Thursday, 21 January 2021

Questions (14)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

14. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the transposition of the EU electronic communications code; if the directive will be transposed prior to a temporary derogation that is currently subject to a rapid agreement at trilogue on a final text; his views on the concerns expressed by persons (details supplied) in regard to a lack of derogation and its consequences on the production and circulation of child sexual abuse material; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3024/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

My Department has been working to implement the new EU Communications Code. The transposition process has included extensive and ongoing engagement with relevant key stakeholders, including industry, the Regulator and the European Commission. In keeping with that stakeholder engagement, my Department has shared the text for the end user rights element with industry which is available to view on gov.ie. Following the expected finalisation of the draft text in the coming weeks, my Department will publish the full text in a public consultation. The text will then be finalised having considered submissions received, following which the European Commission will be notified of the transposition. It is expected that transposition will be completed in late Q1 or very early Q2.

Separately, work is ongoing at trilogue level to agree a temporary derogation to the ePrivacy Directive to ensure that number-independent interpersonal communications services can continue to detect and report child sexual abuse material online. Ireland has been very vocal about the need to ensure that the proposed ePrivacy Regulation does not inhibit this vital work continuing. Ireland is supportive of the derogation and looks forward to these negotiations being concluded as soon as possible.