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CENTR publishes comment on the proposed Digital Services Act

2021-04-12 News

CENTR, which represents European national top-level domain name registries such as .ie or .eu, has published a comment on the Proposal for a Regulation on a Single Market For Digital Services (Digital Services Act).

As a whole, CENTR welcomes the high-level aims set out by the European Commission in the Digital Services Act (DSA) proposal, such as contributing to online safety, and appreciates the attention given to the variety of 'providers of intermediary services', their different roles and size. CENTR also welcomes the reinforcement of some of the core principles established by the e-Commerce Directive in the DSA proposal, such as the limited liability regime and the prohibition of the general monitoring obligation that are essential for the viability of the variety of service providers online.

In order to further strengthen the aims set out in the proposal and to enable digital services to be innovative without hampering the provision of the core digital infrastructure, such as the Domain Name System, CENTR has several recommendations. A summary of the key recommendations can be found below.

Summary of CENTR's key recommendations:

  1. CENTR calls for an explicit liability exemption for the technical auxiliary function performed by DNS service providers, in the context of the provision of neutral DNS-related services for the functioning of other intermediary services.
  2. CENTR calls for a clarification in the definition of illegal content. The current definition includes the vague wording 'by its reference to'. This inclusion could affect lawful reporting activities and even hamper the provision of technical auxiliary functions and, as such, could have a crippling effect on the functioning of the internet.
  3. CENTR calls for an alignment of the powers given to Digital Services Coordinators with the criminal procedural law in the respective Member States, and an obligation for Digital Services Coordinators to demonstrate due diligence before resorting to exceptional powers under the Proposal.

Read the full comment.