According to a new Danish law, a website can be blocked for Danish users if “It on numerous occasions has sold or administered sales of products that are recognized as a serious hazard”.
From next Tuesday the Chinese online store Banggood will be the first online store to be banned under the new law because 24 different products being sold on the site are illegal in Denmark and therefore deemed as “a serious risk”, DR writes.
One of these products is a blade for a hedge trimmer, that has been banned by EU law.
The verdict to block Banggood has been met with split opinions.
At the Danish IT-politics organization – which works for the citizens’ digital rights – chairman, Jesper Lund, is not pleased with Danish authorities’ decision to block the website. “We will end up like Saudi-Arabia or China if every foreign website which doesn’t follow every single element in the Danish law down to the smallest detail are blocked. Then large parts of the internet can end up being banned,” Jesper Lund says.
Already several other authorities in Denmark have the opportunity to block websites. These authorities include the police and the Danish Gamble Authority, but with the banning of Banggood, Jesper Lund believes it’s too much. “At this point, there are so many laws in Denmark that permit blocking unwanted content, it’s incredible. Illegal gambling sites, copyright infringements… We have a law that suggests that a site with misinformation can be blocked. For the citizens, it means that we are getting fewer and fewer websites to visit online. That is problematic,” Jesper Lund explains.
Banggood’s vision is to be among the world’s ten largest online shopping sites within the next five years. But now it seems that this will have to be accomplished without the Danish market. In the case papers, Banggood writes that “it is a very excessive decision, which de facto will make it impossible for Banggood to be on the Danish market”
According to the Banggood’s own explanation to the court, the company has now removed the products so that Danish consumers no longer can buy them. In addition, they have implemented a screening process to ensure that illegal products aren’t sold in the Danish market.