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ALL politicians, Spain or elsewhere, follow the "baffle-em' with BS" approach........and they wind up getting yet another hand in our pockets.
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>
-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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
I say, good but I'm not 100% informed on this yet.
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...
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.
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.
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]
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.