Article 51, Powers of Digital Services Coordinators - the Digital Services Act (DSA)
1. Where needed in order to carry out their tasks under this Regulation, Digital Services Coordinators shall have the following powers of investigation, in respect of conduct by providers of intermediary services falling within the competence of their Member State:
(a) the power to require those providers, as well as any other persons acting for purposes related to their trade, business, craft or profession that may reasonably be aware of information relating to a suspected infringement of this Regulation, including organisations performing the audits referred to in Article 37 and Article 75(2), to provide such information without undue delay;
(b) the power to carry out, or to request a judicial authority in their Member State to order, inspections of any premises that those providers or those persons use for purposes related to their trade, business, craft or profession, or to request other public authorities to do so, in order to examine, seize, take or obtain copies of information relating to a suspected infringement in any form, irrespective of the storage medium;
(c) the power to ask any member of staff or representative of those providers or those persons to give explanations in respect of any information relating to a suspected infringement and to record the answers with their consent by any technical means.
2. Where needed for carrying out their tasks under this Regulation, Digital Services Coordinators shall have the following enforcement powers, in respect of providers of intermediary services falling within the competence of their Member State:
(a) the power to accept the commitments offered by those providers in relation to their compliance with this Regulation and to make those commitments binding;
(b) the power to order the cessation of infringements and, where appropriate, to impose remedies proportionate to the infringement and necessary to bring the infringement effectively to an end, or to request a judicial authority in their Member State to do so;
(c) the power to impose fines, or to request a judicial authority in their Member State to do so, in accordance with Article 52 for failure to comply with this Regulation, including with any of the investigative orders issued pursuant to paragraph 1 of this Article;
(d) the power to impose a periodic penalty payment, or to request a judicial authority in their Member State to do so, in accordance with Article 52 to ensure that an infringement is terminated in compliance with an order issued pursuant to point (b) of this subparagraph or for failure to comply with any of the investigative orders issued pursuant to paragraph 1 of this Article;
(e) the power to adopt interim measures or to request the competent national judicial authority in their Member State to do so, to avoid the risk of serious harm.
As regards the first subparagraph, points (c) and (d), Digital Services Coordinators shall also have the enforcement powers set out in those points in respect of the other persons referred to in paragraph 1 for failure to comply with any of the orders issued to them pursuant to that paragraph. They shall only exercise those enforcement powers after providing those other persons in good time with all relevant information relating to such orders, including the applicable period, the fines or periodic payments that may be imposed for failure to comply and the possibilities for redress.
3. Where needed for carrying out their tasks under this Regulation, Digital Services Coordinators shall, in respect of providers of intermediary services falling within the competence of their Member State, where all other powers pursuant to this Article to bring about the cessation of an infringement have been exhausted and the infringement has not been remedied or is continuing and is causing serious harm which cannot be avoided through the exercise of other powers available under Union or national law, also have the power to take the following measures:
(a) to require the management body of those providers, without undue delay, to examine the situation, adopt and submit an action plan setting out the necessary measures to terminate the infringement, ensure that the provider takes those measures, and report on the measures taken;
(b) where the Digital Services Coordinator considers that a provider of intermediary services has not sufficiently complied with the requirements referred to in point (a), that the infringement has not been remedied or is continuing and is causing serious harm, and that that infringement entails a criminal offence involving a threat to the life or safety of persons, to request that the competent judicial authority of its Member State order the temporary restriction of access of recipients to the service concerned by the infringement or, only where that is not technically feasible, to the online interface of the provider of intermediary services on which the infringement takes place.
The Digital Services Coordinator shall, except where it acts upon the Commission’s request referred to in Article 82, prior to submitting the request referred to in the first subparagraph, point (b), of this paragraph invite interested parties to submit written observations within a period that shall not be less than two weeks, describing the measures that it intends to request and identifying the intended addressee or addressees thereof.
The provider of intermediary services, the intended addressee or addressees and any other third party demonstrating a legitimate interest shall be entitled to participate in the proceedings before the competent judicial authority. Any measure ordered shall be proportionate to the nature, gravity, recurrence and duration of the infringement, without unduly restricting access to lawful information by recipients of the service concerned.
The restriction of access shall be for a period of four weeks, subject to the possibility for the competent judicial authority, in its order, to allow the Digital Services Coordinator to extend that period for further periods of the same lengths, subject to a maximum number of extensions set by that judicial authority.
The Digital Services Coordinator shall only extend the period where, having regard to the rights and interests of all parties affected by that restriction and all relevant circumstances, including any information that the provider of intermediary services, the addressee or addressees and any other third party that demonstrated a legitimate interest may provide to it, it considers that both of the following conditions have been met:
(a) the provider of intermediary services has failed to take the necessary measures to terminate the infringement;
(b) the temporary restriction does not unduly restrict access to lawful information by recipients of the service, having regard to the number of recipients affected and whether any adequate and readily accessible alternatives exist.
Where the Digital Services Coordinator considers that the conditions set out in the third subparagraph, points (a) and (b), have been met but it cannot further extend the period pursuant to the third subparagraph, it shall submit a new request to the competent judicial authority, as referred to in the first subparagraph, point (b).
4. The powers listed in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 shall be without prejudice to Section 3.
5. The measures taken by the Digital Services Coordinators in the exercise of their powers listed in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 shall be effective, dissuasive and proportionate, having regard, in particular, to the nature, gravity, recurrence and duration of the infringement or suspected infringement to which those measures relate, as well as the economic, technical and operational capacity of the provider of the intermediary services concerned where relevant.
6. Member States shall lay down specific rules and procedures for the exercise of the powers pursuant to paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 and shall ensure that any exercise of those powers is subject to adequate safeguards laid down in the applicable national law in compliance with the Charter and with the general principles of Union law. In particular, those measures shall only be taken in accordance with the right to respect for private life and the rights of defence, including the rights to be heard and of access to the file, and subject to the right to an effective judicial remedy of all affected parties.
Note: This is the final text of the Digital Services Act. The full name is "Regulation (EU) 2022/2065 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 October 2022 on a Single Market For Digital Services and amending Directive 2000/31/EC (Digital Services Act)".
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