October 26, 2009
It´s not just about filesharing...
A note on the European Councils draft compromise proposal from last weeks trialogue about the EU Telecoms Package. It discusses cutting of users from the Internet (and other measures) in these terms...
"...authorising the measures to be taken and to adopt urgent measures in order to assure national security, defence, public security and the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences."
Interesting. So, this fight is not just about filesharing anymore.
Disconnection from the network (and other "measures") can be applyed to a long series of cases. Remember that legality is different, in different EU countries. And that there are a few strange laws. The EU Framework Decision on Racism e.g. says that one may not deny genocide. (It does not, however, apply to all genocides. Just some.) In France it is especially illegal to challenge official historical records on the Turkish genocide of Armenians. In many countries, gambling sites are prohibited. In some places information about medicine is prohibited. In Lithuania, one can not write positive things about gays. The laws about pornography varies between countries. The rules governing the advertising of alcohol and tobacco are also different. And many things that are on public record in countries like Sweden is illegal to publish in other places.
Feel free to fill in with more examples in the comment field. I just listed a few from the top of my head.
Internet might become seriously regulated. People might be disconnected from the Internet for many different reasons. And what other "measures" the Member States and EU have in plan, one can only imagine.
Add to that the European arrest warrant, which allows for pepole to be extradited to other countries for acts that are not criminal in their home country. So what happens if a Swede start a French blog, questioning the Turkish genocide of Armenians? If a Spaniard starts a gay porn site that turns to a Lithuanian audience?
(A few years ago Swedish online gambling company Unibet's CEO Petter Nylander was arrested in Holland, when he was on his way to England - and called for extradition to France. Among other things he was accused of having sponsored a French bike race, which is in violation of French gambling laws.)
And if the "mesures" mentioned are to be deployed, it also mean that the possibility to be anonymous on the net will have to be removed.
So, it is not just filesharers who should defend amendment 138 to the EU Telecoms Package - stating that governments can not decide to cut people of from the Internet (or other similar measures) without a prior ruling by judicial authority.
Not unexpected, in the European Councils draft compromise proposal, quoted above, the word "prior" is deleted...