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1984: The amendments on the Telecoms Package are killing fundamental freedoms

1984: The amendments on the Telecoms Package are killing fundamental freedoms

Brussels – Guy Bono is indignant about the freedom-killing amendments that have been submitted in the framework of the “Telecoms Package”, that is currently being discussed in the European Parliament.

“After the resolution of the European Parliament of 10 April condemning the principle of the graduated response [ndt : three strikes approach], we are exposed to attacks from all sides from major record companies who try forcibly to get their freedom-killing proposals to be accepted, even if they are lacking a sounds economic basis and ignoring the development of our digital world.”

Guy Bono is particulary upset about an amendment by the draftsman of the opinion M. Mavromatis (EPP, GRE), who intends to legalise the “spywares” of major record companies.

This amendment proposes to limit the definition of spyware, proposed in recital 34 of the Framework Directive, to programs that register the “lawful” actions of the user in a clandestine manner, and/or corrupt the functioning of the user's equipment for the benefit of a third party (spy programs). That is to say that a program that registers “unlawful” actions, or corrupts user equipment is not considered “a serious threat for private life”.

For the socialist member of the European Parliament: “What Orwell predicted in “1984” is becoming reality: one wants to know everything about you, trace you, spy everything you are doing, and direct your behaviour. The only difference is that the dictator is not a politician, but made up by large multinationals!”

Guy Bono is also strongly opposed to a certain number of amendments, that intend to introduce the “graduated response”, and to criminalise consumers. As he says: “A distinction must be made between a simple offence and what is a major crime that concerns public order or security. Exchanging music is not the same thing as distributing pedophile images, or racist content!

“In any case, no limitation of the freedom of internet users should be effected without a prior decision of judicial authorities, who are, I would like to remind, the natural guardians of freedoms”, the European parliament member added, so condemning the very idea of an automatic graduated response.

“These repressive measures are dictated by firms that have not been capable to adapt their business models to the needs of the information society”, Bono emphasised. “Currently we face the task to find a balance between facilities to access cultural activities and contents, the cultural diversity, and a proper compensation for the owners of rights; not to criminalise millions of consumers. Consumers should not be the scapegoat; the compensation of artists must be assured by the true beneficiaries of downloading, the internet providers!”

To conclude: “One should move with the times. Forbidding never was a solution.”
In preparation of the French presidency, Gut Bono will meet Mrs. Albanel, the French Minister of Culture, on Monday 26 May.