European Legal Framework for CNs (v2)

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This deliverable, which draws on the findings of D4.1 [1], describes the research activities undertaken during M13-M24 for T4.1. It focuses on two main fields of activity: 1. the investigation of the actual application of EU law by Community Networks (CNs); 2. the description of the changes needed in EU law for electronic communications to encourage the development of CNs, based on this study and description we have fully developed proper Advocacy Guidelines in WP1, reported in D1.5 [2]). As for the first field of activity, D4.1 described existing legislation and case law relevant to Community Networks and aimed at understanding whether the current law empowers or impairs the prosperity of exiting CNs and the birth of new ones. Conversely, this Deliverable analyzes the actual application of law by and within CNs (Chapter 2). To allow a better understanding of the law and its application, we include a description of the novelties of 2017 in terms of legislation and case law with particular attention to personal data protection and data retention, which currently are among the most topical issues in EU law. More precisely, the main novelties that the ePrivacy Regulation will bring (Sec. are highlighted and commented pinpointing the impact on CNs. The deliverable also goes into detail on the current status of data retention norms in Europe in light of the most important cases decided by the Court of Justice of the EU (Sec. and Sec. highlighting how EU and National rules are often contradictory on this topic. After the introductory part regarding the current legal framework, the report thoroughly describes how CNs actually apply EU law. Two main sources of information have been used to obtain evidence on the actual application of law. First, face-to-face interviews with CNs’ members were conducted by netCommons researchers (Sec. 2.2.1 and Sec. 2.2.2); second, based also on the responses obtained in the interviews, a survey was designed and run to collect further data from other CNs (Sec. 2.2.3, Annex 1). The results of the survey, which are analyzed and described in detail in this deliverable (Sec. 2.2.4 and Sec. 2.2.5), are the basis to draft some initial preliminary guidelines in Sec. 2.3, which will be fully developed in the “Best practices guide for CNs” (D4.5, due at M36). The findings highlight that a possible solution to both liability and personal data protection issues would be the adoption of an agreement between each CN and its users. A contract could distribute liability and at the same time be the right tool through which the CN can manage personal data protection duties as imposed by European law. With regard to the advocacy activities, this report illustrates what changes in European Union regulation for electronic communications are needed to shape upcoming laws also according to CNs’ characteristics (Chapter 3). It mainly focuses on the adoption of the new European Electronic Communications Code, on its impact on CNs and on the amendments that would favour CNs’ prosperity. This part of the deliverable is strictly linked to Task 1.3 on “Advocacy capacity-building” and to D1.5 that describes the advocacy activities carried out by the research group and includes guidelines for effective advocacy.