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DSA: The Satellite Industry calls for the preservation of the fundamental principles of the eCommerce Directive

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29 September 2020

ESOA would like to voice the support of the satellite industry to the European Commission’s ambitious objective of adopting the Digital Services Act. In doing so, the satellite industry believes the fundamental principles of the eCommerce Directive should be preserved as pillars that already underpin the success of various sectors, including satellite telecommunications.

The Country of Origin Principle: should be maintained and enhanced as a core fundament of the Digital Single Market. It is relevant for established operators providing services in Europe and globally and also key for the growth of the space sector overall including newcomers and startups. This principle, along with other regulatory tools, provide a basis for innovation in and growth of the satellite sector.

The Limited Liability Regime: should not be compromised as practical means to ensure that illegal content or activity online is removed when the service provider is informed. It is equivalent to the long-established ‘Notice and Take Down’ principle that guarantees service providers cannot be held liable without actual knowledge of the illegality.

The Prohibition of a General Monitoring Obligationshould be maintained in the Digital Services Act, avoiding cumbersome burdens.. ESOA members primarily provide connectivity and internet access, without knowledge of or control over the content passing through their networks. They provide an open and non-discriminatory means of communication and as such should continue not to be subject to any obligation to monitor traffic. ESOA members fully support the continuation of the essential provision stating that certain online intermediaries are not liable for content they transmit or store without playing an active role.

If respecting these principles, ESOA members welcome the increased clarity that the review will bring to the communications ecosystem as a whole.

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