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Coimisiún na Meán welcomes application of the EU Digital Services Act

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New EU rules will apply to online services from the 17th of February 2024.

Coimisiún na Meán, Ireland’s body for regulating broadcasters, on-demand services, and online media, and supporting media development, has today (16.02.2023) welcomed the imminent application of the EU Digital Services Act (DSA) which comes fully into force in Ireland and across the EU from tomorrow (17.02.2024). The DSA provides new rules for how online services deal with illegal content or apply their own rules.

The DSA, Online Safety and Media Regulation (OSMR) Act 2022 and the EU Terrorist Content Online Regulation (TCOR) come together to form Coimisiún na Meán’s overall Online Safety Framework. This Framework will make digital services accountable for how they protect people, especially children, from harm online and will be used to enforce rules about how online services deal with illegal or harmful content.

Coimisiún na Meán will open its user contact centre on February 19th 2024.The contact centre will provide advice to users on their rights under the Digital Services Act and gather intelligence that will inform An Coimisiún’s supervisory and enforcement activities. When users spot illegal content online, they should flag it to the platform, and the platform will have a duty to stop it.

Commenting, Executive Chairperson of Coimisiún na Meán, Jeremy Godfrey said: “The DSA will form a key part of Coimisiún na Meán’s Online Safety Framework. We will enforce the DSA, so that platforms are accountable for protecting users online, minimising children’s exposure to harmful content and upholding fundamental rights, including freedom of expression.”  

In addition, the DSA provides a framework for cooperation between the EU Commission and national regulatory authorities across Europe. Coimisiún na Meán is responsible for regulating services which have their EU headquarters in Ireland, and the European Commission plays a role in overseeing the largest platforms and search engines.

The Digital Service Commissioner John Evans said: “The DSA will empower people and civil society groups to hold platforms to account for dealing with illegal content. People should remember when they spot illegal content, to flag it, so the platform can stop it. We will engage with platforms large and small to ensure that they live up to their legal obligations. As Ireland’s Digital Services Coordinator, we look forward to working closely with the European Commission and our regulatory counterparts across Europe to ensure that these new rules drive improvements in online safety and ensure that people can continue to enjoy the benefits of being online.”