The European Union has announced its plans to extend some of its current security rules that are only applicable to telecom operators to some web services, such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facetime, among others. The European Commission will be unveiling a proposed reform plan next year, the first update to the rules in 15 years, which will extend current rules to services that offer calls and messages over the Internet.
The European Commission will be unveiling a proposed reform plan next year, the first update to the rules in 15 years, which will extend current rules to services that offer calls and messages over the Internet. The new changes are bound to please a number of European telecom giants such as Vodafone, Orange and Deutsche Telekom who have complained a number of times that web companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook aren't as heavily regulated as the traditional telecom companies, despite the fact that they provide very similar services and have asked for the EU to extend the telecom-only rules to include these companies. As part of the changes, these internet-based services will have to guarantee the security of their services and will also need to report any breaches to authorities, as well as this, they will also need to have contingency plans and service continuity strategies. Nonetheless, the new changes do allow for some security requirements to be lighter for certain services.
Other changes that are being implemented is the requirement of emergency calls. Any service that uses a number or allows users to call a number will need to provide emergency calls under the new rules, meaning apps like Skype and Viber will need to comply with this under the proposed rules. Aside from these proposed new rules, the European Commission is also proposing that all European consumers receive the right to affordable basic broadband, allowing them to check emails and access online banking, something that means national governments will have to fund in order for everyone to receive coverage. As these plans are only proposals, they'll need to be approved by both the European Parliament and EU member states before it becomes a law, so expect some changes to be made to the proposals before they are approved.