Articles filed under Internet regulation

We previously reported on a controversial digital services tax (also known as the GAFA tax) which was implemented in France towards the end of 2019, which levies a 3 per cent tax on digital services gross revenue (as opposed to profits) made in France by companies with total worldwide revenues of more than €750 million – of which at least €25 million is generated in France. The aim is to close the tax loopholes which effectively allow large technology firms to avoid paying tax by basing their regional headquarters in tax havens.

To launch a new edition of a legal textbook in the very month that the UK is about to leave the EU – let alone a book focused on the internet at the height of the techlash – may seem a little reckless.

Or perhaps not. Internet law stays still for hardly a moment anyway. The couple of months since the 5th edition of Internet Law and Regulation went to press have already seen two domestic High Court decisions, one CJEU judgment and an Advocate General Opinion all on copyright communication to the public; not to mention three CJEU Advocate General Opinions on government powers to mandate communications data retention for law enforcement and security. As I write, regulations have been laid to implement the UK-US Agreement facilitating cross border data and interception requests direct to online service providers. A textbook in this field is inevitably a snapshot of a rapidly changing landscape.

The House of Lords, in its 9 March report Regulating in a digital world concludes that “the digital world does not merely require more regulation but a different approach to regulation.” It proposes “an agreed set of 10 principles that shape and frame all regulation of the internet, and a new Digital Authority to oversee this regulation with access to the highest level of the Government to facilitate the urgent change that is needed.”