On 19 July 2023, the Irish Government announced their intention to appoint John Evans as the Digital Services Commissioner in Coimisiún na Meán (CnaM). His appointment will take effect from 24 July 2023.

As per Head 6 of the General Scheme of the Digital Services Bill which was published by the Irish government earlier this year, it is intended that Mr Evans will be responsible for coordinating the supervision and enforcement of the Digital Services Act (DSA) in Ireland as the Digital Services Commissioner. He will also be responsible for liaising and cooperating with the European Commission and Digital Services Coordinators of other Member States, to allow for the effective and consistent supervision and enforcement of the DSA throughout the EU.

The DSA is a landmark set of rules that will regulate the way digital platforms deal with harmful and illegal content. The DSA will begin to apply to designated very large online platforms (VLOPs) and very large online search engines (VLOSEs) from the end of August 2023, with the DSA becoming fully applicable to all other in-scope online intermediary services from February 2024.

Mr Evans will join the Executive Chair and the three other Commissioners who were appointed to CnaM upon its establishment earlier this year:

  • Jeremy Godfrey as Executive Chairperson – with responsibility for coordinating the functions of CnaM;
  • Niamh Hodnett as Online Safety Commissioner – with responsibility for overseeing the regulatory framework for online safety under the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 2022;
  • Rónán Ó Domhnaill as Media Development Commissioner – with overall responsibility for the funding and development of the wider media sector and for the implementation of a number of the key recommendations of the Report of the Future of Media Commission; and
  • Celene Craig as Broadcasting Commissioner – with responsibility for overseeing current functions of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. 

CnaM has also recently launched a recruitment campaign for 120 senior staff members to assist with its regulatory functions, such as enhancing online safety, the supervision and enforcement of the DSA and regulation of the media sector.

For more information on this topic, please contact Andrea Lawler (Partner), Caitríona Lavelle (Solicitor), Sean Dwyer (Solicitor) or any member of A&L Goodbody’s Commercial & Technology team.