Category Archives: Policy and Law

German Blanket Data Retention Not Compliant with EU Law: eco-Supported Lawsuit Wins

  • Important signal set for the entire Internet industry: “The German federal government must react now”
  • SpaceNet AG: Blanket data retention is the wrong instrument for fighting crime
  • Administrative Court of Cologne decides: Blanket data retention infringes fundamental European rights

 German blanket data retention is not compliant with European Union law. This is the decision which has been reached by the Administrative Court of Cologne. Supported by eco – Association of the Internet Industry, the Internet provider SpaceNet filed a suit (Ref. 9 K 3859/16) in April 2016, the aim of which was to achieve a landmark decision which would finally put a halt to the blanket retention of data. The decision of the Administrative Court of Cologne is of central consequence for the Internet and telecommunications companies concerned. Continue reading

eco Welcomes the Last-Minute Decision to Appoint a Minister of State for Digital Affairs

Commenting on the newly created post of Minister of State for Digital Affairs in the Chancellor's Office, Chair of the Board at eco, Oliver Süme, states:

“I welcome the decision of the coalition parties to finally accord digital policy a central coordination position and a voice at the cabinet table with the proposed appointment of a Minister of State in the Chancellor's Office. Dorothee Bär is an experienced Internet politician who, in her politics, has shown a commitment to the opportunities of digitalization and who is thoroughly familiar with the current challenges and interdependencies of Internet policy. I wish her every success in her new duties and hope that she will also be able to use her new post to reverse political mistakes such as the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG). I will also continue to call for the designated Minister of State for Digital Affairs to be given a corresponding support structure in the form of a leading steering committee in the Bundestag.”

Broad Alliance Opposes European Upload Filters

In an open letter to the managing federal government and German MEPs, representatives of civil society, business, and Internet culture today called for a clear declaration against the use of automated filter systems for online platforms that work with user-generated content, as sought by the EU Commission.

In addition to eco – Association of the Internet Industry, a broad alliance of organizations signed the letter, with these including: the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband), Wikimedia Deutschland, the digital association Bitkom, the Federation of German Start-ups (Bundesverband Deutsche Startups), the German Digital Industry Association (Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft), the German Federal Association of IT Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises (Bundesverband IT-Mittelstand), the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (Bundesverband mittelständische Wirtschaft), the Chaos Computer Club, D64 – Center for Digital Progess (D64 - Zentrum für digitalen Fortschritt), the Working Group Against Internet Blocking and Censorship (Arbeitskreis gegen Internetsperren und Zensur), the German Founding Member Association (Deutsche Gründerverband), the Digital Society (Digitale Gesellschaft), the Federal Youth Press Association, Germany (Jugendpresse Deutschland), and the Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland. Continue reading

Digital Minister (m/f) Wanted: Industry Associations Launch a Petition

Associations of the digital industry fear a stagnation of digital policy under the German “grand coalition.” To counteract such a deadlock, a petition launched on the initiative of the Federal Association of German Startups, available under, calls on the party leaders of the Christian Democrats/Christian Socialists and the Social Democrats to appoint a digital minister. Industry associations, civil society organizations, and large sections of the public have criticized the absence of plans of the prospective new coalition to bundle digital competencies within a single authority. eco - Association of the Internet Industry also supports this petition. Continue reading