Europe getting 'Internet freedom' law

A major overhaul of telecommunications regulations tackles issues ranging from data-breach notification to faster number porting to Internet access.

David Meyer Special to CNET News.com

Europe is set to get a major overhaul of its telecommunications regulation, after the European Parliament and Council of Telecoms Ministers reached a compromise on the rights of Internet users.

The Telecoms Reform Package is a raft of new laws that tackle issues ranging from data-breach notification to faster number porting. Following an agreement reached on Wednesday night, the package will now become part of national legislation in every EU country, with a deadline of May 2011.

A sticking point in the package's progress had been a provision regarding "three strikes" laws targeting Internet users suspected of unlawful file-sharing of copyrighted material. But negotiations led to an "Internet freedom provision," which states that any measures taken by member states to limit Internet access or use must "respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and general principles of Community law."

Read more of "European 'internet freedom' law agreed at ZDNet UK.