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Net filtering

Gallo Report: Copyright & patent dogmatism at its worst at the European Parliament

Brussels, January 29th, 2010 - The draft1 of the Gallo2 report on strengthening the enforcement of "intellectual property rights" (IPR) in the Internal Market has been presented in the JURI commission of the European Parliament. This initiative report3 is a response to a communication of the Commission on the same topic, which La Quadrature has already strongly condemned4. The document has only one merit: it provides a perfect example of the worst kind of IPR dogmatism.

Questions to Commissioner-designate Reding on freedoms in the digital age and ACTA

La Quadrature du Net sent this letter to the members of the LIBE and JURI committees of the European Parliament to urge them to ask the following questions to Mrs. Viviane Reding, Commissioner-designate for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, during her hearing on Tuesday, January 12th, at 1PM.

Questions for the new European Commissioners

Paris, December 16th, 2009 - 2 weeks after launching a consultation, la Quadrature du Net is submitting to the European Parliament a set of questions to be asked to the Commissioners designate.

ACTA: A Global Threat to Freedoms (Open Letter)

Updated on December 24th, 2009

Paris, December 10th 2009 - A worldwide coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations, consumers unions and online service providers associations publish an open letter to the European institutions regarding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) currently under negotiation. They call on the European Parliament and the EU negotiators to oppose any provision that would undermine the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens in Europe and across the world.

Ask what the next European Commission will do for our Freedoms!

Paris, November 26th 2009 - La Quadrature is calling on European citizens to submit questions aimed at finding out where the next European Commission (2010-2014) stands on EU citizens' fundamental freedoms on the Internet.

The Council of the European Union and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, just agreed1 on a college of Commissioners designate. The Parliament will now conduct hearings2 before appointing the full college.

  • 1. http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/09/522&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=fr
  • 2. More infos about the Commissionners hearings: http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Hearings_Commissioners

ACTA: Worldwide Net restrictions without public debate

Paris, November 12th, 2009 - Since Spring 2008, The European Union, the United States, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Australia as well as a few other countries have been negotiating a trade treaty aimed at enforcing copyright and tackling counterfeited goods (Anti-Counterfeinting Trade Agreement or ACTA). The last round of negotiations, held in much secrecy last week in South Korea, was focused on the enforcement of so-called “intellectual property rights” on the Internet. La Quadrature puts together a web-dossier on ACTA and sends a letter1 to Christine Lagarde, French minister of the Economy, to ask that she publicly oppose the proposal regarding Internet regulation.

"Three strikes" in Europe, on Wednesday?

Paris, November 2nd, 2009 - The negotiations on the Telecoms Package might come to a close on Wednesday. The Council of the European Union is still pushing for "three strikes" policies in Europe but is also attempting to allow private corporations to restrict citizens' Internet access. Will the European Parliament continue to hide behind a disputable legal argumentation provided by the rapporteur Catherine Trautmann, and accept the unacceptable for the future of Internet access in Europe?

A campaign page1 has been set up to allow everyone to contact Members of the European Parliament and urge them to refuse any proposal from the Council allowing "three strikes" policies in Europe, and to explicitly protect EU citizens' freedom to access the Net.

Net Freedoms in Europe: Recapitulating the capitulation

The European Parliament delegation led by Catherine Trautmann recently gave up on protecting EU citizens against arbitrary restrictions of their Internet access. In order to reach an agreement and avoid a clash with Member States, the Parliament retracted its support to the core element of notorious "amendment 138" : prior judicial decision before restrictions to access and usage of the Internet. This protection of citizens' fundamental rights against arbitrary restrictions of their Internet access came a long way. Here is a little restrospective on the "stations of the cross" of amendement 138.

(See also the rewording of amendment 138, preserving its core principles while adressing legal uncertainty, that was transmitted to MEPs last week)

Amendment 138 dead by lack of courage of the Parliament

Strasbourg, October 21st, 2009 - Yesterday, representatives of the European Parliament, an institution that ordinarily prides itself for protecting human rights at home and abroad, decided to surrender to the pressure exerted by Member States. The Parliament gave up on amendment 138, a provision adopted on two occasions by an 88% majority of the plenary assembly, and which aims at protecting citizens' freedom in the online world. Instead of ensuring that no restriction to Internet access would be imposed without the prior ruling of a judge, amendment 138 will instead be replaced by a weak provision1, that does not carry any new important safeguard for citizen's freedoms.

Telecoms Package: preparation for a third reading

updated: Sept 21st.The list of MEPs that will be part of the EP delegation conciliation committee is now official.
updated: Sept 17th.European directives of the "Telecoms Package" are advancing through the codecision process of the EU. As soon as the Council of the EU formally rejects any amendment voted by the European Parliament in second reading1, the Telecoms Package will enter the conciliation procedure. In this closed negotiation (between 27 representatives of the Council of the EU and 27 representatives of the European Parliament), the fate of an open, free and neutral Internet in the EU will be decided. Here is a quick guide to understanding this procedure, and participating now to urge open-minded and progressive MEPs to take part in the conciliation committee (There are only a few days left as the decision are already taking place.).

  • 1. This formal rejection of the European Parliament's 2nd reading amendments by the Council triggers the countdown to the conciliation phase. In practice, negotiations could start as soon as the composition of the conciliation committee is known.

It is crucial to save Net Neutrality!

"Net neutrality". This obscure yet simple concept is the root of the development of the Internet as we know it. In the digital environment, it is the guarantee of competition, innovation, and fundamental freedoms. Until now, net neutrality has been the rule, both for technical and economical reasons. However, it is now under the threat of network operators1 who see business opportunities in discriminating information flowing through their networks. It is crucial to seize the opportunity of the third reading of the "Telecoms Package" directives to take strong measures aimed at protecting a free, open and innovative Internet within the European Union.

Amendment 138/46 adopted again. Internet is a fundamental right in Europe.

Strasbourg, May 6 2009 − The debates on the Telecoms Package, thanks to a remarkable citizen mobilization, led to an extremely strong recognition of the access to internet as a fundamental right with the re-adoption of amendment 138/46 in second reading by a qualified majority. It is the final blow against three-strike laws such as Nicolas Sarkozy's HADOPI bill, which are explicitely banned. The European Parliament nevertheless adopted a soft compromise on issues of network equity: no strong protection against “net discrimination” was adopted.

URGENT: Ask MEPs to adopt Citizens' Rights Amendments on May the 6th.

ALERT: last minute trick to prevent European Parliament to vote on amendment 138/46 by changing the order of votes

A dedicated campaign page regarding the issue below has been put on the wiki,
including arguments, counter-arguments, and advice on how to contact MEPs.

Paris, May 4 2009 - Threats to citizens' basic rights and freedoms and to the neutrality of Internet could be voted without any safeguard in the EU legislation regarding electronic communication networks (Telecoms Package). EU citizens have two days to call all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to ask them to vote for the “Citizens' Rights Amendments”, in the second reading of the Telecoms Package. These amendments include all the safeguards that were removed in the “compromise amendments”, as well as provisions protecting against “net discrimination” practices and filtering of content.

Telecoms Package: When rapporteurs betray EU citizens.

On both parts of the Telecoms Package, rapported by Malcolm Harbour (IMCO report) and Catherine Trautmann (ITRE report), agreements have been found with the Council of the EU to destroy or neutralize major protections of the citizens against graduated response, "net discrimination" and filtering of content on the Internet. There is little time left, but the Parliament has a last chance with the plenary vote on May 6th to reaffirm its commitment to protecting EU citizens.

Council of EU imposing Net Discrimination in Europe

UPDATED: with 28.4.2009 trialogue document from the Parliament and Council's 27.04.2009 propositions, where all protections are completely weakened.

Paris, 28 April 2008 - Negotiations are still going on in secret among the European Parliament, the EU Council, and the Commission on the directives of the Telecoms Package. The crucial question of “net discrimination” is being intensely and alarmingly reworked right now in the Universal Service directive, whose rapporteur is Malcolm Harbour (EPP/ED - UK). The Council is currently neutralizing every provision protecting citizens' rights. The Parliament must react.

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