Rules for online content moderation do not entirely depend on the choice of the online service providers. The EU and the Member States have been regulating this field for many years, resulting in a patchwork of different measures across the continent.

The result of the research showcased below shows the number of laws an online service provider has to abide by when operating in the EU and in specific Member States. As the DSA is set to become a horizontal framework for tackling illegalities online, DOT Europe team has conducted this research to show the extent of existing laws in the EU on content moderation and where those rules potentially overlap.

The DSA is meant to clarify – rather than confuse – the rules for stakeholders in the online space, and it will not exist in a vacuum. DOT Europe calls for policy-makers to keep the existing body of EU law in mind when discussing the proposal, consider what rules already exist and how they should be complemented, in order to ensure the coherence of the legal framework.

Please note that this mapping focuses on legislation that actually overlaps with the scope of the DSA and is not supposed to be a list of all legislation that has an effect on the digital sphere.

As this is still an ongoing project, it might not comprise each and every law currently in force. If you would like to contribute to this shared resource, send us your findings via email!

Terrorist Content

EU
  • Counter-terrorism directive (EU) 2017/541
  • Regulation on addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online (EU)
  • Commission Recommendation on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online 2018/334 of 1 March 2018
  • Directive 2018/1808 on Audiovisual Media Services
  • Proposal for a Regulation on a Single Market For Digital Services (Digital Services Act)
  • EU Internet Forum – EU Crisis Protocol
Austria
  • Communication Platforms Act [not finalized]
France
  • Décret n° 2015-125 du 5 février 2015
  • Décret n° 2015-253 du 4 mars 2015
  • Loi n° 2004-575 du 21 juin 2004 pour la confiance dans l’économie numérique
Finland
  • Act on provision of information society services (2002)
Germany
  • Network Enforcement Act – NetzDG
Hungary
  • Act CVIII of 2001 on Electronic Commerce and on Information Society Service
Lithuania
  • Law No. XII-1428 on Cyber Security of 11 December 2014:
Luxembourg
  • Loi du 14 août 2000 relative au commerce électronique
Malta
  • Electronic Commerce Act
The Netherlands
  • Penal Code
Poland
  • Law on Counterterrorism of 10 June 2016
United Kingdom
  • Terrorism Act (2006)
  • Online harms White Paper [not finalized]

Child Sexual Abuse Material

EU
  • Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Directive 2011/93/EU
  • Proposal for a Regulation on a temporary derogation from certain provisions of Directive 2002/58/EC
  • European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children COM(2012) 196
  • Directive 2018/1808 on Audiovisual Media Services
  • Proposal for a Regulation on a Single Market For Digital Services (Digital Services Act)
  • WeProtect Global Alliance
  • Alliance to better protect minors online
Austria
  • Communication Platforms Act [not finalized]
France
  • Loi n° 2004-575 du 21 juin 2004 pour la confiance dans l’économie numérique
  • Décret n° 2015-125 du 5 février 2015
  • Décret n° 2015-253 du 4 mars 2015
Finland
  • Act on provision of information society services (2002)
Germany
  • Network Enforcement Act – NetzDG
Hungary
  • Act CVIII of 2001 on Electronic Commerce and on Information Society Service
Lithuania
  • Law No. XII-1428 on Cyber Security of 11 December 2014:
Luxembourg
  • Loi du 14 août 2000 relative au commerce électronique
Malta
  • Electronic Commerce Act
The Netherlands
  • Penal Code
Sweden
  • Act on Responsibility for Electronic Bulletin Boards (1998:112)
United Kingdom
  • Online harms White Paper [not finalized]

Hate Speech

EU
  • Counter-Racism Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA
  • Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online
  • Directive 2018/1808 on Audiovisual Media Services
Austria
  • Communication Platforms Act [not finalized]
France
  • Loi n° 2004-575 du 21 juin 2004 pour la confiance dans l’économie numérique
Finland
  • Act on provision of information society services (2002)
Germany
  • Network Enforcement Act – NetzDG
Hungary
  • Act CVIII of 2001 on Electronic Commerce and on Information Society Service
Lithuania
  • Law No. XII-1428 on Cyber Security of 11 December 2014:
Luxembourg
  • Loi du 14 août 2000 relative au commerce électronique
Malta
  • Electronic Commerce Act
The Netherlands
  • Penal Code
Poland
  • Law on the protection of freedom of speech on online social networking sites
Portugal
  • Decree-Law no. 7/2004, of 7 January
Sweden
  • Act on Responsibility for Electronic Bulletin Boards (1998:112)

Intellectual Property Rights

EU
  • Directive (EU) 2019/790 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market
  • Memorandum of Understanding on the sale of counterfeit goods via the Internet
  • Memorandum of Understanding on online advertising and IPR
  • Proposal for a Regulation on a Single Market For Digital Services (Digital Services Act)
Finland
  • Act on provision of information society services (2002)
Hungary
  • Act CVIII of 2001 on Electronic Commerce and on Information Society Service
Italy
  • AGCOM Regulations regarding Online Copyright Enforcement, 680/13/CONS, December 12, 201 [Currently being amended by Resolution No 540/20/CONS]
Lithuania
  • Law No. XII-1428 on Cyber Security of 11 December 2014:
Malta
  • Electronic Commerce Act
Sweden
  • Act on Responsibility for Electronic Bulletin Boards (1998:112)

Product Safety

EU
  • Directive 2009/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 on the safety of toys
  • Regulation 2019/1148 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors

Beyond These Categories

EU
  • Directive 2018/1972 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code
  • Directive 2018/1808 on Audiovisual Media Services
  • Proposal for a Regulation on a Single Market For Digital Services (Digital Services Act)
Austria
  • Communication Platforms Act [not finalized]
France
  • Projet de loi nº 3649 confortant le respect des principes de la République
  • Loi n° 2018-1202 du 22 décembre 2018 relative à la lutte contre la manipulation de l’information
  • Loi n° 2004-575 du 21 juin 2004 pour la confiance dans l’économie numérique
Finland
  • Act on provision of information society services (2002)
Germany
  • Network Enforcement Act – NetzDG
Hungary
  • Act CVIII of 2001 on Electronic Commerce and on Information Society Service
Ireland
Lithuania
  • Law No. XII-1428 on Cyber Security of 11 December 2014:
  • Regulation on Denial of Access to Information which was Acquired, Created, Modified or Used Illegally, Resolution No. 881 of August 22, 2007
Malta
  • Electronic Commerce Act
The Netherlands
  • Notice-and-Take-Down Code of Conduct
  • Dutch Code of Conduct on Transparency of Online Political Advertisements
Poland
  • Law on the protection of freedom of speech on online social networking sites
Portugal
  • Decree-Law no. 7/2004, of 7 January
Spain
Sweden
  • Act on Responsibility for Electronic Bulletin Boards (1998:112)
United Kingdom
  • Online harms White Paper [not finalized]