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Who are the gatekeepers of the internet, cable and satellite infrastructures in Eastern Europe?


29 Jan 2016 09:15

Organiser type

NGOs / Think Tanks


Social Europe & Jobs
Justice & Home Affairs
Trade & Society

Event Location


Event Description

Round Table Invitation

 Who are the gatekeepers of the internet, cable and satellite infrastructures in Eastern Europe?

Brussels, 29 January 2016

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), Rise Project and EurActiv Romania have the pleasure of inviting you at a round table discussion on internet ownership transparency and its implications for security and protection of rights in Europe today. The event will take place in Brussels on Friday, 29 January, between 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. The agenda and venue will be made available shortly.

The event is part of the Who are the gatekeepers of the internet? initiative. A year and a half after winning the Knight News Challenge 2014, the project is approaching its end. Investigative journalists, researchers and civil society experts have worked in the past 16 months, to answer the questions:

• Who controls the access to the Internet in Central and Eastern Europe?

• How transparent are these organizations?

• Are they connected to politics?

• Do they have links to organized crime?

The event will be attended by EU public officials, representatives of the Member States, European Communication Regulatory Authorities for electronic communications, civil society experts, journalists and other stakeholders.

Asking new questions

Who are the gatekeepers of the Internet? is an innovative initiative aimed at researching and monitoring the ownership structure of the internet in Central and Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region.

The project team monitored for a period of over a year internet infrastructures in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia and Slovenia. The team looked at the owners of internet providers, their connections to politics and other economics, and their involvement in trials or judicial proceedings. The main results of the project are summarized on an online ownership map, available on a dedicated platform, as well as a cross-country report.

Internet ownership transparency. Implications

On the 29th of January the project`s experts will present the preliminary conclusions that cover more than fifty Internet Service Providers in 12 countries covered, hundreds of political and economic connections, local and regional patterns, as well as current field-related public policies. The discussions will address the implications that internet ownership patterns have with respect to European security interests and the protection of privacy and civil liberties.

After its 2015 legislative package on Net Neutrality, the European Union is preparing to restructure its view and rules concerning electronic communications. Integrating the issues of security and transparency of digital societies in its strategy will reflect an essential objective for the following period, underpinning the understanding of the internet`s infrastructure and the framing of field debates in the years to come, enlarging the sphere of the public interest in the invisible part of the most visible medium.


If you would be interested to attend, we kindly ask you to confirm your participation by the 18th of January 2016. Should you require more information please do not hesitate to contact us. For confirmation and inquires please contact the project`s communication manager, Ramona Diaconu, at

Kind regards,

Manuela Preoteasa,                                           Paul Radu,

President, EurActiv Romania                            Director, OCCRP