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strict new laws in Spain

 5:05 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

very interesting read for all europeans - espeically in spain!



jeremy goodrich

 5:15 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Wow...that is incredibly oppressive. I do hope the Spanish government reconsider that one...that's a huge blow against the advancement of ecommerce, not for...what were they thinking, again?

I'm stumped.


 5:20 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Interesting link, thanks Jimmy. What I miss in that article however is any solid explanation of what those new laws really involve...


 5:23 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)


Dodgy biscuits people!

What a pain in the ass!

Just because i want to sit in the sun all year round with a beer and a laptop! :(

Whats florida like this time of the year! ;)



 5:31 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Heini, the laws are most likely too verbose, too confounding, and too full of double-speak and "where for art thou's and Heretowiths's" to even begin to outline the laws in a very small article.

ALL politicians, Spain or elsewhere, follow the "baffle-em' with BS" approach........and they wind up getting yet another hand in our pockets.

jeremy goodrich

 5:34 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

I know we have members from Spain...anybody know which website I should go to & read the actual law?

Agreed, heini...would be very nice to read something local, instead of the English speaking spin from AP.


 5:36 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

All the ecomm stuff didn't seem too out of hand, the last couple of lines on the ISP saving info about where there customers visit just seems a bit extreme to me.


 5:46 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Here goes:

(also available in pdf format @ bottom of page)


 5:49 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)


This is the Spanish State Secretariat of Telecommunications and for the Information Society.

Its the only related government dept i could find, and its in spanish (surprisingly!).

My Spanish is non-existant. Can anyone take a peek and translate any related material?


<added>nice one nvision</added>


 6:16 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

...one the fly translation..... huff puff wheeze.... I hope this makes sense....

-the law reinforces user protection with regards to "unsolicited" emails, ie. spam

-gives validity to electronic contracts without the need of the paper documents

-requires websites providing online services to include visible information to users such as name, address and email, and prices of the products on offer, so that users may know who they're dealing with at all times

-aims to boost online confidence for users with regards to the services and companies they're dealing with

-online service providers will communicate their activity and frequently used domain names to the public register or similar, to keep a record for consumers (again, to boost internet confidence)

-hosting providers and other telecommunications providers will need to keep a record of website visitors in the case that online delinquency or such need to be tracked down (these will not include email content)


 7:06 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Those all seem fair points. (IMHO)

There is a fairly low consumer confidence in online business.

I know a ton of people who would cut off their own legs before using a credit card online, but would happily pay for stuff in a shop, where a nice little bit of paper with your credit card number and signature is kept in box out back where anyone can access it.

I would even be more confident about using online services if i knew that if i was ripped off that the owner could be chased up.

If the legislation stands to protect the consumer, then I say thats better for all our business, but where it restricts information or business, then thats where the problems arise.

my 2c


jeremy goodrich

 7:17 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Agreed, those seem much more fair than the story from AP indicated - too bad searching on Google News only gives you the AP version.

And that one about ratifying the electronic signature is a great step forward - I know that it's helped me personally here in the US, since they passed similar law re: electronic signatures.


 8:50 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think that there is an European law and soon all the European countries will comply with.

I know for example that in Germany all .de websites must have information about the owner, the company etc. In german language it is called "impressum".

If you try a search on Google for "impressum" you will see what I mean; it is similar to "contacts", but here contacts must be the legal entity of the site and of the represented company, including tax identity number.


 9:36 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Strict in deed. Angiolo, do you have any idea of the name of that EU law?

It would be nice to read an english version of it. If it's a general law within the EU, we should all take notice of this.


 9:43 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Heres some more on it:

(spanish law)




 10:10 pm on Oct 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yup, the cn article blows this totally out of proportion.
First of all the law is in process of getting detailed out. Then the article says some 300! sites have protested or closed down so far, and that has obviously nothing to do with "censorship", but with the simple requirement of clearly identifying who's who on a commercial website. So what? Each commercial website in Europe has to have a full address on their site.

The real problem is the tax they have to pay. That's what causes the protest.

OK: censorship. There are two issues where censorship gets thrown on the table.
One is what the article puts as: "..if Spanish authorities deem something on a foreign-hosted Web site threatening to Spain's national defense, public order, consumer rights or other values, they can order Spanish operators to sever access to that site"

For a background it should be noted Spain has a serious problem with minorities, of which some people are in a guerilla war with the national government.

Other than that I agree that this if it really is as unspecified as in the article leaves much to much room for the government to jump at anything.
Putting this into one league with China however is a somewhat inflammatory and dogmatic point of view. Fact is it's not so much what a law says but what a society and it's institutions make of it.

The second issue where the much overused coin censorship gets tossed is in regard to the requirement of ISPs to store user data up to one year.
Now that is something which is in use in european countries anyway, at least in Germany. Actually it has been put up by the European Union in answer to child porn business. Those data are exclusively available to authorities upon request from a judge.
Now this obviously has the potential of misuse, but I don't see where censorship comes into play here.


 9:21 am on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

With regards to providing contact information - this applies to people IN Spain operating sites and people OUTside Spain also operating sites/online services within Spain.


 9:48 am on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Does this mean that people outide apain will have to pay... <sarcasm>Yes...thats going work, obviously...</sarcasm>


 10:16 am on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

As usual CNN doing a great job of "Media Alert" without actually any real content! I think that this is good news. It would meant that a number of site owners will need to ratify there business model, and by that I mean actually take it from the shady taxless venture to something that is accountable. What that will mean is a decrease in the number of spontaneous companies that get set up on the basis of a box of product someone picks up for £50.00 dahhn the market. Essentially what this is saying, it seems to me, is that if you are selling online, make sure the tax is paid, and make sure there is a legitimate address through which a consumer can take any complaint. This might mean the end of some of the shadier fly-by-nights but there is plenty of that in the registered world to be going around!

I say, good but I'm not 100% informed on this yet.


 10:48 am on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Now this obviously has the potential of misuse, but I don't see where censorship comes into play here.

This has nothing to do with censorship at all. I is merely a way of supervising/controlling some of the web-based business that is taking place. I peronally welcome this new legislation. :)


 11:08 am on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi all, I'm from spain and I can say two things about this law. Obviusly, it covers interesting aspects (i.e: spam is forbidden now) but there are two points quite important and very bad oriented:
1. The taxes you have to pay to register the domain with the Department of Commerce = that's a really bad thing for small webmasters (the real power and people of the net) because sometimes the incomes are not anough to pay that taxes. Result = many small webmasters will have to close their websites - big companies are favoured.
2. The ISP have to keep the logs of their costumers from the past 6 months. The costs of storage all these information are quite a lot. Result = Big companies are also hurt.
So, our goverment is going wrong in several aspects about the internet. And I don't want to talk about education laws, health politics and another of their actions in the last years because are completly off topic but....(i could even cry)

PD: Of course I agree with Glyn about the good labour of the cnn transmitting distorted information. It's incredible how can they be so popular...


 11:17 am on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

has anyone came across a full english translation?



 11:25 am on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

It would be nice to read an english version of it. If it's a general law within the EU, we should all take notice of this

It's the Electronic Commerce Directive. It's gradually being rolled out across the EU as national governments pass the legislation to implement it.

The UK did so back in August. Their english-language guide to it is at


That has a pointer to a PDF that contains the Directive itself.


 11:48 am on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thank you Victor!

with reference to Germany, the link page is:


Another important information about Germany.

The Hamburg court, recently stated that you have the liability for any links you have in your web site OR you should clearly state that you can not guarantee for the links ( Mit Urteil vom 12. Mai 1998 - Az: 312 O 85/98 - „Haftung für Links”).

In Italy we recently had a law regarding "newspaper" online: not everybody can do it now; it is necessary a qualified director; it means that you need an official "journalist"; in Italy to became a journalist is not so easy; they are like a caste.


 12:25 pm on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

as national governments pass the legislation

I do believe all member states of the European Community to be democracies. So it would be the states´ parliaments that pass the legislation. :)

Directive 2000/31/EC [europa.eu.int]



 12:49 pm on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the link Victor. Good stuff.


 3:05 pm on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Overeaction as always. Do not panic guys...and do not belive everything your read...

Business as usual over here...



 3:10 pm on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Have you read the book The hidden Persuaders?

Very interesting book...


 3:20 pm on Oct 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Best site (in Spanish) with information about the LSSI [kriptopolis.com ]

In English, The new Spanish "Law of Information Society Services and Electronic Commerce" (LSSI) (www.epic.org) [epic.org]


 3:06 am on Nov 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

The potential censorship uses are troubling, as well as the user tracking requirements. They should explicitly assure people that this will not affect private sites. Some of the tax issues also seem a little dicey.

But I would agree that it's better to insist that an actual commercial enterprise show it's name, address, and provide an ID number that implies some sort of government accountability. Asking a foreign business to register with the Spanish government though... if that's what they're really proposing it creates a nightmare. The cost and hassle of registering a business with one government is bad enough, if everyone starts asking for it, what a catastrophe.

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