U.S. tech giants, like Google and Facebook, found themselves caught between the European Parliament and the European Commission as disagreements continue as to whether Internet service providers should be included within the definition of ‘market operators’ in the Proposed Directive on Network and Information Security (IP/13/94) (the ‘Directive’). Currently, the EU Commission would like to see both search engines and social networks included, whereas the European Parliament prefers a common European framework focusing on critical infrastructure only, such as financial services and power stations.
The EU Parliamentary view is that broadening the scope of the Directive risks undermining the aim of the law which is to protect key or critical services, whereas including ISPs, and as a consequence some U.S. tech giants, would require the tech giants to report global cyber attacks to each of 28 member states’ respective regulators. Those arguing against ISP inclusion argue that they are already highly regulated, and that many of the requirements contained in the proposed Directive are already provided for by commercial contracts and service level agreements, and that the introduction of additional legislation would create added complexity and have a negative impact on innovation within the tech industry.
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