November 5, 2009

EU Telecoms Package: We might have won...

Press Release from the Swedish Pirate Party

EU negotiations on Telecoms Package completed

Earlier this night there was an agreement in the negotiations on the EU Telecoms Package.

First of all, it is notable that the European Parliament delegation stod up and managed to maintain support for the principle that Member States should not be allowed to disconnect people from the internet without prior judicial procedure. This is more than most people expected when the meetings began Wednesday evening.

"It is a plesant surprise that the European Parliament stod firm on this principle. This is a direct result of the hard work by thousands upon thousands of Internet users. They have contacted their politicians, networked on blogs and raised media attention on this issue. Without them, there would have been no progress on this in political circles" Cristian Engström, Swedish Pirate MEP, says.

Until the very last minutes of the negotiations in the EP delegation, there was a discussion about Member States possibility to cut people of from the Internet without prior judicial procedure. This will only be possible in situations of extreme national emergency (European Convention, article 15). There hould be no possibility to use this legal framework to disconnect e.g. file sharers from the net.

If a Member State wants to cut citizens of from the net in other cases (like in France), this must be under strict rules respecting citizens rights. The judicial procedure shall be prior to the measures taken. It should respect the principle of presumption of innocence and the right to privacy. This must be done with respect for general principles of Community law, including effective judicial protection, due process and the right to be heard of the person or persons concerned. All measures must respect the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

"I think it would have been very difficult to get a text with a wider protection of citizens rights. It is possible that the text now at hand is more far reaching in this respect than any other that have been discussed. But still, I must stress that we think it is wrong for governments to cut people of from the Internet at all" Christian Engström concludes.

The European Parliament will confirm this agreement in a vote at its' November session.

More information:

The final text is to be found on Christian Engströms blog.

There you can also find the different proposals and posts about the negotiation process this autumn.

More information:

Christian Engström (PP), MEP, The Swedish Pirate Party
+46 706 633 780

Rick Falkvinge (PP), leader of the Swedish Pirate Party
+46 708 303 600

Henrik Alexandersson at MEP Engströms office in the EP
+32 484 088 770 (mobile) or +32 228 47368

[In Swedish]

(Please excuse any misspellings and / or half-baked language, as this is translated at 4.30 in the morning from a material that is partly in legal English written by people from many different countries.)

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