EU sanctions against Russia Today and Sputnik require: * search engines to delist all their content, and * social media firms to delete posts by individuals which reproduce any of their content

Remarkable news for tech law nerds. EU sanctions against Russia Today and Sputnik require:

* search engines to delist all their content, and
* social media firms to delete posts by individuals which reproduce any of their content.

Commission’s explanatory text in images. 1/

This interpretation goes much further than many had thought on reading the regulation itself, and disapplies the E-Commerce Directive ban on general monitoring. If correct, this raises significant proportionality issues and freedom of expression issues. 2/

Here’s the text of the relevant part of the Regulation. I’m not convinced that it actually means what the Commission says it means. It’s a big leap from prohibiting “broadcasts” to prohibiting any dissemination of text, etc.. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2022.065.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A065%3ATOC 3/

Presumably these issues will be ventilated in the RT challenge to the ban before the General Court, details here: https://eulawlive.com/russia-today-challenges-eu-broadcasting-ban-before-general-court/ 4/

Source: the Commission’s explanatory text (images in the original tweet) is available on the Lumen database here: https://www.lumendatabase.org/notices/26927483 5/

There are some fundamental transparency issues here: such a radical interpretation and change in the law should be formally published, not informally emerge through the Lumen database. 6/

I’m not going to shed a tear for the despicable RT and Sputnik but the EU must not itself undermine the rule of law, not least because a win in the General Court would hand Russia a valuable propaganda victory. 7/

Originally tweeted by TJ McIntyre (@tjmcintyre) on March 9, 2022.

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