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European Union: European Court of Justice Rules on German Public Broadcasting Contribution

(Jan. 7, 2019) On December 13, 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that a “contribution” required to be paid by all German households to public broadcasters is compatible with European Union (EU) law, in particular with the rules on preferential state aid. The request for a preliminary ruling was submitted by a judge […]

European Union: New Rules Prohibit Unjustified Geo-Blocking

(Dec. 19, 2018) On December 3, 2018, new rules to prevent unjustified geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on nationality, place of residence, or place of establishment took effect in the European Union (EU). (Regulation (EU) 2018/302 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 February 2018 on Addressing Unjustified Geo-Blocking and […]

Australia: Bill Enabling Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies to Access Encrypted Information Passes

(Dec. 14, 2018) On December 6, 2018, the Australian Parliament passed the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 (Cth) (as enacted; all legislation links are to Federal Register of Legislation website.) The Bill amends the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth) to “establish “frameworks for voluntary and mandatory industry assistance to law enforcement and […]

China: New Regulation on Police Cybersecurity Supervision and Inspection Powers Issued

(Nov. 13, 2018) On September 15, 2018, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) issued a new regulation on cybersecurity supervision and inspections by the police. (Gong’an Jiguan Hulianwang Anquan Jiandu Jiancha Guiding  [Measures of Internet Security Supervision and Inspection by the Public Security Organs] (Sept. 15, […]

France: Government Adopts Law Banning Cell Phone Use at School

(Oct. 30, 2018) On August 5, 2018, the French government promulgated a law banning “cell phones and other electronic communication devices” from kindergartens, elementary schools, and middle schools. (Loi n° 2018-698 du 3 août 2018 relative à l’encadrement de l’utilisation du téléphone portable dans les établissements d’enseignement scolaire [Law No. 2018-698 of August 3, 2018, […]

Germany: Court Holds That Bitcoin Trading Does Not Require a Banking License

(Oct. 19, 2018) On September 29, 2018, the Higher Regional Court of Berlin (Kammergericht Berlin, KG Berlin) held that trading in Bitcoin does not require a banking license because Bitcoin is not a financial instrument, in particular, not a unit of account, within the meaning of the German Banking Act. The defendant was therefore not […]

Sweden: Swedish Media Criticized by Swedish Press Council for Publishing Names of #MeToo Accused Without Cause

(Oct. 4, 2018) On June 25, 2018, the Swedish Pressens opinionsnämnd (PON, Press Council) in an unprecedented move issued critical opinions of the media regarding 10 of the 11 cases brought forward during 2018 in connection with the #MeToo movement. The Press Council condemned the media for publishing without sufficient cause the names of persons […]

European Union: European Court of Justice Rules Sellers Must Inform Consumers of Fee-Incurring Preloaded and Preinstalled Services on SIM Cards

(Sept. 28, 2018) On September 13, 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that selling SIM cards with preinstalled and preloaded fee-incurring services constitutes an aggressive unfair commercial practice. It stated that consumers must be informed in advance of such services so that they can make a free choice. The ECJ concluded that such […]

Israel: Public Bodies Required to Provide Digital Access

(Sept. 27, 2018) On July 17, 2018, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) passed the Law on Contacting Public Bodies by Means of Digital Communications, 5778-2018 (SEFER HAHUKIM [SH] [BOOK OF LAWS] (official gazette) 5778 No. 2744 p. 902, Ministry of Justice website (in Hebrew; click on issue No. 2744)). The Law requires specified public bodies to […]

China: Supreme Court Issues Rules on Internet Courts, Allowing for Blockchain Evidence

(Sept. 21, 2018) On September 3, 2018, China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) issued a judicial interpretation on the hearing of cases by the country’s newly created internet courts. Taking effect on September 7, 2018, the SPC Provisions on the Hearing of Cases by Internet Courts (SPC Interpretation) allows evidence stored and verified on blockchain platforms […]