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European readers still blocked from some US news sites

June 27, 2018

 

Major American news sites, including the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News, remain unavailable to readers in the EU, a month after new data protection rules were implemented.

 

The websites went dark in Europe after the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law came into force on 25 May.

 

GDPR gives EU citizens more rights over how their information is used.

A statement on the blocked websites says the publishers are "committed to looking at options" to allow EU access.

 

News sites within the Tronc and Lee Enterprises media publishing groups are affected.

 

Tronc's high-profile sites include the Chicago Tribune, the Orlando Sentinel and the Baltimore Sun.

 

The company recently sold the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune to billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong.

 

Its websites carry the same message they did one month ago.

 

It reads: "Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market."

 

Websites belonging to the Lee Enterprises publishing group are also blocked.

The company, which runs 46 daily newspapers across 21 states, originally said its sites were "temporarily unavailable" - but browsers in the EU are now greeted with a message informing them that access is "unavailable due to legal reasons".

 

Under GDPR, companies working in the EU, or providing a service to people within the EU, must show they have a lawful basis for processing personal data, or face hefty fines.

 

There are six legal bases for using personal data, including getting express consent from consumers. However, in most cases companies must also show that they need the personal data for a specific purpose.

 

In the aftermath of the law's introduction, the Washington Post and Time were among those requiring EU users to agree to new terms.

 

The BBC has approached Tronc and Lee Enterprises for comment.

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