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Law implementing the European Electronic Communications Code – contested provisions

Currently, the draft law transposing into national legislation the European Electronic Communications Code (Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018) is approaching the moment of the final vote in the Romanian Senate. The bill has already been voted in the Chamber of Deputies in December 2021. Details on the Senate website:

https://www.senat.ro/legis/lista.aspx?nr_cls=L532&an_cls=2021

The bill is very important bill and needs to be passed as soon as possible, but the industry and civil society have found that – in addition to the provisions transposing the European directive – harmful or at least inappropriate provisions have been mingled into the draft. Below is the content of a letter sent by ANISP to Senate in an attempt to correct the harmful aspects:

Ladies and gentlemen, members of the Senate

The National Association of Internet Service Providers in Romania (abbreviated ANISP), having its registered office in Calea Floreasca no. 169, building X, ground floor, sector 1, Bucharest, tel./fax: 021-316.10.33, e-mail: office /at/ anisp.ro, registered […],
We respectfully ask you to take all the measures available to you as senators in the Romanian Parliament,

to remove and / or amend the following provisions of the draft law to improve and supplement regulations in the field of electronic communications and to establish measures facilitating the development of electronic communications networks, (we submit our comments on the form available today, the 11th of February, 2022, a form that received a number of amendments in the specialized committees – on top of the form adopted by the Chamber of Deputies):
”28. After Article 10, two new Articles, Articles 10^1 and 10^2, are inserted with the following wording:
..
In Article 10^2, paragraph 1 is amended to read as follows:
(1) Providers of electronic hosting services using IP resources have the obligation to support law enforcement bodies and bodies with responsibilities in the field of national security within the limits of their competences, for the implementation of technical supervision methods or authorization acts provided in accordance with the provisions of Law no. 135/2010 on the Code of Criminal Procedure, as subsequently amended and supplemented, and of Law no. 51/1991 on national security, republished, with subsequent amendments and completions, respectively:
a. to allow the legal interception of communications, including to bear the related costs;
– unchanged (n.n.: unchanged from the form adopted by the Chamber of Deputies. ANISP observation: Transferring any costs, arbitrarily, without limits – to service providers is an abuse. The phrase “including to bear the related costs” should be deleted.)
b. to grant, at the request of the authorized bodies, under the conditions of this law, the decrypted content of communications transited in their own networks (ANISP observation: This provision conflicts with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure. According art. 38 CCP, para. (1), points (a) and (j), interception and obtaining of traffic data are “special methods of surveillance.” Then, according to Article 170 CCP:
(1) If there is a reasonable suspicion as to the preparation or commission of an offense and there are grounds for believing that an object or document may serve as evidence, the prosecuting authority or the court may disposes of the natural or legal person in whose possession it is to present and deliver them, under proof.
(2) Also, under the conditions of par. (1), the criminal investigation body or the court may order that:…
b) any provider of public electronic communications networks or providers of electronic communications services intended for the public to communicate certain data concerning subscribers, users and the services provided, under its control, other than the content of communications and those provided in art. 138 para. (1) lit. j). [contradiction!]
It is also generally technically impossible for providers to decrypt encrypted communications that pass through their network. The expression “decrypted content” implies that the content has been encrypted by an entity, and the provider should have decryption solutions that may not even be available to the most powerful intelligence agencies in the world.
Such a provision makes sense only if the provider of the communications service is also the one who provides encryption services, but even in this case there is no certainty of the technical possibility.
It should also be noted that “providers of electronic hosting services with IP resources” often do not have a network, but only physical or virtual server(s), so “communications transited in their own networks” might make no sense. );

c. to provide the information retained or stored regarding traffic data, identification data of subscribers or customers, payment methods and access history with the related time points;
– unchanged (n.n. unchanged from the form adopted by the Chamber of Deputies. ANISP observation: These activities must be carried out within the limits allowed by Law 506/2004, which requires the deletion and / or anonymisation of traffic data. See also Decision 440/2014 of the Constitutional Court of Of Romania, repealing Law 82/2012 for similar provisions (general and disproportionate – in contradiction with both the Romanian Constitution and the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 8 April 2014, in related cases C-293/12 – Digital Rights Ireland Ltd v Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources and Others – and C-594/12 – Karntner Landesregierung and Others).
d. is deleted.
(2) The obligations provided in par. (1) lit. a) – c) shall apply accordingly to providers of electronic communications networks or services. (ANISP remark: this provision also conflicts with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure – see note to paragraph (1), letter b) above)
(3) Providers of electronic hosting services with IP resources and providers of interpersonal communications services not based on numbers are required to provide information within 60 days of the start of the provision of services. ANCOM containing at least the following:
a) the identification data of the supplier;
b) the contact details of the supplier;
c) the type of electronic hosting service provided.
(4) ANCOM publishes on its website the types of electronic hosting services for which the providers of electronic hosting services with IP resources have the obligations provided by this article.
(5) Any modification of the data transmitted according to par. (3) shall be communicated to ANCOM within 10 days from the date of occurrence of the event.
(6) ANCOM’s decision may establish that the information provided in par. (3) has to be made in a certain format. ” (ANISP observation: points 3, 4, 5 and 6 infringe Article 4 of Directive 2000/31 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on aspects of information society services: Article 4 – Principle of exclusion of prior authorization – ( 1. Member States shall ensure that access to and operation of the information service provider’s activity cannot be subject to prior authorization or any other requirement having equivalent effect. )


In conclusion, we consider that provisions such as those proposed in art. 10^2 above should not be included in the law transposing the European Code of Electronic Communications. These provisions must be exposed to a real public debate, they must be correlated with the legislation on personal data protection, with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, with the provisions of the decisions of the Constitutional Court, with other applicable normative acts and only subsequently introduced in the Code of Criminal Procedure as an extension of the existing provisions (already applicable to service providers and electronic communications networks) to providers of electronic hosting services with IP resources.

Legislative proposal on high speed Internet access throughout Romania

According a press release published on the website of the Chamber of Deputies, received from deputies George Cristian Tuţă and Ioan Sabin Sărmaş (PNL Parliamentary Group), a legislative proposal named “Internet for all of Romania!” was filed.

<<Deputies George Tuţă and Sabin Sărmaş submitted today the legislative initiative through which “Romanians have the right to be guaranteed access to at least one functional fixed broadband internet service”.

As MPs, we have an obligation to create legislation to support economic developments in an increasingly computerized future, and for the Internet to be defined as a universal service. We want Romania to join other countries, which are already on the path of development offered by this global communications network. We are confident that this law, which has been signed with us by another 130 senators and deputies from all parliamentary parties, will be adopted as soon as possible.

Why do we need a law to define the Internet as a universal service? Being defined by law as a universal service, the Internet will be available at high speeds for all Romanians, regardless of where they live in the country, for all businesses that are interested in access, but also for all state institutions. Thus, we will take a new step to simplify and make transparent the relationship between the state and the citizens.

The legislative initiative submitted refers to the fixed point internet, through fiber optics, necessary for the evolution of isolated communities, most of them disadvantaged. Moreover, the pandemic has shown us that some of the jobs can be kept if the activity goes online. Our goal is to enable a range of services over the Internet – where they do not exist today: online learning, telemedicine, video communications, electronic payments or internet banking. Romania must follow this path, if we want to be among the winners of the new era of the knowledge-based economy.

Also, this law’s necessity is given by the implementation of the PNRR, through which very large sums will be invested for the digitalization of Romania. Yes, the future means internet connections for all of Romania.>>

The text of the proposal can be viewed at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1vFnru98kWYO9n3HR3uHbNfjf0dhC2Xas

ANISP receives new members – Global Host 23

Global Host 23 SRL company based in Craiova, Dolj County, represented by Mr. Bogdan Bucea, Administrator – became a member of ANISP.

Global Host 23, also known under its brand name ”Host23”, offers colocation, hosting and peering services (AS47540) in its own data center located in 5 Popoveni Street, Craiova.

More details in the company’s website – https://host23.ro/

EXE Green Holding joins ANISP

EXE Green Holding, represented by Mr. Adrian Tudor, CTO, joined ANISP.

About the company: EXE Green Holding is a young, innovative team passionate about the energy efficiency sector. It operates in fields such as Electrical / Automation / SCADA / BMS / Smart City and Telecommunications. Member of the Romanian National Lighting Committee, the company has rapidly developed and has become one of the leading companies in the market in terms of providing energy efficiency solutions and LED lighting, offering energy efficiency solutions for any field of activity and for any budget.

EXE Green Holding puts customers’ energy efficiency and budget needs first – in order to provide the best solutions for the money. The destination of the project, its location, the necessary level of lighting are taken into account in order to select the best solutions, with the aid of a specialized software program, satisfying the requirements of the most demanding customers.

The company ensures both the implementation and maintenance of projects, having very diverse customers – from small and medium enterprises to multinationals, according to the published portfolio.

ZTE Romania became member of ANISP

ZTE Romania – the local subsidiary of ZTE, one of the world leaders in the telecommunications solutions and equipments market, joined ANISP, desiring to improve its collaboration with the business environment as well as to get involved – together with other members – in solving the challenges faced by the IT&C ecosystem.

About ZTE: Founded in 1985 and listed on both the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges, the company has been committed to providing innovative technologies and integrated solutions for global operators, government and enterprise, and consumers from over 160 countries across the globe. Serving over 1/4 of the global population, the company is dedicated to enabling connectivity and trust everywhere for a better future.

ZTE has complete end-to-end product lines and integrated solutions in the telecommunications industry. Bolstered with its all series of wireless, wireline, services, devices and professional telecommunications services, the company has great capability of flexibly satisfying the diversified requirements and pursuit for rapid innovations of global operators and government and enterprise network customers.

ZTE believes in technology innovation as a core value of the company, investing more than 10% of annual revenue in its R&D. The company has established state-of-the-art global R&D centres in USA, Sweden, China and so forth, and has filed applications for more than 80,000 patents, with over 38,000 granted. Since 2010, ZTE has been ranked among the world’s Top-5 for patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) each year, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization.

With a vision of balanced, sustainable development in the social, environmental and economic arenas, the company promotes freedom of communication around the world. It has incorporated innovation, technological convergence and the concept of “going green” into its product life cycle, covering specifically R&D, production, logistics and customer service. Also, the company is also committed to maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing carbon emissions.

As a member of the United Nations Global Compact and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, ZTE has published the Sustainability Report/Corporate Social Responsibility Report for 12 consecutive years starting 2009. According to Research Report on Corporate Social Responsibility of China 2018 issued by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, ZTE ranks among the top 100 in terms of Social Development Index. Moreover, the company has been included among the FTSE4Good Index Series for second consecutive year since 2018.

International Telecommunication and Information Society Day

The Digital Transformation Council is honored to invite you on May 17, 2021, 10:00 a.m., to the virtual conference dedicated to the International Day of Telecommunications and the Information Society.

Accelerating the digital transformation in Romania. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the urgency of accelerating the digital transformation, by boosting the objectives of the ITU’s Connect 2030 Agenda, without leaving anyone behind.

The digital transformation determines the improvement of the experience of each citizen and the change of the way the business is done. It increases the quality of life and ensures well-being by pursuing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The factors driving these changes range from increasingly diverse technologies to new business models, with the goal of delivering personalized services, encouraging the reduction of paper consumption and cash payments.
All countries should have a national digital agenda, policy, strategy, legislation or policy statement that identifies and lists their national goals in relation to digital transformation and how to act to achieve it. National policies can help establish a clear vision of national infrastructure and connectivity. They can set principles and priorities that help define mechanisms to expand connectivity, while building online protection and safeguards for the most vulnerable members of society.

Message from Mr. Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General
“The information society has emerged as one of the main lines of defense against the COVID-19. In this decisive year, ITU will use World Telecommunication and Information Society Day to unite the world in pursuit of digital transformation in every area of ​​business and in all aspects of life. We would like to hear your success stories, but also about your challenges and lessons learned.”

Participating / speakers:

CătălinMARINESCUHEAD, STRATEGY & PLANNING DIVISIONITU
VictorNEGRESCUEUROPARLAMENTARPARLAMENTUL EUROPEAN
IosifPOPAŞEF DEPARTAMENT STRATEGIE ŞI DATE STATISTICEANCOM
FlorinaTĂNASELEGAL AND CORPORATE AFFAIRS DIRECTORTELEKOM ROMANIA
AlexandruPETRESCUEx-MINISTRUMINISTERUL COMUNICAŢIILOR ŞI SOCIETĂŢII INFORMAŢIONALE
MarianMURGULEŢPREŞEDINTE C.ASNR-RADIOCOM
CodruţSĂVULESCUEXECUTIVE SOLUTION MANAGERHUAWEI
MarianVELICUCO-FONDATOR & PREȘEDINTE BOARDBENEFITO MOBILE
DanBOABEŞCo-FONDATORCITYLINK
TiberiuGÎNDUDIRECTOR EXECUTIVANISP
ElenaANTONEACFONDATOR & CEOXPATH GLOBAL
EugenSCHWAB-CHESARUVICEPREŞEDINTEPAC
NicolaeOACĂANALIST TELECOM 
IonVACIUPREŞEDINTE / MODERATORDIGITAL TRANSFORMATION COUNCIL
RoxanaONEAREDACTOR ŞEFREVISTA COMUNICAŢII MOBILE

Details: https://comunic.ro/ziua-int-telecom-soc-info/

Opticnet Serv Joined ANISP

Opticnet Serv (https://www.opticnet.ro/) registered in Ploiești, PH, represented by Mr. Sebastian Roman, Director – joined ANISP.

OpticNet is an IT&C company founded in 2004 upon the liberalization of the electronic communications market and is one of the first companies in Romania to launch, starting 2005, internet services through access to the local loop (ADSL, VDSL).

Main object of activity: 6110 – Telecommunications

Products and services: Internet Business, data transmission, telephony, hosting, cloud computing, domain registrations, video streaming (live and on-demand), LIR

Trademarks: DUCADU (European registered trademark)

Websites: opticnet.ro, ducadu.com, livestream.ro

Certificates: ISO 9001, ISO 27001

Urban Network Solutions joined ANISP

Urban Network Solutions (http://www.07internet.ro), a company registered in Năvodari, Constanța County, became a member of ANISP.

The company was founded in early 2017 (but the team has over 20 years of experience in providing electronic communications networks and services) and its main object of activity is provisioning of IT services and consulting.

Urban Network Solutions operates its own underground fiber optic network of over 2000 km, aerial network of over 10,000 km and wireless covering up to 80 km around its base stations.

Types of services:

  1. Enterprise – flexible services with capacity up to n x 10Gbs or n x 40Gbs – Internet, data transmissions, leased lines, VPN;
  2. Wholesale – flexible services with capacities up to n x 100Gbps – IP Transit, Leased Lines, MPLS, VPN, SDH or IP;
  3. Home Users – capacities up to 10Gbps in PON technology;
  4. ICT – Hosting, Colocation, Cloud, Software, Security, CCTV or IP surveillance, Data Center;
  5. LIR.

Huawei Romania became ANISP’s member

Huawei Romania, a leading company both in the Romanian telecommunications environment and worldwide, became a member of ANISP, emphasizing the desire to get more involved both in the initiatives and problems of the industry, as well as in social responsibility projects.

About Huawei:

Huawei is a global provider of infrastructure and smart devices for information and communication technology (ICT). With integrated solutions in four key areas – telecommunications networks, IT, smart devices and cloud services – we are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected and smart world.

Huawei’s complete portfolio of products, solutions and services is competitive and secure. Through open collaboration with ecosystem partners, we create lasting value for our customers by investing in people’s digital connectivity, smart home development and innovation in organizations of all shapes and sizes.

At Huawei, innovation focuses on customer needs. We invest a lot in basic research, focusing on the technological discoveries that are constantly developing the world. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a privately held company wholly owned by its employees. We have over 194,000 employees globally and operate in over 170 countries and regions. In 2003, Huawei set up the Romanian subsidiary, which currently has over 2,100 employees and cooperates with all major telecommunications operators.

Since entering the Romanian market, Huawei has contributed significantly to the national economy by supporting thousands of jobs directly and indirectly and by a contribution to GDP of over 200 million euros / year. Indirectly, the company has created over 4,100 more jobs in its supply chain and continues to serve both its local customers, having strong partnerships with the four main telecom operators in Romania, and regional customers.

Over time, the company has created an ecosystem of specialists, by supporting the activity and continuous professional development of Romanian engineers. Huawei invests between $ 3 billion and $ 5 billion annually in research and innovation, and at European level has contributed to the development of 23 research institutions in 12 countries and is a key contributor to the digitization process. As one of the leaders in the 5G industry, Huawei is always ready to offer new technologies to facilitate digital transformation in society.

Huawei supports more than 50,000 enterprise customers worldwide, and in the process of digital transformation collaborates with 228 customers on the Fortune Global 500 list. In Shenzhen, Huawei has helped more than 1,800 companies implement digital transformation in the financial, transportation fields. , production, electricity, education and health.

As a social involvement, Huawei focuses its efforts mainly on supporting education, by providing access to connectivity and knowledge related to the latest available technologies. Thus, in 2020 the company launched a program to connect the Internet to schools in rural areas, to support the education of children in Romania and the development of digital skills of teachers and students. Also last year, Huawei offered scholarships for university professors. Huawei also came to the aid of those on the front lines in the fight against the pandemic by donating equipment and masks.

A considerable part of Huawei’s efforts are aimed at promoting the widespread use of renewable resources around the world. By integrating information technology with photovoltaic systems, Huawei is committed to improving solar power generation by increasing energy efficiency by 3% compared to traditional solutions.

Prioritization of vaccination for the personnel exposed to the risk of contacting COVID-19

ANISP supports the AOMR initiative to include exposed personnel in the telecom industry on the list of immunization priorities. To this end, the following request was sent to the Government and the National Steering Committee for Activities on Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2:

Dear Prime Minister,
Dear Sirs,

In this week’s government meeting, Government Decision 12/2021 was approved, which introduces additional population categories in the second stage of the national vaccination campaign against SARS-CoV-2.

Thus, our recent request to include the technical intervention staff – own and subcontracted – in the second stage of vaccination has not yet been solved.

Thus, we want to reiterate the arguments for which, in our opinion, it is absolutely necessary that certain categories of employees of communications operators must fall into this priority category. These are the technical teams that ensure the installation and maintenance of electronic communications networks – from critical levels for the operation of networks, to household-level connections. These people come in daily contact with many people by the nature of the operations carried out.

The activity of electronic communications represents an essential field of modern life, without which it is not possible to carry out in normal conditions the social life even in the period before the declaration of states of emergency / alert and even more so in this period when electronic communications services have has been a vital support for the conduct of economic, social, public institutions and authorities activities as follows:

Fixed telephony and mobile telephony services serve both the population and the institutions and authorities included in the second stage of vaccination. We further mention the main areas and applications that can only work to the extent that the telephony services of electronic communications operators are functional:

  • the 112 emergency service, the Ro-alert service, technically managed by the Special Telecommunications Service, are based on the infrastructure of the telephony operators, without which they cannot operate,
  • telephone scheduling for vaccination, as well as ensuring communication between people in isolation / quarantine and health authorities, family doctors, specialists is carried out through telephone services,
  • any public authority has phone lines in order to ensure communication between citizens and each authority, telephone communication or by alternative means being recommended by the authorities during this period as long as the social / physical distance is necessary.

The internet access service serves both the population and the institutions and authorities included in the second stage of vaccination. We further mention the main areas and applications that can only work to the extent that the internet access service of electronic communications operators is functional:

  • Online scheduling for vaccination
  • Submission of tax returns by taxpayers
  • Teleconferences / videoconferences of Romanian state officials with European or other state officials
  • Payment of fees, taxes through various applications of banks, as well as through the application ghișeul.ro
  • Operation of cash registers of economic agents
  • Payment to traders / economic agents through POS
  • Issuance of reimbursed or free medical prescriptions
  • Making various online orders by citizens
  • Public auctions through SEAP
  • Online schooling
  • Remote working imposed as a legal obligation for employers during the state of alert/emergency
  • Many other applications

The retransmission service of television programs (cable or satellite television – DTH) is the main way in which the population receives the program services of the Romanian Television Company, as well as the other program services of private television in Romania included in the second stage of vaccination.

We also reiterate the request to include in the same stage of vaccination the front-line commercial staff of electronic communications operators, i.e. the staff serving the stores where direct receipts are made from customers who cannot use remote payment methods.

Vaccination of the above two categories at this stage would not only provide their own protection, but would also reduce the potential risk of spreading the disease further.

Accordingly, please order the necessary steps to amend Annex Government Decision 1031/2020 to Subchapter 2, point C, para. 2, point b, point iii as follows:

“Communications, namely the Special Telecommunications Service, national radio and television, the own and subcontracted technical intervention staff of electronic communications operators, as well as their commercial staff working in direct contact with the public.”

We continue to assure you of our full collaboration, thank you.

Sincerely,

Orange Romania SA
Vodafone Romania SA
Telekom Romania Mobile Communications SA
RCS – RDS SA
The National Association of Internet Service Providers in Romania (ANISP)

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