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Several AMERICAN news websites blocked as Europe’s GDPR data privacy law goes into effect

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It is anything but a happy General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) day for a number of major US news organizations, as their websites are temporarily blocked in Europe as a new data privacy law goes into effect today.

Websites such as the LA Times, NY Daily News and Chicago Tribune are all temporarily blocked this morning, saying, their content is not available in most European countries.

Anybody who is trying to gain access to the sites, including those owned by Tronc and Lee Enterprises (examples include the Orlando Sentinel, [Core], Arizona Daily Sun and the St. Louis Dispatch [Lee Entperises]) see a message explaining that the website works together with the European authorities try to get access back as soon as possible.

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According to Gizmodo, the statement on the LA Times website reads: Unfortunately, our website is currently not available in most European countries. We are trying to the problem is to look for opportunities to support our full range of digital products on the EU market. We continue to identify technical solutions that provide all the readers with our award-winning journalism.”

The EU calls on GDPR, the most far-reaching change in the rules on data protection in a generation, but there are a number of tricky issues around the implementation.

Companies try to understand what the level of protection of the different data needs, or this may force them to change the way they do business and to innovate, and the managing of the EU, with 28 national data regulators, the enforcement of the law.

“As soon as you try to codify the spirit (of the law) — then you get unintended consequences,” said Lars Andersen, whose London-based My Nametags business handles names and phone numbers of the children. Andersen said. “There is a challenge for us: What actually should I do? There are a million sort of the answers.”

“As technology increasingly becomes the fabric of business and society, it is essential that the trusted,” David Kenny, SVP of IBM Watson and Cloud Platform, told Fox News. “IBM is helping our clients to be ready for the GDPR, and then we call the whole tech industry to adhere to the principles of ensuring that all AI systems are safe, transparent and keep information private.”

Lee Enterprises, the fourth largest newspaper company in the U.S., the publication of 46 newspapers in 21 states, has issued a statement (via BBC) that reads:

“We’re sorry. This website is temporarily not available. We recognize that you are trying to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA), including the EU force, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and therefore can not access at this time.”

Bookmarking app Instapaper, which is the property of Pinterest, has also temporarily disable the access to the European users.

The Associated Press contributed to this story. Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

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