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United Kingdom: High-Speed Broadband to Be a Legal Right

(Jan. 3, 2018) In 2017, the United Kingdom government passed the Digital Economy Act, which implements policies contained in the 2015 Conservative Party Manifesto and regulates a number of areas relating to online activities. The aims of the Act include, but are not limited to, ensuring that both individuals and businesses have access to high-speed […]

United Kingdom: Proposals for Greater Online Protection for Children

(Dec. 14, 2017) The Government of the United Kingdom has recently proposed an amendment to the Data Protection Bill to provide for greater protection for the privacy of children who engage in online activities. The Data Protection Bill is currently progressing through Parliament and will implement the European Union’s Data Protection Directive, which will apply […]

Japan: Supreme Court Rules Obligatory Contracts with Public Broadcasting Corporation for Reception Equipment Are Constitutional

(Dec. 13, 2017) In a decision issued on December 6, 2017, Japan’s Supreme Court ruled that a provision obligating persons who have installed such broadcast-reception equipment as televisions to conclude a contract with Japan’s public broadcasting corporation is constitutional.  (Sup. Ct. Dec. 6, 2017, 2014 (o) 1130, Courts in Japan website (in Japanese) (click on […]

Germany: Costs of Phone Calls in Prisons Must Reflect Market Prices

(Dec. 1, 2017) In a decision published on November 28, 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) found that the constitutional requirement of social rehabilitation of sentenced persons is violated when a prisoner is charged excessive fees for phone services. An inmate’s request for a reduction of the costs for a prison phone call […]

Iceland/European Court of Human Rights: Dismissal of Defamation Claim Violated Right to Respect for Private Life

(Nov. 20, 2017) On November 7, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) found that the Icelandic Supreme Court had erred in ruling against a claim of defamation, and “had not struck a fair balance between the applicant’s right to respect for his private life under Article 8 of the Convention [for the Protection of Human […]

Netherlands: Referendum to Be Held on Surveillance Law

(Nov. 17, 2017) On November 1, 2017, the Electoral Council (Kiesraad) of the Netherlands publicly announced that, based on the more than 384,000 valid signatures received requesting it, a referendum on the Act on Intelligence and Security Services will be held within six months. (Press Release, Referendum over Wiv gaat door [Referendum on Wiv Coming Along], Kiesraad […]

Germany: New Law Allows Broadcasting and Recording of Court Proceedings

(Oct. 24, 2017) On June 22, 2017, and September 22, 2017, respectively, the German Bundestag (parliament) and the German Bundesrat (representing the states) passed an amendment to the German Courts Constitution Act that allows live audio broadcasting of court proceedings in a separate media room for trials of interest, broadcasting of the judgment and sentencing for […]

Vietnam: New Rules on Media for Children

(Oct. 13, 2017) On October 1, 2017, a new Ministry of Information and Communications circular, issued by Minister Truong Minh Tuan on June 23, 2017, came into force in Vietnam. It has provisions on media designed for children and requires warnings for viewer or reader discretion related to material not suitable for them.  The rules […]

Germany: Expanded Telecommunications Surveillance and Online Search Powers

(Sept. 7, 2017) On August 24, 2017, a controversial amendment to the German Criminal Code of Procedure entered into force in Germany that expanded the powers of law enforcement agencies to conduct online searches and source telecommunications surveillance (called a “State Trojan”). (Gesetz zur effektiveren und praxistauglicheren Ausgestaltung des Strafverfahrens [Act to Make Criminal Proceedings More Effective […]