June 18, 2024

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Technology – The Networks Agency threatens Internet platforms with heavy fines

Technology – The Networks Agency threatens Internet platforms with heavy fines

Federal Network Agency (archive), via DTS News Agency

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Bonn (dts news agency) – The Federal Network Agency announced painful fines for internet platforms that do not comply with new, stricter EU rules. “If we notice that someone is dangerous or that he deliberately and patiently ignores the rules, it becomes costly,” Klaus Müller, head of the Federal Network Agency, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper (Monday edition). “And we are not afraid of the big names.”

The Federal Network Agency was given an additional task in mid-May and is now responsible for implementing the EU law on digital services, the Digital Services Act (DSA) in Germany. The law requires online stores to investigate complaints about dangerous products and quickly remove them from their scope. Platforms like Facebook or X must quickly remove offensive content. Violations can result in fines of up to six percent of annual turnover. “This is very painful,” Mueller told the newspaper. “Sales are usually much higher than profits – that's what makes this sword so sharp.”

The head of the Bonn authority, which has nearly 3,000 employees, complained that many consumers feel more insecure online than outside the digital world: “Many of them have had bad experiences online. Their complaints about products or content have been ignored, or they have been tricked and deceived.” “. It's been manipulated,” he said. “We're making the Internet safer.”

However, the Federal Network Agency has so far received only 15 new positions for this comprehensive mission. Mueller said he hopes the federal government will intervene here. Ultimately, he feels that “many parties have expectations about what we should do – for example when it comes to the integrity of elections.”

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