2006/112/EC (“the EU VAT Directive”) concerning VAT adjustments on unpaid invoices, and specific impact on the telecommunications sector.
• We invite co-legislators to support the amended wording in the Parliament’s text on Article 2 and Recital 10, clarifying that hosting services which satisfy at least one of the following criteria should be outside of the scope of the regulation:
On 9th April, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) released its draft Guidelines on the processing of personal data under the contractual necessity legal basis (Article 6(1)(b) GDPR) in the context of the provision of online services to data subjects. EDPB has invited interested stakeholders to comment on the draft Guidelines until 24th May 2019. ETNO welcomes the opportunity to submit comments to the EDPB on this important topic, but regrets the static interpretation given by EDPB on the “contractual necessity” legal ground.
Last June, the European Parliament and the European Council endorsed a decision regarding the next Horizon Europe framework programme, which brings an overview of its structure. ETNO, which represents the key European telecom operatorsthat heavily invest in research and innovation, would like to highlight a number of aspects that are vitalforfuture research and development across all sectors, as they digitise and integrate advanced ICT technologies and services.
The digital transformation is fundamentally changing societies and economies, including international trade. Digital trade creates tremendous opportunities for inclusive economic growth and societal advancement. At the same time, digitally enabled trade in goods and services has given rise to new regulatory challenges. Therefore, we are convinced that the digital economy should be an important element of bilateral and multilateral trade policy. Already in July 2016, ETNO called for an update of trade policy to reflect new realities of the digital economy.1