Over the last year we have seen increasing interest from our global client base in investing in strategic, transformational technology transactions with European counterparties.  These transactions often facilitate access to key technologies, geographies and, of course, data.  In this note we set out 6 key points to keep in mind when planning, negotiating and executing these types of transactions across Europe.

Continue Reading Strategic Technology Transactions in Europe – Considerations for U.S. and Global Companies

On June 4, 2020, Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16), and Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11) introduced the National AI Research Resource Task Force Act.  This bipartisan bill would create a task force to propose a roadmap for developing and sustaining a national research cloud for AI.  The cloud would help provide researchers with access to computational resources and large-scale datasets to foster the growth of AI.

“AI is shaping our lives in so many ways, but the true potential of it to improve society is still being discovered by researchers,” explained Rep. Eshoo. “I’m proud to introduce legislation that reimagines how AI research will be conducted by pooling data, compute power, and educational resources for researchers around our country.  This legislation ensures that our country will retain our global lead in AI.”


Continue Reading Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Create National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource Task Force

On 19 February 2020, the European Commission presented its long-awaited strategies for data and AI.  These follow Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s commitment upon taking office to put forward legislative proposals for a “coordinated European approach to the human and ethical implications of AI” within the new Commission’s first 100 days.  Although the papers published this week do not set out a comprehensive EU legal framework for AI, they do give a clear indication of the Commission’s key priorities and anticipated next steps.

The Commission strategies are set out in four separate papers—two on AI, and one each on Europe’s digital future and the data economy.  Read together, it is clear that the Commission seeks to position the EU as a digital leader, both in terms of trustworthy AI and the wider data economy.


Continue Reading AI Update: European Commission Presents Strategies for Data and AI (Part 1 of 4)

On 29 March 2019, the ICO opened the beta phase of the “regulatory sandbox” scheme (the “Sandbox”), which is a new service designed to support organizations that are developing innovative and beneficial projects that use personal data.  The application process for participating in the Sandbox is now open, and applications must be submitted to the ICO by noon on Friday 24 May 2019. The ICO has published on its website a Guide to the Sandbox, which explains the scheme in detail.

The purpose of the Sandbox is to support organizations that are developing innovative products and services using personal data and develop a shared understanding of what compliance looks like in particular innovative areas.  Organizations participating in the Sandbox are likely to benefit from having the opportunity to liaise directly with the regulator on innovative projects with complex data protection issues. The Sandbox will also be an opportunity for market leaders in innovative technologies to influence the ICO’s approach to certain use cases with challenging aspects of data protection compliance or where there is uncertainty about what compliance looks like.
Continue Reading ICO opens beta phase of privacy “regulatory sandbox”

MongoDB, the developer of a popular document-oriented distributed database server by the same name, has updated the open source license that applies to versions of its software published after October 16, 2018.

Previously, the MongoDB software was licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License v.3 (“AGPLv3”), which is a “strong copyleft” license. Strong copyleft licenses, among other things, require that the source code for the licensed software (including any modifications) be made available to the public, typically when the software is distributed to third parties. AGPLv3 goes further than other strong copyleft licenses in that the obligation to make source code available is triggered not only when the software is distributed, but also when it is accessed over a computer network, such as the Internet.

In an apparent response to attempts by users of MongoDB to architect their services so as to avoid the obligation to make their source code modifications available under AGPLv3, MongoDB has created a modified version of AGPLv3 (see here for a redline comparison) with broader disclosure and licensing obligations. The new license is called the Server Side Public License v.1 (“SSPLv1”).


Continue Reading Understanding MongoDB’s New Copyleft Open Source License

The UK House of Lords Select Committee on Communications has recently opened a Public Consultation on ‘The Regulation of the Internet’, with submissions being accepted until Friday 11 May. The Call for Evidence can be accessed here.

The nine questions posed are relatively broad in scope, including: whether there is a need to introduce

On 20 November, Covington hosted its webinar looking at developments in Net Neutrality and Zero-rating from both a US and a European perspective. Our presenters included ex-FCC Bureau Chief, Partner Matt DelNero from our DC office, and ex-DG Competition Head of Unit, Partner Kevin Coates and Senior Associate Siobhan Kahmann from our Brussels office. The

On March 29, the American Chamber of Commerce in China (“AmCham China”) released its 15th annual Business Climate Survey.  This year, AmCham China polled 325 of its members, most of which are U.S. companies operating in China.  According to AmCham China’s Chairman, this year’s results reflect “expectations for growth” tempered with “a more conservative

On 14 February 2013, ENISA announced the release of a new report titled “Critical Cloud Computing – A CIIP Perspective on Cloud Computing Services”. The report sets out new cyber-security measures for cloud providers and users to implement when protecting “CII systems” against outages, disruptions and cyber-attacks.  “CII systems” are described as IT systems that are either a) critical infrastructure themselves (such as e-health platforms), or b) essential for the operation of other critical infrastructures (such as emergency call centres).

The report, which complements existing cyber-security and critical infrastructure documents published by the EU and Commission, including the Commission’s CIIP Action Plan and the EU’s new Cybersecurity Strategy, focuses on measures to protect financial, health, eGovernment and cloud service provider critical infrastructure.  The report recommends:


Continue Reading The European Network and Information Security Agencies (ENISA) Releases New Cyber-Security Cloud Computing Recommendations

The first meeting of the new Steering Board of the European Cloud Partnership (“ECP”) was held this week in Brussels.  The meeting, and the formation of the Steering Board, represent some of the first concrete steps towards the implementation of the European Commission’s plan to develop Europe’s cloud computing market, as set out in the Commission’s summer 2012 Communication on “Unleashing the potential of Cloud Computing”.

The Board is chaired by the President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and is made up of representatives of public authorities and senior CEOs and ex-CEOs of the IT industry.  It will now prepare “strategic advice” for the Commission on how to leverage the public sector’s buying power in order to shape the market for cloud services (for example, by promoting standards for interoperability).


Continue Reading European Commission Establishes European Cloud Partnership Steering Board