Supreme Court does not hold big tech firms liable for terrorist content
The Supreme Court unanimously rejected holding Twitter, Google, and Facebook responsible for hosting terrorist material on their platforms but did not fully address Section 230, the law that shields social media platforms from liability for user-generated content. The decisions represent a narrow win for big tech companies and have renewed calls for an overhaul of Section 230. The court's ruling in Twitter v. Taamneh stated that the platforms did not provide substantial assistance to ISIS, making them not culpable under the Anti-Terrorism Act. The case of Gonzalez v. Google was remanded to a lower court without addressing Section 230. Section 230, a crucial law for the internet, has faced criticism in recent years, and discussions continue about its revision or revocation.
European Council gives final approval on machinery regulation
The European Council has given the final approval to legislation updating the 2006 machinery directive, transforming it into a regulation, which means that its rules will be directly applied rather than requiring implementation by individual member states. The goal of the new regulation is to promote the free movement of machinery, harmonize the essential health and safety requirements for machinery in the EU, and ensure a high level of safety for workers and citizens. The legislation will establish a legal framework intended to guarantee the safety of machinery on the EU market and will cover new risks from emerging technologies. The new regulation will be adopted soon. Member states and economic entities will have 42 months before the rules of the new regulation are applied.
European Union introduces eighth sanctions package on Iran
The European Council decided to impose restrictions on a further five individuals and two entities that are responsible for violations of human rights in Iran. The sanctioned individuals include the commander of the Tehran Police Relief Unit and an individual implicated in the brutal arrest, mistreatment, and subsequent death of lawyer Maryam Arvin. Furthermore, the sanctions apply to the IRGC Cooperative Foundation, which is responsible for managing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ investments. There are now 216 individuals and 37 entities on the EU’s sanctions list, sanctions include travel bans, freezing of assets, and prohibitions to make economic resources available to those on the list.
European Union introduces most ambitious reforms to Customs Union to date
The EU customs reform is an ongoing initiative aimed at modernizing and improving customs procedures within the European Union. It focuses on several key objectives, including enhancing security, facilitating trade, and strengthening the Union Customs Code. The reform aims to create a more streamlined and efficient customs environment by implementing digital and paperless processes, such as the introduction of a Single Window system. It also seeks to improve risk management strategies and promote cooperation among customs authorities across EU member states. By harmonizing customs practices and promoting a consistent approach, the reform aims to foster economic growth and ensure the safety and security of trade within the European Union.
Meta sells Giphy on UK regulator’s order and is fined EUR 1,2 billion for GDPR violations in the same week
Shutterstock has agreed to purchase Giphy from Meta Platforms for USD 53 million in net cash, resolving a legal battle and adding a mobile content platform with 1.7 billion daily users and partnerships with major companies. This acquisition comes after Meta decides to sell Giphy due to a regulatory order from the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority. The deal is set to close in June, and Shutterstock plans to fund it using cash on hand and its revolving credit facility. Meanwhile, Meta Platforms Ireland Limited (Meta IE) has been fined EUR 1.2B by the Irish Data Protection Authority (IE DPA) following an inquiry into its Facebook service. This fine, the largest GDPR fine ever imposed, was issued for Meta's transfers of personal data to the U.S. using standard contractual clauses (SCCs) in July 2020. The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) found Meta's infringement serious and systematic, leading to the unprecedented fine. Meta IE has been ordered to bring its data transfers into compliance with the GDPR and cease unlawful processing within six months. The IE DPA's final decision aligns with the legal assessment expressed by the EDPB, which was reached through a dispute resolution procedure involving concerned supervisory authorities.
TikTok files lawsuit against Montana over ban
TikTok ihas filed a lawsuit against the state of Montana over its new ban on the social media platform, claiming that the ban is unconstitutional. The lawsuit alleges that the ban violates the First Amendment and other laws. The ban, which is set to go into effect on January 1, prohibits TikTok from operating in the state and app stores from offering the app. Violators of the law will face fines of USD10,000 per day. TikTok argues that the ban infringes on federal government rights and violates laws governing interstate commerce. The company has faced scrutiny over its Chinese ties and access to user data, but TikTok denies sharing data with the Chinese government.