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EU leaders consider tougher taxation of online service providers

Jennifer Baker | Oct. 24, 2013
European Union leaders will meet to discuss the digital economy for the first time on Thursday.

However this is the same Council that slashed a budget for extending broadband networks to underserved parts of Europe, the Connecting Europe Facility, by €8 billion last April.

Finally the Council will probably have to address data protection and the international spying scandal.

A landmark vote on the reform of Europe's data protection laws took place on Monday opening the way for the European Parliament to begin discussions with the Council about the new Data Protection Regulation.

Members of the European Parliament including Sophie In't Veld and Jan Philipp Albrecht have called on Council leaders to take action on the alleged mass surveillance of E.U. citizens' data by the U.S. National Security Agency.

Many national leaders are likely to shy away from dealing with this, but France will want to discuss it following recent claims that the NSA spied on millions of phone calls in France.

Following allegations that the NSA had also spied on European citizens financial transactions, Parliament voted on Wednesday that the E.U. should withdraw from the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, an agreement to share financial data with U.S. authorities. Parliament's vote will make it harder for the national leaders to avoid the issue.

 

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