What is the regulatory regime for technology?
Technology (3rd edition)
This Law of Republic of Armenia on Electronic communications (hereinafter the “Law”) prescribes the rights, obligations, and liability of the end-users, operators of public electronic communications networks, providers of public electronic communications services, operators of private electronic communications networks, and of public authorities, pertaining to regulation of the electronic communications sector, creation, development, and operation of electronic communications networks, and provision of electronic communications services, as well as state control and supervision over the allocation and use of limited resources such as radio frequencies, orbital slots and numbers.
The Law does not govern the relations pertaining to the electronic communications networks other than public electronic communications networks, except when there is a need to obtain an authorisation to use limited resources, or there exists a requirement to comply with the equipment certification conditions provided for by the Law, or there is a need to exercise the powers and rights of the competent authority with respect to emergencies specified in the Law.
The Law does not extend to electronic communications networks held, operated, and used exclusively by, or provided exclusively to the Government of the Republic of Armenia. This is subject to regulation special laws govern the respective activities of the Government.
The activates of the persons providing transmitted television and audio programme services are subject to regulation of the Law of the Republic of Armenia on Television and radio broadcasting․
The technology sector does not have a regulatory regime of its own. However there is a principal legal framework in the Dominican Republic comprised in the General Telecommunications Law No. 153-98, the Electronic Commerce, Documents and Digital Signatures under Law No. 126-02, the Access to Public Information Law No. 200-04, the Industrial Property Law No. 20-00, the Copyright Law No. 65-00, the Law against High Technology Crimes and Offenses No. 53-07 and Law No. 340-06 regarding the Purchases and Contracts of Goods and Services. This main legal framework aims to regulate the technology market of the country, under the supervision of several governmental agencies responsible for the application and enforcement of the abovementioned legislations.
Technology is a very broad sector; thus, it is regulated through different legislations, each covering a different aspect of technology.
In 1999, the New Commercial Code was passed by the Egyptian parliament (the “Commercial Code”). The Commercial Code introduced for the first time a complete regulation for transfer of technology.
Following the issuance of the Commercial Code, the Telecommunications Law was passed in 2003 under No. 10 of 2003, which restructured the telecommunications sector in Egypt.
Finally, the Electronic Signature Law No. 15 of 2004 (the “Signature Law”) was passed in 2004. The Signature Law laid the foundation for the establishment of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (the “ITIDA”).
During the last couple of years, Egypt has been witnessing intensive wave of legislations that have either direct or indirect effect on technology. The most material legislations are:
- Law No. 175 of 2018 for Fighting Cyber and IT Crimes (the "Cyber Crimes Law”); and
- Law No. 180 of 2018 regulating Press and Media (the “Press and Media Law”).
In addition to the above-mentioned legislations, please note that a number of legislations are currently under discussion, which have impact on technology in general; including:
- The Executive Regulations of the Press and Media Law;
- Executive regulations of the Cyber Crimes Law;
- Personal data protection law;
- Electronic transactions law; and
- Law regarding the General Authority for Transfer of Information.
Estonian Electronic Communications Act (hereinafter “ECA”), which came into force on 01.01.2005, regulates the (public) electronic communication networks ("(P)ECN"), as well as the provision of public electronic communication services ("(P)ECS"). In addition ECA provides also requirements for the management and use of radio frequencies and for the conduct of radiocommunication and management of the numbering resources, consisting of the allocation of numbering pursuant to the Estonian numbering plan and supervision over the use of numbering.
Electronic communications services are regulated firstly by EU law. The current "Telecoms Package" consists mainly of five directives dating back to 2002: Directives 2002/21/EC on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services, 2002/19/EC on access to and interconnection of electronic communications networks and associated facilities, 2002/20/EC on the authorisation of electronic communications networks and services, 2002/22/EC on universal service and users’ rights, and Directive 2002/58/EC concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector. These texts were amended in 2009 and have been supplemented by a variety of texts throughout the period to date, notably Regulation 2015/2020 enacting the principle of Net neutrality and laying down measures favoring open internet access.
Technology, as a general matter, is subject to a wide range of laws and regulations in the PRC. Aside from general and widely applicable laws such as the PRC Civil Code, the General Principles of Civil Law of the PRC and the PRC Criminal Law, a collection of laws govern various more specific aspects of technology, including:
- Intellectual property laws, e.g., the PRC Patent Law, PRC Copyright Law and PRC Anti-Unfair Competition Law (which covers trade secrets);
- Import and export laws (e.g., the Administrative Regulations on Technology Imports and Exports);
- Employment laws and regulations to the extent they govern matters such as work-for-hire and moral rights;
- National and local laws promoting certain aspects of technology (e.g., the PRC Law on Promoting the Transformation of Scientific and Technological Achievements);
- Various sector-specific laws and regulations, e.g., within the PRC telecoms and Internet sectors, the Telecommunications Regulations of the People’s Republic of China (Telecoms Regulations) promulgated by the State Council, the Catalog of Telecommunications Businesses (Catalog) issued by Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the PRC Cybersecurity Law promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, among others; and
- Where a foreign party is involved, the recently promulgated PRC Foreign Investment Law and the recently revised ‘Negative Lists’.
Cloud services, as well as OTT services, are not regulated in Israel. With respect to telco related services, the technology is regulated, mainly in the cellular sector, in a number of aspects, as follows:
(a) Telecom carriers, which have deployed their own network for the provision of their services, are required, to invest in new generation and advanced technologies. Moreover, one of the parameters which is considered when renewing a license, is the amount of investment made by the licensee attributable to the development and technological updates for its network. Currently, the regulator in Israel is formulating a policy for the implementation of 5G in the mobile sector and to expand the deployment of fibre optics throughout Israel, including in peripheral areas, while examining incentives for the operators in domestic fixed-lines, in order to encourage them to invest in upgrading their networks based upon advanced technology.
(b) With regard to wireless networks, such as the cellular networks, the licensee is required to operate the systems’ radio stations using only the frequency bands which have been specifically allocated to it and as such, the licensee is not allowed to sub-assign them or to enable any other party to use them.
(c) The licensee should comply with all the specifications prescribed by the regulator, together with all the related standards set out by the applicable international organizations, such as the ITU.
(d) The licensee will undoubtedly have a contractual engagement with the manufacturer of the equipment installed in the licensee's system, which will ensure the requisite degree of knowledge and experience required for the construction, operation and maintenance of the system and of any part thereof.
(e) Telecoms operators are subject to Net Neutrality requirements in order to enable consumers to access the Internet and to use any application available, regardless as to which network they are connected or what handset they are using.
(f) Telecoms facilities (e.g. transmitters, electricity facilities and cellular devices) that emit different types of non-ionizing radiation, such as radio radiation (RF), laser radiation and UV radiation, may be considered non-ionizing radiation sources, and as such are subject to provisions set under the Non-Ionizing Law-2006.
The Non-Ionizing Law requires the issuance of radiation permits by the Ministry of Environmental Protection for the construction and operation of a non-ionizing radiation source which is subject to payment of fees. An operation permit may be obtained only after the requirements set forth in the construction permit have been fulfilled. In most cases, the construction permit is granted for a period of several months and up to five years, and the operation permit is granted for 1 to 25 years depending on the type and location of the radiation source and additional considerations. The radiation permits may stipulate conditions regarding the permissible radiation levels, the implementation of measures for limiting exposure to radiation, the obligation to conduct radiation measurements and report the results, etc.
Communication networks and services are regulated by Legislative Decree 259/2003, the so-called Electronic Communications Code (the “ECC”). The ECC liberalised and harmonized, also under a regulatory perspective, the provision of electronic communication services and networks telecommunications as well as the convergence of all transmission networks and related services within a single regulatory framework.
See question 3.
There is no single authority which has an overarching purview on the regulatory regime for technology in Malaysia. The said regime is broadly governed by the following ministries and governmental agencies which have different and sometimes overlapping roles in regulating technology:
(a) The Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change (“MESTECC”) regulates exploring, developing and utilising science, technology and innovation to increase commercialization of technology, generate knowledge, create wealth, increase labour productivity, and ensure social wellbeing towards achieving a competitive, sustainable and inclusive high income economy;
(b) The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (“MCM”) regulates matters relating to information technology and is tasked with determining policies and regulations in respect of the same. The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn Bhd (“MDEC”), an agency established under the MCM, is responsible for developing, coordinating and promoting Malaysia’s digital economy, information and communications technology industry as well as to promote the adoption of digital technology amongst Malaysians;
(c) The Ministry of Finance (“MOF”) is tasked with the responsibility for government expenditure, revenue raising, developing economic policies and preparing the Malaysian federal budget. The MOF also oversees financial legislation and regulation. Various bodies under the auspices of the MOF have significant regulatory purview over financial technology in Malaysia, such as the Securities Commission Malaysia (“SC”) which regulates digital asset exchanges and initial coin offerings in Malaysia, and the Central Bank of Malaysia / Bank Negara Malaysia (“BNM”) which issues currency, acts as banker and adviser to the Malaysian government and also regulates financial technology activities involving banking, investment banking, insurance or takaful, money changing, remittance, operating a payment system or issuing payment instrument businesses In Malaysia.
There is no single regulatory regime for technology in Malta. The following pieces of legislation (along with relative subsidiary legislation) regulate various aspects of the technological sphere:
- the Malta Communications Authority Act (Chapter 418, Laws of Malta);
- the Electronic Communications (Regulation) Act (Chapter 399, Laws of Malta);
- the Data Protection Act (Chapter 586, Laws of Malta);
- the Electronic Commerce Act (Chapter 426, Laws of Malta);
- the Virtual Financial Assets Act (Chapter 590, Laws of Malta);
- the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act (Chapter 591, Laws of Malta); and
- the Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act (Chapter 592, Laws of Malta).
Telecommunications networks and services are subject to access and network security regulation – but no licences or authorisations are required to provide telecommunications services in New Zealand.
The Telecommunications Act 2001 ("Telecommunications Act") regulates telecommunications services. Certain designated services (such as the unbundled local loop and unbundled bitstream access) are subject to access regulation, under which the Commerce Commission ("Commission") can set standard terms of supply – including prices. The regime covers copper network and mobile telecommunications services.
Following recent amendments to the Telecommunications Act, the Commission is working to establish a new regulatory regime for ultra-fast broadband ("UFB") fibre networks, modelled on "building blocks" regulation used for other utilities. Chorus (the owner of the majority of the UFB fibre network infrastructure in New Zealand) will be subject to price-quality regulation for its regulated fibre services, and other local fibre companies will be subject to information disclosure regulation. The regime is expected to be implemented by 1 January 2022. In the meantime, UFB services (including prices) are governed by contracts between the Crown and service providers.
Telecommunications network operators have obligations to maintain interception capability and network security under the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act 2013 ("TICSA"). Under TICSA, network operators are required to notify the Government Communications Security Bureau ("GCSB") of any changes that could present a security risk, and the GCSB and Ministers have powers to prevent proposed changes if they believe there is a significant security risk.
Radiocommunications are regulated separately under the Radiocommunications Act 1989 ("Radiocommunications Act") and the Radiocommunications Regulations 2001 ("Radiocommunications Regulations"), whereby it is unlawful to transmit radio waves without an appropriate licence. Licensing is managed by Radio Spectrum Management ("RSM").
The regulatory regime for technology in Indonesia covers matters relating to the technology infrastructure as well as the contents transmitted through the infrastructure. On the infrastructure side, Indonesia has enacted laws and regulation on telecommunication, broadcasting, internet service provider, and satellite communication. Each regulation typically governs the provisions of the service through the infrastructure, requirements of a provider, and licensing regime.
The umbrella law for content-related matter is Law No. 11 of 2008 concerning Electronic and Information Transaction (as amended by Law No. 19 of 2016) (“Law 11/2008”). Over the past few years the Indonesian government has been active in formulating laws and regulations to regulate internet/electronic content. Among those regulations are Personal Data Protection Act, regulation on e-Commerce, and regulation on Over-The-Top (OTT). Some of them are expected to be enacted soon within this year.
The primary government institution in this sector is Ministry of Communication and Informatics ("MCI"). MCI has a key role in implementing, supervising, and issuing technology-related regulations in Indonesia. MCI also plays consultative role where it is usually asked by regulatory bodies from other sectors to advise and give input in formulating policy in that sector.
Other regulatory bodies may also issue and implement regulations in its respective sector. For example, the Indonesian Financial Service Authority and Bank of Indonesia have the authority to supervise and issue regulations pertaining to financial technology sector in Indonesia. Likewise, other ministries such as Ministry of Health and Ministry of Transportation may also regulate and supervise the services offered through technology in health and transportation sector.
Lastly, as an intellectual creation, technology may enjoy protection from the Indonesian intellectual property laws. Intellectual property matters are generally under the authority of Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
The regime relating to the operational aspect of technology is primarily regulated by two regulators; (i) the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (the “PTA”) established under the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organisation) Act, 1996 (the “PTA Act”) and; (ii) the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (the “PEMRA”) established under the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Ordinance, 2002 (the “PEMRA Ordinance”).
PTA has the mandate to regulate the establishment, operation and maintenance of telecommunication systems and the provision of the telecommunication services in Pakistan, which are regulated in terms of the PTA Act and the rules, regulations and guidelines framed thereunder (the “PTA Laws”).
PEMRA has the mandate to regulate the establishment and operation of all broadcast media and distribution services, which are regulated in terms of the PEMRA Ordinance and the rules and regulations framed thereunder (the “PEMRA Laws”).
In Romania, technology is regulated under many different laws. As such, technology companies are to observe several different sets of legislation.
Activities in all subsectors are regulated by a mix of dedicated legislation (e.g. telecommunications legislation, online platforms legislation, software copyright legislation etc.) and legislation that is not specific only to them (e.g. consumer protection, manufacturer’s liability, intellectual property, competition, civil law, media legislation, etc.).
Newer technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, big data, crypto currencies, social media, autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things etc., raise issues for which existing legislation does not always provide solutions. That is not to say, however, that they are completely deregulated.
As mentioned above, where dedicated legislation does not exist, general laws may still provide the answers to many questions. Nonetheless, given the complexity of the topic, question marks remain in many cases as regards the exact manner in which the various regulations and other public authorities, courts of law and arbitration tribunals will read and apply older legislation to new technologies.
The Telecommunications Business Act (“TBA”) regulates various aspects of the telecommunications and information services that are provided over a telecommunications network.
The Radio Waves Act regulates, among others, the use and management of radio spectrum, the establishment and operation of radio stations, and the management of related broadcasting and telecommunications transmission equipment.
The Broadcasting Act regulates the broadcasting business (i.e., terrestrial broadcasting, cable TV services, satellite broadcasting, and broadcasting content programming services), while the Internet Multimedia Broadcast Services Act regulates IPTV services (provided over broadband networks). Currently, the Korean National Assembly is deliberating on the possible enactment of a new law merging all existing broadcasting services-related laws -- i.e., (i) the Broadcasting Act, (ii) the Internet Multimedia Broadcast Services Act, and (iii) the Special Act on Assistance in Development of Regional Broadcasting. Once the law is enacted, the name of the new law will be the “Integrated Broadcasting Act.”
The Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilisation and Information Protection (“Network Act”) regulates, among other things, the use of personal information carried over telecommunications networks.
Please see references to relevent legislation below.
The regulatory regime for technology in Taiwan is quite diversified. On the technology development policy, the Ministry of Science and Technology is the primary regulator in charge of the nation’s science and technology development and fostering projects in scientific and technological research pursuant to the Fundamental Science and Technology Act.
On product or industrial regulations of the tech industries or businesses, these are mainly regulated under the statutes or regulations governing each different industrial sector, such as the telecommunications, bio-tech, agriculture, electronic consumer products, etc. Meanwhile, there are certain general statutes governing all tech industries universally, such as the Consumer Protection Act, the Personal Data Protection Act, the Fair Trade Act (the competition statute of Taiwan), etc.
There are regulatory frameworks regulating various aspects of technology in Turkey. Law No. 5809 (Electronic Communications Law) is the main legislation in Turkey regulating electronic communications and electronic communication services. Law No. 6563 on Regulation of Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce Law) regulates the principles and obligations regarding electronic commerce activities. Law No. 5651 on Regulation of Broadcasts via Internet and Prevention of Crimes Committed through Such Broadcasts (Law No. 5651) regulate take-down procedures, principles of content liability, rights and responsibilities of the internet actors.
See answers to the questions below.
There is no regime in the U.S. that regulates technology per se. Technology and related technical information is subject to export control laws, including the Export Administration Regulations and the International Traffic in Arms regulations. Sectoral regulation applies to certain technologies. For example, computer systems used for activities regulated under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDA Act) must meet the system validation requirements set forth in FDA regulations. Providers of certain technology services (fixed or mobile telecommunication networks) are regulated by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).