Press review selection

[GlobalPost] Porn filters on UK's mobile phones cause censorship, report says

Porn filters on mobile phones are censoring political websites, according to a report by Open Rights Group. The report found that 60 websites with no sexual content were blocked by porn filters. The blocked websites include Biased-BBC, a website challenging the impartiality of BBC News, and La Quadrature du Net, a digital rights group. [...]

The news comes as conservative politicians in the UK are proposing stricter bans on internet pornography. They want to force broadband service providers to block all pornographic content in order to protect children, the Daily Telegraph reported, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to consult with the protesters on the issue. [...]

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/united-kingdom/12...

[V3] Mobile operators criticised for over-stringent web blocking practices

A major study of the web-blocking tools used by mobile operators has revealed that the filters are erroneously censoring scores of legitimate websites, and run with little transparency. The criticism comes from the Open Rights Group, which has been studying which sites mobile users have had problems accessing. [...]

Mobile operators routinely use web filtering technology to restrict access to websites which may contain adult material. Between 1 January and 31 March, users reported blocks on sites as varied as Tor Project, La Quadrature du Net and eHow. [...]

http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2174512/mobile-operators-criticised-strin...

[Guardian] Acta unlikely to be ratified in Europe, says Kroes

Controversial anti-counterfeiting agreement stalls in face of protests as European commissioner says it is unlikely to pass. [...]

Speaking on Friday, Kroes said that "we are now likely to be in a world without Sopa" – the US's proposed Stop Online Piracy Act – "and Acta." [...]

Ryan Heath, a spokesman for Kroes's office, said the European commission has not changed its position on the usefulness of Acta, and was continuing to work toward its ultimate ratification, but added that Kroes was "observing political reality". [...]

"After the tremendous mobilisation of citizens around the world against Sopa and Acta, it would be extremely dangerous politically for the commission to propose a new repressive scheme," said Jeremie Zimmermann, from internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. [...]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/may/08/acta-europe-kroes

[Reuters] EU digital chief downbeat about global copyright pact

A European Commission vice president said on Friday a planned global pact to crack down on fake consumer goods and medicines and websites that break copyright laws would probably never come into force, because of strong opposition. [...]

"We are now likely to be in a world without SOPA and without ACTA," Neelie Kroes, the EU's commissioner for technology and telecoms said in a speech to bloggers and web entrepreneurs in Berlin. [...]

"After the tremendous mobilisation of citizens around the world against SOPA and ACTA, it would be extremely dangerous politically for the Commission to propose a new repressive scheme," said Jeremie Zimmermann, from Internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/05/04/eu-copyright-idINDEE84309P20120504

[Zeit.De] Filesharing: "Urheberrecht darf im Alltag keine Rolle spielen"

Privates Tauschen freigeben, auf Breitbandanschlüsse eine Gebühr erheben – mit diesen Vorschlägen ließe sich der Streit ums Urheberrecht lösen, glaubt Leonhard Dobusch. […]

In Sachen Filesharing hat Philippe Aigrain vom französischen Verein La Quadrature du Net kürzlich in dem Buch Sharing einen detailliert ausgearbeiteten Vorschlag für eine Art digitalen Kreativpakt (Creative Contribution) vorgelegt. Er sieht die Einführung zweier Rechte vor: Nutzer erhalten das Recht, digitale Inhalte nicht-kommerziell mit anderen über das Internet zu teilen. Kunstschaffende erhalten dafür das Recht auf eine angemessene Vergütung. […]

http://www.zeit.de/digital/internet/2012-04/urheberrecht-fair-use

[V3] ACTA slammed by European data watchdog over privacy fears

The European data protection supervisor (EDPS) has added his weight to those opposed to the contentious Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) proposals, warning that it may infringe on individuals' fundamental human rights. [...]

Opponents of ACTA should use this decision to persuade their MEPs to reject ACTA, said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of the privacy group La Quadrature du Net. “Whereas the Commission and pro-ACTA members of the EU Parliament keep pretending that ACTA respects EU law and is harmless to fundamental rights, here comes yet another independent analysis stressing on the contrary that ACTA could lead to general monitoring and filtering of online communications,” he added. [...]

http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2169910/acta-slammed-european-watchdog-pr...

[Reuters] EU regulator warns against Internet restrictions

The European commissioner responsible for regulating the Internet warned Web service providers on Thursday against tampering with customers' Internet access based on how much they pay or which services they use.

In an effort to preserve what they call "net neutrality", European Union governments have considered enforcing laws preventing providers from offering differentiated tiers of access, but so far only the Netherlands has succeeded. [...]

Internet activists who say they are frustrated by the Commission's slow pace of digital reform have reported 162 cases of blocked or slowed services since 2011 and have called on the EU's executive to take sterner action against ISPs.

"We have strong evidence, including on our reporting platform RespectMyNet.eu, that infractions are widespread," said Jeremie Zimmermann of La Quadrature du Net, an NGO. [...]

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/19/eu-internet-idUSL6E8FIFGS20120419

[ZDNet] ACTA to see Euro vote in June as delay averted

The European Parliament rejection or approval of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is now back on the fast track, after a key committee decided not to delay matters by referring the copyright treaty to Europe's top court. [...]

The various political groupings represented in INTA had differing reasons for voting as they did, the European Parliament said in a statement on Wednesday morning. [...]

The result of Tuesday's INTA vote was welcomed by digital rights activists, who are strongly opposed to ACTA and saw the Commission's plan to refer it to the European Court of Justice as a delaying tactic. Activist group La Quadrature du Net said the decision means "the door remains open to a swift rejection of ACTA ".

"This vote is the first real test for the balance of views in the EU Parliament since the global anti-ACTA citizen movement took off," La Quad co-founder Philippe Aigrain said in a statement. "It demonstrates a growing understanding of ACTA's issues by a wide range of MEPs, and an ability to avoid the procedural traps set up by the EU Commission and some pro-ACTA MEPs. It is a promising step, but only the final rejection of ACTA will settle the issue." [...]

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/regulation/2012/03/28/acta-to-see-euro-vote-...

[TheLocal] Mobile operators seek to 'block' Skype in Sweden

Swedish telecom operators want to implement technologies that will block mobile phone users in Sweden from making free calls using services like Skype and Viber. [...]

A recent report by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), which oversees telecom regulations across the European Union, has found that Swedish telecom operators are not alone in their desire to prevent users from making free VoIP calls. [...]

However, Swedish companies looking to ensure users don't forego paid mobile phone calls in favour of VoIP services, may find their plans scuttled by the European Commission, which is considering banning telecom companies from blocking services like Skype and Viber.

"These preliminary findings prove that EU operators impose unjustifiable restrictions to Internet access," said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of France-based citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. [...]

http://www.thelocal.se/39938/20120328/

[Thelocal] Mobile operators seek to 'block' Skype in Sweden

Swedish telecom operators want to implement technologies that will block mobile phone users in Sweden from making free calls using services like Skype and Viber. [...]

According to the European Commission, maintaining "net neutrality" – whereby all internet traffic is treated equally – is important and companies shouldn't be able to control how customers use the network. [...]

"These preliminary findings prove that EU operators impose unjustifiable restrictions to Internet access," said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of France-based citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. [...]

http://www.thelocal.se/39938/20120328/#.UQvyqx1ZTsw

[EuObserver] MEPs to vote on Acta before summer

MEPs in the parliament's trade committee Tuesday (27 March) rejected a proposal to refer Acta to the European Court of Justice, meaning the controversial anti-counterfeit treaty is set to be voted on before summer.

Deputies rejected the court proposal by a large majority of 21 to five. Immediately after the vote the centre-left Socialist group and the Greens indicated their intention to reject the treaty. [...]

Meanwhile, Green MEP Amelia Andersdotter commented that the treaty "should never have been concluded in the first place" adding that Acta would "lead to a heavy-handed and repressive enforcement of copyright with no regard to the basic rights of citizens." [...]

Internet campaign group La Quadrature Du Net had suggested that the Parliament referring the deal to the Court would have delayed a final decision for over a year. [...]

Martin is expected to present his opinion on whether the trade committee should accept or reject Acta at the end of April. The trade committee is itself expected to vote on the matter at the end of the following month while a final plenary vote is likely to occur in June.

http://euobserver.com/871/115725

[TheRegister] European Parliament votes against ACTA legal review

The European Parliament (EP) has voted overwhelmingly not to refer the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) for judicial review, but instead to strike while the iron is hot and vote on the treaty this June. [...]

"The Commission and the rapporteur's tricks have been avoided," said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for internet rights group La Quadrature du Net, in a statement, "and the Parliament can now proceed with its works on ACTA. MEPs will have to shed the light on the democratic and political issues raised by ACTA, such as the extra-judicial measures aimed at stepping up the repression of online sharing." [...]

Pro- and anti-ACTA forces now have a clear deadline to work towards, and will be marshaling their forces to mobilize support. So far over two million people have signed a petition against ACTA, and the EP vote will determine whether Germany, Poland, and other EU states will ratify the agreement.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/27/european_parliament_votes_acta_r...

[V3.Co.Uk] EU Parliament votes against delaying ACTA decison

In a 21 to five vote, the European Parliament's international trade committee ruled not to stall the final decision on the controversial anti-couterfeiting proposal. The decision has since been welcomed by activist groups.

"[Today's vote] demonstrates a growing understanding of ACTA's issues by a wide range of MEPs, and an ability to avoid the procedural traps set up by the EU Commission and some pro-ACTA MEPs," said Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of citizens group La Quadrature du Net.

"It is a promising step, but only the final rejection of ACTA will settle the issue."

Jérémie Zimmermann, also of La Quadrature du Net, added, "The Commission and the rapporteur's tricks have been avoided, and the Parliament can now proceed with its works on ACTA. MEPs will have to shed light on the democratic and political issues raised by ACTA, such as the extra-judicial measures aimed at stepping up the repression of online sharing." [...]

http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2163986/eu-parliament-votes-delaying-acta...

[ComputerActive] European Parliament to rule on anti-counterfeiting trade deal

Following a majority vote against sending ACTA for legal scrutiny, the European Parliament's decision was welcomed by La Quadrature du Net.

The European Parliament has decided not to send the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) for legal scrutiny in the European Court of Justice. [...]

This decision will please online advocacy group La Quadrature du Net which has been actively campaigning against the secretive agreement.

Jérémie Zimmermann for the group had said: "If the EU Parliament gives in to these technocratic tricks, it will give up on protecting EU citizens. Enough is known about ACTA to justify working towards its rejection without having to wait for the opinion of the ECJ. "
"Delaying the debate rather than have the courage to engage with the political issues raised by ACTA would completely undermine the democratic standing of the Parliament."[...]

http://www.computeractive.co.uk/ca/news/2164025/european-parliament-rule...

[TheInquerer] European Parliament votes against submitting ACTA for court review

IN A VOTE TODAY the European Parliament decided not to submit the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) treaty to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for review. Instead it will rule on ACTA itself.

[...] This is good news, since la Quadrature Du Net has suggested that the ECJ's involvement would have delayed ACTA consideration for 18 months. The advocacy group said earlier that the involvement of the ECJ was a delaying tactic that the debate over ACTA could do without [...]

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2163975/european-parliament-vot...

[ItWorld] EU Parliament to vote on ACTA without waiting for a court decision

Campaigners against ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) are hailing as a success the decision by the European Parliament's trade committee not to refer the deal to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The committee on Tuesday rejected a plan to send the proposed accord to the E.U.'s highest court by 21 votes to five. This means that the proposed deal could be put before the whole Parliament as soon as June, avoiding a possible delay of about 18 months for a court decision.

Digital rights groups opposed to ACTA, such as La Quadrature du Net, said that " the plan to send the deal to the ECJ had been nothing more than a stalling tactic. " [...]

http://www.itworld.com/government/262642/eu-parliament-vote-acta-without...

[euobserver] Demand for web neutrality law following IP blocking tactics

Leading Internet freedom group La Quadrature du Net has reiterated its demands for an EU web neutrality law following last week’s disclosure that European Internet operators regularly use traffic management techniques to block access to certain online services.

BEREC, the body of national telecoms regulators across the EU, last week (6 March) submitted its first report on Internet traffic management practices to the European Commission.[...]

In a statement issued on Monday (12th March), Jeremie Zimmerman, spokesman for La Quadrature, said that BEREC’s findings “prove that EU operators impose unjustifiable restrictions to Internet access on both fixed and mobile networks”. [...]

http://euobserver.com/871/115567

[CIO] New Net Neutrality Study Leads to Calls for EU Legislation

Blocking VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) and peer-to-peer Internet traffic is common in the European Union, said E.U. regulator BEREC, leading to calls for an E.U. net neutrality law. [...]

The initial findings revealed that blocking or throttling of VoIP and peer-to-peer traffic is the most common form of Internet traffic management practice Europe-wide. About one quarter of respondents justified traffic management policies on the basis of "security and integrity," controlling spam for example. [...]

Citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net also called for legislation. "These preliminary findings prove that E.U. operators impose unjustifiable restrictions to Internet access. Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes' laissez-faire approach to net neutrality allows operators to violate their users' freedom of communication and privacy. She can no longer deny the evidence and must urgently propose a E.U.-wide law on net neutrality," said La Quadrature du Net spokesman Jérémie Zimmermann in a statement.

http://www.cio.com/article/702004/New_Net_Neutrality_Study_Leads_to_Call...

[TotalTelecom] European operators throttling P2P, VoIP traffic – regulators

BEREC releases initial findings from telco report; meanwhile, Internet freedom group repeats call for EU-wide net neutrality law. [...]

"The most frequently reported traffic management practices are the blocking and/or throttling of peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic, on both fixed and mobile networks, and the blocking of voice over IP (VoIP) traffic (mostly on mobile networks, usually based on specific contract terms)," said BEREC, in a statement. "When blocking/throttling is implemented in the network, it is typically done through deep packet inspection (DPI)." [...]

Internet freedom advocacy group La Quadrature du Net described claimed the techniques are restrictive and intrusive.

"These preliminary findings prove that EU operators impose unjustifiable restrictions to Internet access on both fixed and mobile networks, such as blocking and throttling of P2P or VoIP services," said La Quadrature spokesman Jérémie Zimmermann, in a statement.

http://www.totaltele.com/view.aspx?ID=471991

[V3] ISPs and mobile operators regularly throttle traffic, report finds

Internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile operators regularly use traffic management policies such as blocking or throttling to restrict access to certain services, according to a new report by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC).

The European ISP watchdog announced the findings after a three-month investigation in conjunction with the European Commission (EC) that involved discussions with some 400 operators on how they handle large demands placed on their networks.

Chief among the services regularly limited include peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) tools, with operators admitting to using deep-packet inspection technology to detect when these technologies are in use. [...]

Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, said " the revelation that firms use management policies, including (DPI), proved European commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, must introduce net neutrality laws.

http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2158824/isps-mobile-operators-regularly-t...

[IpsNews] Could Europe’s Anti-Counterfeiting Pact be a "Pandora’s Box" of Rights Violations?

Foggy details surrounding Europe’s anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA) have divided pubic opinion, with activists on one end of the spectrum claiming it to be the end of Internet freedom and the generic drug market, while proponents continue to defend the act as a "modest" agreement to protect Europe’s intellectual property. [...]

The importance of protecting European Union intellectual property is acknowledged by a broad sector of civil society but whether or not the ACTA is the answer remains to be seen, especially given concerns over how the agreement was negotiated and how it will be enforced. [...]

But a French citizen online advocacy group, La Quadrature du Net, insists De Gucht is lying to parliament members and downplaying ACTA’s far-reaching effects.

"By pretending that ACTA is inoffensive, Commissioner De Gucht is trying to hide the European Commission's immense responsibility in initiating a negotiation process circumventing democratic arenas," Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net said. [...]

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=106962

[Owni.eu] The Return of Peer-To-Peer

Back in 2009, Arbor Networks, a company specializing in network management, announced that the peer-to-peer model of file sharing, wherein each client acts as a server, was in decline. Users were turning more and more towards streaming.[...]

For some, like Maxime Rouquet or La Quadrature du Net, the fight against piracy will push users towards securing their connection more and more, something which can have disastrous effects on the network.
And of course, nothing will be donated to the artists,” adds Benjamin Bayart. “With peer-to-peer, everyone wins. Nobody earns or loses money. In general, people are looking for something that they have simply not found elsewhere, or can’t afford. Those people who have money and are not spending it are a minority.”
He concludes:If you try to block peer-to-peer, what will people do? They wouldn’t be able to find that latest episode of Dexter that they were looking for. Result: people will stop watching the series. It’s exactly the same not broadcasting a song over the radio: you’re losing out on an audience. The only way to ensure that people don’t download any more, would be to suppress their interest in culture …[...]

http://owni.eu/2012/03/01/the-return-of-peer-to-peer-bittorrent-p2p-mega...

[InfoJustice.Org] Reactions to De Gucht’s Announcement that EC Has Sent ACTA to European Court of Justice

On February 22, EC Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht announced that the Commission has referred ACTA to the European Court of Justice. The court has been asked “to assess whether ACTA is incompatible – in any way – with the EU’s fundamental rights and freedoms, such as freedom of expression and information or data protection and the right to property in case of intellectual property… I believe the European Commission has a responsibility to provide our parliamentary representatives and the public at large with the most detailed and accurate information available. So, a referral will allow for Europe’s top court to independently clarify the legality of this agreement.”

The European Parliament published a statement saying it “will wait for the Court’s ruling before drawing any conclusions. However, in the meantime it will continue its own scrutiny of the agreement.” [...]

La Quadrature du Net put out a press release noted that the court’s review will not address important political (as opposed to legal) questions, including:

- Can a wide-ranging interpretation of ACTA’s criminal sanctions (for “infringement on a commercial scale”, including “aiding and abetting”) be used as a bullying weapon by the copyright industry to force Internet actors into deploying contract-based repressive measures?
- What will be the impact on EU policy-making and public debate of casting in stone current repressive policies for which an impact study is still expected, and which are heavily criticized (such as the EUCD and IPRED)?
- Can such a body of policies, impacting EU policy-making, the free flow of information and the freedom to conduct business on the Internet be negotiated instead of democratically debated, and yet be legitimate?
- Is ACTA necessary as we are facing an open conflict between repressive copyright policies and fundamental freedoms, and that other paths could be taken, such as a positive reform taking into account new cultural practices?

Facebook

http://infojustice.org/archives/8454

[TechPresident] Amid Protests and a Court Case, ACTA Set to Come Before EU Parliament

So far, ACTA has raised many concerns among European citizens who have voiced their concerns online and in the streets. A global day of protest on Feb. 11 has already garnered headlines, and a second massive demonstration has been planned for this Saturday. This is another stage of a growing grassroots movement started about a month ago, when the treaty was signed by 22 out of 27 EU member states.

Next June, the European Parliament will have to vote to ratify or reject the treaty, but what seemed to be little more than a technicality now represents a crucial moment in a public debate on Internet freedom and digital rights. [...]

Earlier this week, the French organization La Quadrature du Net launched a call to action, asking people to voice their concerns to their MEPs, in a week where they have scheduled meetings with constituency in their home countries. This was just the latest initiative of the NGO, one of the main hubs of the movement. [...]

http://techpresident.com/news/21825/amid-protests-and-court-case-acta-se...

[TechPresident] Amid Protests and a Court Case, ACTA Set to Come Before EU Parliament

Next week the European Parliament will start discussing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, a controversial treaty that would set new international standards for dealing with copyright infringements.
So far, ACTA has raised many concerns among European citizens who have voiced their concerns online and in the streets. [...]

Earlier this week, the French organization La Quadrature du Net launched a call to action, asking people to voice their concerns to their MEPs, in a week where they have scheduled meetings with constituency in their home countries. This was just the latest initiative of the NGO, one of the main hubs of the movement. [...]

In an email interview, MEP Marielle Gallo, a supporter of the treaty, wrote: "What is also at stake right now is the legitimacy of the European institutions [...]"

http://techpresident.com/news/21825/amid-protests-and-court-case-acta-se...

[Deutsche Welle] Germany considers two strike online piracy law

A study proposing a two strikes model against Internet piracy in Germany is being welcomed by the Ministry of Economics. The study arrives as others in Europe hesitate to ratify the controversial ACTA treaty. [...]
The German study looked very closely at the French model of Hadopi, the three strikes law that has been in effect there since late 2010.[...]

Jérémie Zimmerman, of the French digital rights organization La Quadrature du Net, contends that a strike system is repressive, no matter the number of warnings, calling it "a slippery slope towards increased control and censorship of online communications," in an e-mail sent to DW.

"'Two strikes' or 'four strikes' - whatever strikes approach can only be the wrong solution to the wrong problem," Zimmerman said. "The only solution to end this stupid 'war against sharing,' that depletes the resources of the state in an attempt to safeguard obsolete business models, would be to move away from the repressive approach." [...]

http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15761430,00.html

[GlobalEdmonton] EU, facing opposition, suspends ratification of copyright treaty, refers to Court of Justice

The European Commission, facing opposition in city streets, on the Internet and in the halls of parliament, has suspended efforts to ratify a new international anti-counterfeiting agreement, and instead will refer it to Europe's highest court to see whether it violates any fundamental EU rights. [...]

[...] Opponents fear ACTA would lead to censorship and a loss of privacy on the Internet. And the plan to gain court approval of the agreement has left at least some of them unimpressed.

"No legal debate can fix ACTA or give it a legitimacy that by design it cannot have," said Jeremie Zimmermann, co-founder of the Internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

http://www.globaltvedmonton.com/world/eu+facing+opposition+suspends+rati...

[Msnbc.com] EU suspends copyright treaty ratification

The European Commission, facing opposition in city streets, on the Internet and in the halls of parliament, has suspended efforts to ratify a new international anti-counterfeiting agreement, and instead will refer it to Europe's highest court to see whether it violates any fundamental EU rights. [...]

[...] Opponents fear ACTA would lead to censorship and a loss of privacy on the Internet. And the plan to gain court approval of the agreement has left at least some of them unimpressed.

"No legal debate can fix ACTA or give it a legitimacy that by design it cannot have," said Jeremie Zimmermann, co-founder of the Internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46479956/ns/world_news-europe/#.T0VLVB3SV6g

[GlobalPost] European Union sends ACTA to Europe's highest court for a decision

The European Union is sending the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, known as ACTA, to Europe's highest court for a decision, the Associated Press reported. [...]

"We are planning to ask Europe's highest court to assess ACTA's compatibility with the EU's fundamental rights and freedoms, such as freedom of expression and information or that of protection," De Gucht told reporters at a press conference, Reuters reported. [...]

"No legal debate can fix ACTA or give it a legitimacy that by design it cannot have," said Jeremie Zimmermann, co-founder of the Internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, according to the Huffington Post.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120222/european-u...

[Washingtonpost] EU, facing opposition, suspends ratification of copyright treaty, refers to Court of Justice

The European Commission, facing opposition in city streets, on the Internet and in the halls of parliament, has suspended efforts to ratify a new international anti-counterfeiting agreement, and instead will refer it to Europe’s highest court to see whether it violates any fundamental EU rights. [...]

The decision appeared to reflect recognition by European Union officials of the political obstacles. Protests against the agreement were staged earlier this month in several European capitals — including Berlin, Helsinki, Paris and Vienna — by critics who say the agreement would stifle free speech and access to information. [...]

The treaty has been questioned by members of the European Parliament. On Sunday, European Parliament President Martin Schulz told Germany’s ARD television: “I don’t find it good in its current form.” [...]

No legal debate can fix ACTA or give it a legitimacy that by design it cannot have,” said Jeremie Zimmermann, co-founder of the Internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/eu-facing-opposition-suspends-rat...

[KhaleejTimes] EU suspends copyright treaty ratification

The European Commission, facing opposition in city streets, on the Internet and in the halls of parliament, has suspended efforts to ratify a new international anti-counterfeiting agreement, and instead will refer it to Europe’s highest court to see whether it violates any fundamental EU rights. [...]

[...] Opponents fear ACTA would lead to censorship and a loss of privacy on the Internet. And the plan to gain court approval of the agreement has left at least some of them unimpressed.

No legal debate can fix ACTA or give it a legitimacy that by design it cannot have,” said Jeremie Zimmermann, co-founder of the Internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/Displayarticle09.asp?section=todaysfeatures&...

[TheTandD] EU suspends copyright treaty ratification

The European Commission, facing opposition in city streets, on the Internet and in the halls of parliament, has suspended efforts to ratify a new international anti-counterfeiting agreement, and instead will refer it to Europe's highest court to see whether it violates any fundamental EU rights.[...]

"ACTA will not censor websites or shut them down; ACTA will not hinder freedom of the internet or freedom of speech," De Gucht said.

However, opponents fear ACTA would lead to censorship and a loss of privacy on the Internet. And the plan to gain court approval of the agreement has left at least some of them unimpressed.

"No legal debate can fix ACTA or give it a legitimacy that by design it cannot have," said Jeremie Zimmermann, co-founder of the Internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

http://thetandd.com/business/technology/eu-suspends-copyright-treaty-rat...

[AFR] Copyright cheats face the music in France

The curtain has risen on the third act of one of the most ambitious French musical productions, one whose goal is to end digital piracy. [...]

But the curtain has not yet come down for the fallen file-sharers. As a presidential election nears, opposition to the law is heating up. [...]

Rivals [...], who championed the measure, say that it infringes on civil liberties. His opponents, building on the momentum from a successful campaign to defeat two US congressional bills aimed at curbing piracy, as well as a swell of protest against an international copyright treaty, want to repeal or revamp the French law. [...]

Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, a group that campaigns against restrictions on the internet, said " the law had resulted in increased use of virtual private network software and other anonymity tools."

Apparently some of its intimidation is having a psychological effect,” he said of the three-strikes law, but added: “The political costs of creating an institution like this are tremendous.

http://afr.com/p/technology/copyright_cheats_face_the_music_QXaygeD0lWO7...

[Fsrn] Headlines for Friday, February 17, 2012 : ACTA dealt blow by European court

[...]

Europe's highest court has ruled that online services such as Facebook and YouTube cannot be forced to police their customers' use of music, movies or other copyrighted material. Digital activists say it's another blow to the anti-piracy initiative known as ACTA From France, FSRN's Liam Moriarty has more.

[...] Digital activists say this ruling – and a similar one last fall dealing with internet service providers – invalidates a key element of ACTA. Jérémie Zimmermann is with the Paris-based group La Quadrature du Net. “There is now a heavy trend from the entertainment industry to try to make the internet intermediaries bear the liability for enforcement of this obsolete vision of copyright.” Meanwhile, ACTA continues to take its lumps. In the last week, Germany, Latvia, Bulgaria and the Netherlands became the latest countries to suspend ratification of the trade agreement. [...]

http://fsrn.org/audio/headlines-friday-february-17-2012/9864

[TheInquirer.net] EU Court of Justice announced a win for privacy

The European Court of Justice has announced a win for privacy online in its decision that monitoring and filtering online content is unlawful and unfair.

In a ruling on the Sabam v. Netlog case (PDF), it said, « The owner of an online social network cannot be obliged to install a general filtering system, covering all its users, in order to prevent the unlawful use of musical and audio-visual work. »

Sabam is the Belgian music royalty collection outfit. It sued Netlog in 2009 and attempted to get it to install monitoring software in its social networking operation. Netlog baulked at this, and today it is gratified by the Court of Justice announcement. [...]
The ruling clears up some controversy over whether it is right to force a web hosting firm to monitor its users to detect if they are infringing copyrights. According to the rights advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, it is a timely ruling. particularly when you consider legal machinations like ACTA, SOPA, PIPA and the DEA.

« This ruling should sound as a call for EU policy makers to stop pushing for privatized censorship schemes under the guise of ';cooperation' between Internet actors and the entertainment industry, » said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net.

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2153005/eu-court-justice-announ...

[V3.co.uk] ECJ rules hosting sites cannot be made to filter content in another blow to ACTA

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Thursday that forcing hosting services to monitor and filter online content is a violation of European law, dealing another blow to the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). [...]

The decision is of large significance after recent attempts by the entertainment and music industries to force hosting services to screen all users' communications in order to block potentially copyright-infringing content. [...]

"The decision will definitely have an impact on any attempts by the entertainment industry to go to court to impose mechanisms on internet intermediaries," said Jeremie Zimmermann, a spokesman for the French advocacy group, La Quadrature du Net (LQDN), in an interview with V3.

"The ECJ ruling proves what we having been saying for so long that private and censorship schemes are against internet users' fundamental rights."

Zimmermann said the ruling could affect the success of the ACTA, an international treaty aimed to protect the rights of copyright holders against the threat of internet piracy.

http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2152991/ecj-rules-hosting-sites-filter-co...

[MenaFN] Poland : Leading a new struggle for freedom

Last weekend saw tens of thousands of people across Europe taking to the streets in protest against the international treaty to enforce intellectual property rights. European politicians are gradually distancing themselves from the treaty, largely as a result of citizen mobilisation initiated in Central Europe. [...]

According to La Quadrature du Net , an advocacy group defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet, "ACTA would impose new criminal sanctions forcing Internet actors to monitor and censor online communication. It is thus a major threat to freedom of expression online and creates legal uncertainty for Internet companies. In the name of trademarks and patents, it would also hamper access to generic drugs in poor countries." [...]

Activists from La Quadrature du Net are advising people how to contact their representatives in the various EP committees which have a say over the final vote. Meanwhile, several groups are collecting signatures in opposition to ACTA to submit to the EP, with petition site Avaaz having gathered over 2,250,000 endorsements so far.[...]

http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story.asp?storyid={f5c08a3e-b33d-4f67-ba96-5e83940c51fd}&src=main

[IPS] Poland Leads a New Struggle for Freedom

Last weekend saw tens of thousands of people across Europe taking to the streets in protest against the international treaty to enforce intellectual property rights. European politicians are gradually distancing themselves from the treaty, largely as a result of citizen mobilisation initiated in Central Europe.[...]

According to La Quadrature du Net, an advocacy group defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet, “ACTA would impose new criminal sanctions forcing Internet actors to monitor and censor online communication. It is thus a major threat to freedom of expression online and creates legal uncertainty for Internet companies. In the name of trademarks and patents, it would also hamper access to generic drugs in poor countries.”[...]

http://ipsnews.wpengine.com/2012/02/poland-leads-a-new-struggle-for-free...

[HindustanTimes] Protests erupt against web piracy treaty

Tens of thousands of protesters took part in rallies across Europe on Saturday against an international anti-piracy agreement they fear will curb their freedom to download movies and music for free and encourage Internet surveillance. More than 25,000 demonstrators braved freezing temperatures in German cities to march against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) [...]

"It's not acceptable to sacrifice the rights of freedom for copyrights," Thomas Pfeiffer, a leader of the Greens party in Munich where 16,000 people protested against ACTA, was quoted telling Focus magazine's online edition on Saturday. [...]

The protesters are concerned that free downloading of movies and music might lead to prison sentences if the ACTA was ratified by parliaments. They also fear that exchanging material on the Internet may become a crime and say the accord will allow for massive online surveillance. […]

In Paris, about 1,000 people marched ACTA. "It's a demonstration without precedent because it's taking place in all of Europe at the same time," said Jeremie Zimmermann, spokesman for Internet freedom group Quadrature du Net. […]

http://www.hindustantimes.com/technology/Technology-TechEvents/Protests-...

[TaipeiTimes] Europe erupts in protests against Web piracy treaty

In cities across a freezing Europe protesters rallied against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, fearing online censorship and more surveillance [...]

Opposition to ACTA in Eastern Europe is especially strong and spreading rapidly. Protesters have compared it to the Big Brother-style surveillance used by former communist regimes. Downloading films and music is also a popular way for many Eastern Europeans to obtain free entertainment. [...]

“It’s a demonstration without precedent because it’s taking place in all of Europe at the same time,” said Jeremie Zimmermann, spokesman for Internet freedom group la Quadrature du Net. [...]

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2012/02/13/2003525339

[Techpresident] Momentum Builds in Europe Against Controversial Treaty on Copyright, Counterfeiting

Last Saturday, thousands of people rallied all over Europe to protest against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a controversial treaty that would set new international standards for dealing with copyright infringement and other copyright claims. […]

"This movement has been very decentralized from the start. While there have been some coordinated talks and discussions between civil society groups internationally, it is mostly a decentralized grassroots movement that grew up even without any coordinated action." wrote me EFF's Maira Sutton in an email interview, earlier this month.

While there are some more visible Internet freedom organizations engaged in the public debate (such as the French La Quadrature du Net, the European Digital Rights, the Electronic Frontier Foundation), the movement has been spreading information on the treaty and organizing action in many ways, […]

http://techpresident.com/news/21763/momentum-builds-europe-against-contr...

[Guardian] Acta criticised after thousands protest in Europe

Anti-counterfeiting treaty lacks balance, says European Parliament president, but publishers call for calm and reasoned assessment while thousands brave cold to march […]

Thousands protested in several European countries on Saturday. In German cities more than 25,000 demonstrators marched in freezing temperatures, while 4,000 Bulgarians in Sofia rallied against the agreement, which is designed to strengthen the legal framework for intellectual property rights. […]

Opposition to Acta is especially strong in Eastern Europe and spreading rapidly. Protesters have compared it to the Big Brother-style surveillance used by former communist regimes […]

In Paris, […] "It's a demonstration without precedent because it's taking place in all of Europe at the same time," said Jeremie Zimmermann, spokesman for internet freedom group Quadrature du Net.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/feb/13/acta-protests-europe

[Reuters] Protests erupt across Europe against web piracy treaty

Tens of thousands of protesters took part in rallies across Europe on Saturday against an international anti-piracy agreement they fear will curb their freedom to download movies and music for free and encourage Internet surveillance. [...]

More than 25,000 demonstrators braved freezing temperatures in German cities to march against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) while 4,000 Bulgarians in Sofia rallied against the agreement designed to strengthen the legal framework for intellectual property rights.

There were thousands more - mostly young - demonstrators at other high-spirited rallies despite snow and freezing temperatures in cities including Warsaw, Prague, Slovakia, Bucharest, Vilnius, Paris, Brussels and Dublin. [...]

In Paris, about 1,000 people marched ACTA. "It's a demonstration without precedent because it's taking place in all of Europe at the same time," said Jeremie Zimmermann, spokesman for Internet freedom group La Quadrature du Net. [...]

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/11/europe-protest-acta-idUSL5E8DB...

[TechPresident] ACTA opponents welcome Germany's decision

Opponents of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) welcomed the official decision by the German government today to wait for action from the European Parliament before signing the treaty, calling it a sign that the debate over the balance between copyright protection and Internet freedom has become more explicitly political. [...]

Germany's decision was set in motion by a statement released Wednesday by Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the German justice minister, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet and a member of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP). In the text and video statement (which has been watched close to 38,000 times), headlined "Engaged Discussion of ACTA is positive," she praises the engaged and public debate around the treaty that is now under way. She emphasizes that it is necessary that all facts about the subject be on the table. The delay is meant to make time for further discussion on the treaty, officials have said. [...]

For French Internet activist Jérémie Zimmerman from La Quadrature du Net, the debate has also reached an important milestone.

"The ACTA debate is -finally- turning political," he told TechPresident in an email. "Instead of arguing over every single paragraph of the agreement and its interpretation, it's the general principle of an agreement, negotiated in secret by 39 countries, that will have an impact on a Free Internet and our fundamental freedoms that is infuriating citizens," he wrote. "Only such political pressure on the European Parliament can make its Members work towards killing ACTA once and for all. Such a victory in the EP would open the door towards pushing a positive agenda in revisions of copyright laws that could for once take into account the public rights and new cultural practices." [...]

http://techpresident.com/news/21760/acta-opponents-welcome-germanys-deci...

[TheInquerer] World gets ready for ACTA protests

PROTESTERS ACROSS EUROPE and the US are getting ready to take to the streets in protest against the overbearing Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). [...]

"ACTA will let rightsholders use laughably inflated claims of damages (based on the disproven idea that every download or stream is a lost sale) to sue people. As if suing amazing artists, video makers and websites for millions wasn't hard enough!" warns internet rights group La Quadrature du Net. [...]

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2145346/world-ready-acta-protests

[WallStreetJournal] ACTA Negotiators to Blame for Misguided Protests

Europeans will take to the streets this weekend in protest at the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, an international agreement that has given birth to an ocean full of red herrings. [...]

"It is about inducing countries to change their laws to come in line with ACTA," says Jérémie Zimmermann, founder of the French Internet lobby group La Quadrature du Net. [...]

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297020413640457721119161092711...

[GlobalPost] EU struggles to get its ACTA together

Europe is facing a widening revolt over an international agreement billed by supporters as a essential tool to beat online piracy, but denounced by opponents as a menace to internet freedom.

ACTA is an irrecoverable circumvention of democracy, a text whose need was never demonstrated in any way, and which creates grave dangers for online freedoms for the sole benefit of a few special interest groups,” said Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of the French Internet campaign group La Quadrature du Net. [...]

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120208/acta-sopas...

[Digitaljournal] ACTA has a brand-new rapporteur - Internet censorship treaty

After the resignation of Kader Arif as rapporteur of this treaty, the world sighed in relief, thinking this might put the ACTA treaty out of action. […]

According to the Inquirer Mr Martin, the new rapporteur might not agree with Mr Arif, and the internet rights group Laquadrature du Net , said that:

"... he has a track record of serving corporate interests and will have to work hard to convince treaty opponents that he understands the ramifications of ratifying the agreement."

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/319266

MEP David Martin becomes ACTA rapporteur

THE DRACONIAN Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has another European Parliament rapporteur, after the last one resigned in protest.

Minister of the European Parliament (MEP) David Martin has taken over the job vacated by Kader Arif, the MEP that quit the position because ACTA was written in secrecy and rushed to signing.

"I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement," Arif wrote when he resigned. […]

The new rapporteur might not agree however, at least according to internet rights group Laquadrature du Net, which said that he has a track record of serving corporate interests and will have to work hard to convince treaty opponents that he understands the ramifications of ratifying the agreement.

"David Martin will have to prove that he understands ACTA is an irrecoverable circumvention of democracy, a text whose need was never demonstrated in any way, and which creates grave dangers for online freedoms for the sole benefit of a few special interest groups," said the group's co-founder Philippe Aigrain.

"Even more, he must show that this understanding does not fall short of the courage to recommend and obtain the rejection of this infamous agreement." […]

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2144717/mep-david-martin-acta-r...

[V3.co] Opposition to ACTA mounts as Poland reconsiders

Doubts are growing that the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will be passed in Europe as Poland wants to reconsider the agreement. [...]

Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of French digital rights group La Quadrature du Net, has argued "the European Commission is trying to bypass democracy to impose "repressive measures".

"The truth is that the Commission is trying to impose the [entertainment] industry's agenda to enforce outdated copyright, patent and trademark policies through tough criminal sanctions and extra-judicial measures," he said.

http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2144095/opposition-acta-mounts-poland-rec...

[Afterdawn] Is ACTA a foregone conclusion or will it meet SOPA's fate?

Is ACTA a foregone conclusion or will it meet SOPA's fate? With all the furor over SOPA and PIPA in recent months, the signing of the ACTA trade agreement last October by the US, Japan, and a handful of other countries has largely been ignored. […]

A legal analysis of ACTA […] was produced last year by European Parliament's Legal Service, it was handled just as secretively as the treaty's negotiations. A request from the non-profit Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) requesting the text of that analysis was denied, and FFII's complaint that such secrecy violates EU law ignored.

What has been released is a "fact-sheet" from the European Commission […] expressing support for ACTA. However, a French Internet freedom advocacy group called La Quadrature du Net has published a rebuttal which argues just the opposite. You can find the full text of that document below. […]

http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2012/02/03/is_acta_a_foregone_...

[ComputerActive] French advocacy group urges EU citizens to fight against ACTA

The French advocacy group La Quadrature du Net today accused the European Commission of "plainly lying" to the European Parliament about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net, said: "By signing ACTA together with EU Member States, the EU Commission dismissed the legitimate concerns of thousands of citizens across Europe who have been protesting against ACTA in the past few days.

The call comes only three days after the resignation of Kader Arif, the rapporteur in charge of ACTA. He said he would no longer take part in "this masquerade".

http://www.computeractive.co.uk/ca/news/2142319/eu-citizens-urged-fight-...

[Wired] European Commission defends Acta, says it's nothing like Sopa

The European Commission has published a series of statements in support of Acta, highlighting what it claims to be common misconceptions about the treaty. The EC insists that Acta does not restrict freedom of the internet and will not censor or shut down websites. Instead it will target only organised criminals. […]

Despite the Commissions efforts to clear up some of the uncertainty around Acta, online activist group La Quadrature du Net has responded with a post entitled Debunking the EU Commission's Lies About Acta. […]

Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net, says: "The EU Commission is plainly lying to the Members of the European Parliament by presenting ACTA as an acceptable agreement. By signing ACTA together with EU Member States, the EU Commission dismissed the legitimate concerns of thousands of citizens across Europe who have been protesting against ACTA in the past few days. Citizens must contact their elected representatives and remind them what ACTA is all about: circumventing democracy and hurting freedoms to protect the outdated business models of rent-seeking industries." […]

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-01/30/european-commission-acta-...

[EFF] We Have Every Right to Be Furious About ACTA

[...] Negotiated in secret, ACTA bypassed checks and balances of existing international IP norm-setting bodies, without any meaningful input from national parliaments, policymakers, or their citizens. Worse still, the agreement creates a new global institution, an "ACTA Committee" to oversee its implementation and interpretation that will be made up of unelected members with no legal obligation to be transparent in their proceedings. [...]

[...] ACTA may have been signed by public officials, but it’s crystal clear that they are not representing the public interest.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/01/we-have-every-right-be-furious-abo...

[TheInquirer] European Parliament official resigns over ACTA

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT INVESTIGATOR Kader Arif has quit his post over the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that the European Union (EU) signed yesterday in Japan. [...]

He published his reasons in French on his own web page, but they have been translated by La Quadrature Du Net, and we'll observe that he didn't mince words. [...]

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2141813/european-parliament-off...

[PcWorld] SOPA's Big Brother Signed by EU Nations Amid Widespread Protests

The European Union signed up to the controversial Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on Thursday despite widespread opposition, particularly in Poland, where people took to the streets in protest. [...]

"In the last few days, we have seen encouraging protest by Polish and other E.U. citizens, who are rightly concerned with the effect of ACTA on freedom of expression," said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. "This important movement will further build up. Our governments are bypassing democratic processes to impose draconian repressive measures." [...]

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/248792/sopas_big_brother_s...

[ZDNet.Co] UK signs ACTA as activists urge resistance

The UK and 21 other European Union member states have signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, better known as ACTA. [...]

"In the last few days, we have seen encouraging protests by Polish and other EU citizens, who are rightly concerned with the effect of ACTA on freedom of expression, access to medicines, but also access to culture and knowledge," La Quad spokesman Jérémie Zimmermann said in a statement.

"This important movement will further build up," Zimmermann added, noting the defeat in the US of the SOPA and PIPA copyright enforcement bills. "European citizens must reclaim democracy, against the harmful influence of corporate interests over global policy-making." [...]

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/networking/2012/01/26/uk-signs-acta-as-activ...

[ComputerActive] European Union members sign controversial anti-piracy treaty

Concerns raised over consumer privacy and intellectual property rights as ACTA, the global anti-counterfeiting agreement, moves closer to becoming law. [...]

[...] according to La Quadrature du Net, although the signing of ACTA by EU member states is "highly symbolic" it is "not the end of the road".

This citizen advocacy group said people can still challenge the agreement before the final vote in the EU Parliament; which cannot happen before June.

Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for the organisation said: "In the last few days, we have seen encouraging protests by Polish and other EU citizens, who are rightly concerned with the effect of ACTA on freedom of expression, access to medicines, but also access to culture and knowledge." [...]

http://www.computeractive.co.uk/ca/news/2141666/european-union-sign-cont...

[Wired] The EU signs up to Acta

Acta [...] has been met with widespread criticism from open rights activists, who argue that the legislation has been rushed through the legal system under the guise of being a trade agreement, when in fact it is a new copyright law. [...]

European advocacy group La Quadrature du Net released a statement urging people to fight Acta by lobbying their MEPs before a vote on Acta in the European Parliament in June.

Spokesperson Jérémie Zimmermann said: "In the last few days, we have seen encouraging protests by Polish and other EU citizens, who are rightly concerned with the effect of Acta on freedom of expression, access to medicines, but also access to culture and knowledge.

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-01/26/eu-signs-up-to-acta

[Forbes] How To Protest ACTA

After the internet’s successful protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act, many of the same groups are now turning their attention to ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a European bill that could affect essentially every country in the developed world. [...]

Protests against it are much less developed than those against SOPA, but they will certainly move quickly. For starters, French digital rights advocacy group La Quadrature has posted a how-to guide on protesting in seven different languages.

The site offers a listing of the Members of European Parliament that can be contacted, as well as a helpful script for when you talk to them. [...]

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2012/01/26/how-to-protest-acta/

[InfoSecurity] Anti ACTA hacktivists attack Polish government sites

Hactivists have attacked Polish government websites in protest at its intention to sign The Polish protests coincided with calls by advocacy group La Quadrature du Net for opposition to ACTA in the same way that stalled controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the US.to the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Opponents of ACTA in Poland say the government has not carried out sufficient public consultation on the issue. But Polish officials say ACTA does not change Polish law or the rights of internet users and internet usage, according to the BBC.

The EU Parliament’s development committee’s first debate on its draft opinion report on ACTA is set to take place this week.

http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/view/23444/anti-acta-hacktivists-at...

[Examiner] Online piracy battle now turns international with ACTA

[...] ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, is a proposed agreement for establishing international standards on intellectual property rights enforcement. The United States, The European Union, and several other nations have been discussing the agreement since 2007. [...]

There is one informational website, StopACTA.info which is maintained by La Quadrature du Net, an advocacy group that promotes the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet. La Quadrature du Net advocates for the adaptation of French and European legislation to respect the founding principles of the Internet. [...]

http://www.examiner.com/internet-in-national/online-piracy-battle-now-tu...

[Forbes] If You Thought SOPA Was Bad, Just Wait Until You Meet ACTA

When sites like Wikipedia and Reddit banded together for a major blackout January 18th, the impact was felt all the way to Washington D.C. The blackout had lawmakers running from the controversial anti-piracy legislation, SOPA and PIPA, which critics said threatened freedom of speech online. [...]

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, there are “other plurilateral agreements, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), which contains a chapter on IP enforcement that would have state signatories adopt even more restrictive copyright measures than ACTA. Similarly, negotiations over TPP are also held in secret and with little oversight by the public or civil society. These initiatives, negotiated without participation from civil society or the public, are an affront to a democratic world order. EFF will remain vigilant against these international initiatives that threaten to choke off creativity, innovation, and free speech, and will stand with EDRi, FFII, La Quadrature du Net and our other EU fellow traveller organizations in their campaign to defeat ACTA in the European Parliament in January.” [...]

http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/01/23/if-you-thought-sopa-was-...

[GlobalVoices] Poland: Netizens Protest Government's Plan To Sign ACTA Next Week

[...] On January 19, during a meeting with NGOs and business representatives, the Polish government announced that it would sign the controversial anti-piracy agreement ACTA on January 26. While the governement calls it a success of the Polish EU Presidency, netizens are outraged with the arbitrary decision and are calling to take action against the proposal. [...]

ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, is a proposed plurilateral agreement for the purpose of establishing international standards on intellectual property rights enforcement. According to La Quadrature du Net and other globally active digital rights organisations, such as Electronic Frontier Foundation or European Digital Rights, ACTA would impose new criminal sanctions forcing Internet actors to monitor and censor online communications. Creating legal uncertainty for Internet companies, ACTA would become a major threat to freedom of expression online and another assault against the culture of sharing on the Internet. [...]

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/01/22/poland-netizens-protest-governm...

[ComputerActive] Websites support Wikipedia move during 'blackout Wednesday'

Civil and open rights groups join Wikipedia to highlight problems with US anti-piracy Bills by shutting down their websites for a day [...]

These include the Open Rights Group (ORG), Big Brother Watch and La Quadrature du Net's sites. By restricting access to content on these websites, the groups want to highlight the harm they say would occur to a free internet if SOPA and PIPA are passed into law. [...]

http://www.computeractive.co.uk/ca/news/2139627/websites-join-wiki-black...

[EWeekEurope] European Court Says Gov’ts Can’t Force ISPs To Snoop

Online freedom activitists have welcomed a ruling by the European Court of Justice, that says national authorities cannot force ISPs to violate their users’ rights in favour of copyright protection.

The ECJ agreed and found that using such filtering systems indiscriminately would infringe on people’s rights to conduct business, their right to protection of personal data and to receive or impart information.

The ruling stresses once again that instead of keeping on pushing for more repression EU policy makers should work towards much needed reform of copyright that would protect citizens’ freedoms. Rejecting ACTA and other extremist measures imposed in the name of copyright would be a first step,” said Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder and spokesperson of citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

http://www.eweekeurope.co.uk/news/isps-cannot-be-forced-to-monitor-usage...

[V3.Co.Uk] European court rules that ISPs can't be forced to block pirated content

ISPs cannot be legally obliged to monitor their customers' electronic communications and block the unauthorised transmission of copyrighted content, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled, in a landmark decision that will come as a blow to rights holders. […]

Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of rights group La Quadrature du Net, welcomed the news, arguing that it is a blow for a European Commission that has until now "implicitly supported the broad filtering schemes" promoted by the creative industries. […]

http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2127512/european-court-rules-isps-forced-...

[Pcworld] Net Neutrality Should Be Enshrined in EU Law Says Parliament

Net neutrality should be enshrined in European Union law, says the European Parliament.

On Thursday the Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the European Commission to do more to guarantee an open Internet and net neutrality. Parliamentarians want to see E.U. telecom rules properly and consistently enforced and want internet traffic management practices to be monitored closely in order to "preserve the open and neutral character of Internet." […]

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/244075/net_neutrality_shou...

[Jurist] French Copwatch Ruling Continues Trend of Censorship

JURIST Guest Columnist Félix Tréguer, Policy and Legal Analyst at La Quadrature du Net, says that the recent ruling blocking the Copwatch website in France is just another instance of censorship under the Sarkozy government which prevents French citizens from learning of police abuse and engaging in democratic governance...

Far from being an isolated instance, the Copwatch case illustrates a pattern. In the past years, we have also seen a former government minister suing a 49-year-old woman for calling the minister a "liar" in the comment section of a video hosting platform [...]

Fortunately, the Internet provides the means for resisting censorship. When Guéant announced that he was going after Copwatch in late September, people were quick to lambaste his decision on social networks. In a matter of days, dozens of mirror websites replicating the original website appeared on other domain names.[...]

http://jurist.org/hotline/2011/11/felix-treguer-copwatch-restrictions.php

[BoingBoing] Europeans: EU to vote on ACTA, get informed and involved!

ACTA [...] is a punishing, secretly negotiated copyright treaty that could send ordinary people to jail for copyright infringement. The EU will soon vote on it. Here's a video for Europeans who want to learn more before their representatives vote to criminalize them, their children and their neighbours.

On the occasion of the Free Culture Forum in Barcelona, La Quadrature du Net releases three films to inform citizens and urge them to take action against ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

http://boingboing.net/2011/10/29/europeans-eu-to-vote-on-acta-get-inform...

[Netzpolitik] Video: Say no to ACTA

Von La Quadrature du Net gibt es ein neues Anti-ACTA-Mobilisierungsvideo, was sehr schön geworden ist

https://netzpolitik.org/2011/video-say-no-to-acta/

[DeutscheWelle] Media Center : Hadopi law in France

[Audio : 1'45 -> 6'10]

One year on, the controversial anti-piracy law in France has issued three warnings to 60 users - that could lead to a loss of Internet access. Meanwhile, the effects of pending net neutrality legislation. [...]

http://mediacenter.dw-world.de/english/audio/#!/301067/Spectrum/Program=3126

[CIO] European Parliament gets it right on net neutrality say digital liberties groups

Civil liberties groups have broadly welcomed a resolution by the European Parliament's Industry Committee on Thursday that puts pressure on law-makers to come up with tougher rules in favor of net neutrality.

The content of the resolution has been hotly debated by the committee for a number of weeks and the end result is more strongly in favor of net neutrality than first envisioned.

It [...] includes a loophole, which risks being interpreted as accepting restrictions on mobile Internet on the pretext of alleged network congestion, according to La Quadrature du Net.

[...] Kroes must break away from her 'wait and see' approach and take action to effectively protect competition, innovation as well as citizens' freedom of expression and privacy online," said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesman for La Quadrature du Net, a French online rights group.

http://www.cio.com.au/article/404955/european_parliament_gets_it_right_n...

[ZDNet] Net neutrality heads for European Parliament vote

Net neutrality and the open internet in Europe got a boost on Thursday when a key European Parliament committee voted to protect them.

The industry committee unanimously adopted a resolution (PDF) backing the principles, which the parliament as a whole may now vote to adopt at a plenary session in November. [...] It points out the risks of departing from the principles of net neutrality, and reminds the recipients that regulators must be able to curtail anti-competitive behaviour.

The campaigning group La Quadrature du Net welcomed the committee vote. Its spokesman Jérémie Zimmermann noted it is "a political commitment from the European Parliament in favour of net neutrality, [aiming] to prevent telecom operators from restricting internet access".

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/compliance/2011/10/21/net-neutrality-heads-f...

[Computing.co.uk] European Commission put under pressure by Parliament to regulate on net neutrality

The European Parliament has unanimously adopted a resolution on net neutrality that will place pressure on the European Commission to regulate ISPs to treat internet traffic equally.

The resolution calls on the commission to "guard that ISPs do not block, discriminate against, impair or degrade the ability of any person to use a service to access, use, send, post, receive or offer any content application or service of their choice, irrespective of source or target".

Jeremie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, an influential lobby group that framed parts of the text that has been issued to the commission, argues that although the wording of the text is weak, it will place pressure where it is needed.

"What is important is that it adds pressure to Neelie Kroes and her ‘wait and see' approach," he added.

http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2118875/european-commission-pressure...

[CBR] French court orders shut down of police monitoring site

A Paris court has ordered French Internet providers to block access to a website that displays images of police and personal information about their lives.

French authorities say that the website puts the lives of police officers at risk. The Interior Ministry and a police union had sought the blockage of the site.

But free speech campaigners have said that this could be another way for the governmnet to stiffle Internet freedoms in the country.

"This court order illustrates an obvious will by the French government to control and censor citizens' new online public sphere," said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesman for La Quadrature du Net, a Paris-based organization that campaigns against restrictions on the Internet.

http://media.cbronline.com/news/french-court-orders-shut-down-of-police-...

[InternationalHeraldTribune] Court Orders French Cop-Watching Site Blocked

A court here has ruled that French Internet service providers must block access to a Web site that shows pictures and videos of police officers arresting suspects, taunting protesters and allegedly committing acts of violence against members of ethnic minorities.

[...] free speech advocates reacted with alarm, saying the ruling, issued Friday, reflected a French tendency to restrict Internet freedoms.

This court order illustrates an obvious will by the French government to control and censor citizens’ new online public sphere,” said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesman for La Quadrature du Net, a Paris-based organization that campaigns against restrictions on the Internet.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/17/technology/court-orders-french-cop-wat...

[HarvardLawSchool] Palfrey discusses Network Neutrality at the Open World Forum (video)

In an interview with Jérémie Zimmermann, a co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, an advocacy group that promotes the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet, Palfrey offered his perspective of Net Neutrality as a core network principle.

The Network Neutrality debate is one of the fundamental building blocks on which we can have things like open source software, said Palfrey. “At any point in the system where we can reduce the restrictions, in those areas, we’re going to see innovation on top of that layer of the network.[...]

http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/2011/10/14_palfrey-at-open-world-forum.html

[TelecomPaper] Assembly votes to allow courts to block anti-consumer sites

The French national assembly [...] approved an article allowing fraud prevention authority DGCCRF to seek a judge's approval to require ISPs to block a website which breaks consumer protection law. [...] Internet users' association Quadrature du Net deplored that too many deputies still fail to understand the "great dangers" involved with website blocking, despite strong criticisms of web filtering.

http://www.telecompaper.com/news/assembly-votes-to-allow-courts-to-block...

[Computerworlduk] Groups to monitor EU telcos restricting online access

Digital civil liberties groups in Europe have launched an online platform asking citizens to "name and shame" telecommunications companies that impose internet access restrictions.

The aim is to gather information about internet providers that are "violating online freedom" according to advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. Large telecom providers want to "control what you do online," the organization claims. "They want to block and throttle some of your communications, and charge you to use certain online services, content and applications."

http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/it-business/3305988/groups-to-monito...