Press review selection
Net neutrality should be here to stay, that’s why it’s a good idea to keep an eye on any violations and report those, thought two civil society groups.
In more detail, La Quadrature du Net (based in France) and Bits of Freedom (in Holland) have put together a website which would serve as a log for absolutely anyone who noticed a violation of the principal of net neutrality and wanted to report it. […]
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."
"RespectMyNet.eu is an online platform enabling citizens to become the watchmen of the Internet," said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesman for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.
Respect My Net é a nova plataforma online lançada por várias organizações para controlar as restrições de operadores aos seus serviços de Internet, na Europa. Os grupos pedem aos cidadãos para “nomear e envergonhar” as empresas de telecomunicações cuja política impõe restrições de acesso à Internet. […]
“A RespectMyNet.eu é uma plataforma online capaz de permitir aos cidadãos tornarem-se sentinelas da Internet”, explicou Jérémie Zimmermann, porta-voz do La Quadrature du Net. “Todos estão convidados a revelar qualquer bloqueio indevido ou limitação do seu acesso à Internet, e ajudar a identificar os operadores dedicados a essas práticas nocivas”, afirmou.
In dieser Woche haben die beiden Bürgerrechtsorganisationen Bits of Freedom und Quadrature du Net zusammen ein Projekt gestartet, um Verletzungen des Prinzips der Netzneutralität europaweit aufzulisten. Die Plattform RespectMyNet.eu ermöglicht es allen Nutzern, als Wächter des Internets Verstöße gegen die Netzneutralität zu melden. […]
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," […]
"RespectMyNet.eu is an online platform enabling citizens to become the watchmen of the Internet," said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesman for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. "Everyone is invited to report undue blocking or throttling of their Internet access and help to identify operators who engage in harmful practices." […]
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement currently being negotiated by the U.S. Trade Representative is even more restrictive and less attentive to human rights than the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that so riled the social justice community in the last two years [...]
Jérémie Zimmermann, cofounder of La Quadrature du Net, a French advocacy group for users' digital rights, urged the audience to lobby EU Parliament members to defeat ACTA. “This is a battle we cannot afford to lose,” he said.
[...] the piracy-oriented panelists were quick to assign responsibility to the administration's kowtowing to large corporate interests. According to Band, for example, the goal of the TPPA is “making the world safe for Disney …, doing what's good for the movie industry.”
The body responsible for administering France's "three strikes" anti-piracy law has summoned a group of web users to explain their file sharing habits.
But Jeremie Zimmermann from French citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net [...] thinks that it is unlikely that anyone will ever be charged.
"For Hadopi it's now about this strategy of intimidation - they're sending out warnings to make people believe that file-sharing is bad, but that's as much as they can do "
"Hadopi is hoping that people will come and confess, that they will say that they have indeed downloaded copyrighted material," he told BBC News.
Three of Europe's biggest telecoms firms are keen to start charging online content providers for delivering material to consumers.
[...] the organisations want national regulators to allow them to charge the biggest online content providers - such as Google and YouTube - for delivering their services to home and business broadband customers.
One critic of this system, citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, argued that allowing the telecoms industry to control content in this manner would be at the expense of "fundamental freedoms".
A major Internet conference ended today in Paris with the publication of an official "Communiqué on Principles for Internet Policy-Making" (PDF). A key piece of these principles involves deputizing Internet providers to become Internet cops—cops that would act on the basis of "voluntary agreements" with content owners and other groups, not on national laws.
The resulting document has plenty of noncontroversial material about freedom of speech on the Internet and letting users run applications of their choice, but a key theme is that ISPs need to saddle up and slap on a badge; they're part of the posse now.
French group La Quadrature du Net went even further, saying that "the text's good opening principles are deeply undermined by copyright-related provisions calling for Internet actors to participate in an endless 'war on sharing' and granting them private police and justice missions."
"Sound Internet policy should encompass norms of responsibility that enable private sector voluntary co-operation for the protection of intellectual property. Appropriate measures include lawful steps to address and deter infringement. All parties have a role to play, including intermediaries," the communication said.
"This approach could create incentives for Internet intermediaries to delete or block contested content and lead to network filtering, which would harm online expression. In addition Internet intermediaries could voluntarily adopt a "graduated response" [...]" said CSISAC, a coalition of more than 80 civil liberties groups from across the globe, including La Quadrature du Net, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and EDRi.
This appears to favor a move towards more filtering and control, something that troubles CSISAC members. "Internet intermediaries must not be called upon to make determinations about the legality of content passing through their networks and platforms because they are neither competent nor appropriate parties to do so.[...]
Groups including La Quadrature du Net and the Electronic Frontier Foundation said they could not endorse the plan because it calls for private policing of the internet and would lead to censorship in the name of copyright protection.
“Under the pressure of the entertainment industries, the OECD is undermining the good principles laid in its framework for Internet policy-making,” said Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of the La Quadrature du Net.
The OECD draft Communiqué on Principles for Internet Policy-Making would make search engines and internet service providers play a more active role in monitoring copyright abuse, potentially becoming responsible for filtering and blocking access to websites that house copyright-infringing material.
A draft executive order would give various French government agencies the power to take down or block Internet content they deem harmful. Critics see a vast censorship scheme that would allow for “arbitrary” take-downs.
As PC Inpact (in French), which broke the story, has pointed out, however, the definition of “electronic commerce” provided in the LCEN is “misleading.” [...] PC Inpact and digital rights organization La Quadrature du Net have therefore argued that the bill puts “the entire Internet” under government censorship.
Based on the aforementioned provisions of the 2004 law [...], the draft executive order that spurred the current controversy defines possible measures as well as the government agencies that would be able to impose them.
MPs in the Netherlands approved a bill on Wednesday that will make the country the first in Europe to enshrine net neutrality in law.
If the bill is approved by the Dutch senate, as is expected to occur, it will mean telecoms operators cannot, for example, charge customers an extra fee if they want to use VoIP services such as Skype. [...]
The law would also force operators to provide a minimum level of quality for their internet services. They are, however, allowed to offer different tiers of bandwidth at varying prices.
The French digital rights group La Quadrature du Net responded to the news of the law's approval by saying it was "excellent news and an example for all of Europe", while Dutch equivalent Bits of Freedom said it was "a crucial foundation for Internet freedom".
Governments should refrain from restricting the flow of information on the internet, and the private sector should not be in charge of policing it, a United Nations advisor on freedom of opinion and expression said last week in a report. He also criticised disconnection of users on intellectual property rights grounds.
He also asked that states give up criminalisation of defamation, and said that intermediaries should not be held liable for refusing to take action that “infringes individuals’ human rights.” Request to prevent access to certain content or disclosure of private information should be done through a legal procedure and a court order, he said.
La Quadrature du Net said the report ”will help citizens hold their governments accountable for policies undermining online freedoms.” In particular, it said, the recent G8′s conclusions ran contrary to the rapporteur’s report on intermediaries.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy sparked fury among internet rights groups after he called for increased state internet control at last month's e-G8 forum.
However critics who were watching the two-day conference on the future of the internet, which preceded the official G8, argued that this was just another way for more government interference.
A joint statement from rights groups La Quadrature du Net and Access Now said: "The world's most developed economies are poised to impose strict copyright enforcement and heavy-handed government regulation of the internet.
[...] This past week, the official communiqué released by the summit of the Gang of Eight industrial nations, or G8, hailed the importance of the Internet to the world's citizens in the 21st century ahead
I spoke with Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder and spokesperson for citizen advocacy group LaQuadrature du Net. For many Internet users, this interview should be by turns illuminating and provocative. "Everywhere you look, you see governments attacking the Internet," said Zimmerman.
If an open Internet is the basis for democracy flourishing around the world, billions of people will be counting upon them to be up to the challenge.
At the the inaugural eG8 Forum, President Nicolas Sarkozy would deliver a grand speech extolling the virtues of the Internet while cautioning against its excesses, making a case to the world that the dynamism of the online world should be civilized to respect privacy, security and intellectual property rights.
In an impromptu press conference held on the ground of the eG8 Forum, Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, Jarvis, Lessig, Benkler, former ICANN board member Susan P. Crawford, and Jean-François Julliard, director of Reporter Sans Frontières, all made it clear that there was not a consensus about the principles or rules of the road for the Internet.
Benkler was baffled that opposition to the open model of innovation persists after 15 years, as if "we've learned nothing," calling the assumptions made on the intellectual property panel on the first day of the eG8 laughable. "Whether liberty, equality or fraternity, we all have to be on the same page about retaining an open Net," he said.
The same old ideological apple cart dominated the eG8 Summit […]
government versus individuals, radicals versus corporations, corporations versus corporations, repression versus freedom, statism versus capitalism. It looks new because the technology is new, but the arguments are as familiar and predictable as the dialogue during a third viewing of a favourite Seinfeld rerun.
In Paris, the eG8 was put on by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in an apparent attempt to put the G8 Summit on the Internet map. A Who’s Who of tech giant CEOs […] appeared along with a bevy of U.S. net neutrality activists and stand-up intellectuals […]
One result of the eG8 is a final G8 communiqué issued Friday that contained a whopping 1,300 words on the Internet issue alone, more than 10% of a document that otherwise deals with the world economy, world peace, earthquakes, climate change, nuclear safety, innovation and biodiversity.
The communiqué’s Internet clauses were immediately dismissed by France’s modern version of student revolutionaries, a group called La Quadrature du Net, whose slogan is “Defend a Free Internet.” In a statement, Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of La Quadrature, said:
This whole episode has shown that there is not much to expect from these few governments who lend their ears to special interests. G8 governments shun the historic responsibility of recognizing the necessary conditions for the Internet to be truly open. They fail to even consider proposing a reform of copyright, abstain from committing to Net neutrality or from protecting users of the malpractices of online businesses. […]
PARIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy's "e-G 8" summit on the power of the internet suffered a technical hiccup when cyber-attacks disrupted the forum's wireless connection, organisers said on Wednesday. […]
Web freedom campaign group La Quadrature du Net rejected rumours […] "That shows that some people are ill at ease with our presence at the e-G 8," Jeremie Zimmermann , head of the group, which has fiercely criticised the stance of major delegates on online regulation, said. […]
Improvised press conference of the civil society during the e-G8 Forum in Paris led by Jérémie Zimmermann (porte-parole de La Quadrature du Net) and with Jeff Jarvis (Professor in Journalism at City University New York) ; Lawrence Lessig (Professor at HArvard Law School, founder of Creative Commons) ; Susan P. Crawford (former ICANN member) ; Jean-François Julliard (directeur de Reporter Sans Frontières) ; Yochai Benkler (co-director of Harvard's Berkman Center for the Internet).
The European Commission has published a policy blueprint for dealing with intellectual property rights, promising among other things to focus on service providers in the fight against online copyright infringement. […]
"All service providers concerned have to respect an appropriate level of care in their commercial operations," the Commission added, while stressing that the approach did not mean changing the safe harbour provisions of the e-Commerce Directive, which broadly protect service providers from liability for what goes on over their networks.
Nonetheless, the digital rights group La Quadrature du Net responded to the IPR Strategy by saying it was intended to force providers to police their users.
"The goal of EU authorities is to use technical means to block communications and restrict users' access in the name of enforcing an obsolete vision of copyright. "
– Jérémie Zimmermann, La Quadrature du Net
For some time, French Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy has talked about his dream of a “civilized” Internet, but this dream has long been a nightmare for those who worry that “civilization” is really a code for “regulations favorable to big business and the national security state.” […]
The French Internet activists at La Quadrature du Net have been even tougher. Governments “have entered an alliance with some of these companies, united in the fear of the new capabilities afforded to individuals by the Internet and computers,” said spokesperson Jérémie Zimmermann.
So when Sarkozy took the stage of the e-G8 this morning, suspicions about his true motives were already rampant. And he did little to dispel them. […]
Introduces new “blueprint” for Intellectual Property Rights to “boost creativity and innovation.” Strategy involves preventing access to counterfeit goods and services online while at the same increasing and simplifying access to legitimate alternatives. […]
On the enforcement side the leading cause for concern is discussion of ISP “cooperation” in the fight against online infringement. […]
“Like the United States with the PROTECT IP Act, the goal of EU authorities is to use technical means to block communications and restrict users’ access in the name of enforcing an obsolete vision of copyright,” says Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net. “Such a scheme would lead to the establishment of a censorship infrastructure by online actors, technically similar to those currently used in authoritarian states. In the process, freedom of communication, privacy as well as the right to a fair trial would inevitably be undermined.” […]
The proposed changes include:
- creating a unitary patent-protection system so inventors would need to register only one patent covering most EU countries – reducing costs and red tape
- protecting brands more effectively through a modernised trademark system that is simpler, faster, more effective, efficient and consistent
- easing access to copyright-protected works, particularly online and including Europe’s cultural heritage
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is holding a summit in Paris this week with some of the world's most powerful online luminaries. Netizens worry that Sarkozy's motives might be suspect -- and that he could leave a legislative mess like the one in Germany. [...]
The summit is "a farce," says Jérémie Zimmermann, the cofounder and spokesman of the advocacy group "La Quadrature du Net," noting that Sarkozy has made it clear that he wants to impose his authoritarian ideas about regulation on his G-8 colleagues.
La Quadrature du Net, together with other Net activists and initiatives, already called for protests in advance of the summit. Under the slogan "G-8 vs. Internet," the group argues that the world's governments are "uniting to control and censor the Internet."
The EU is on a downward path to endorsing Internet censorship as it will ask Internet service providers to help stop online piracy, argue lobbyists and digital rights campaigners on the eve of new copyright regulation. […]
Digital rights campaigners argue that the EU is about to weaken citizens' fundamental rights and give way to an already growing trend of censorship across the EU. […]
"On the pretext of giving up on sanctioning the users directly - such as in the 'three strikes' schemes, the Commission's plan would place the burden of enforcement and sanctioning on the Internet companies [...] so they will be policing and judging their users themselves. This is even more dangerous!" reads a statement from the open Internet NGO, La Quadrature du Net.
With blogs and Tweets oiling the wheels of revolutions in some countries and scans and downloads sparking trade disputes in others, the stakes are high for leaders seeking to promote and profit from the Web but also to regulate it.
“Under the guise of a pseudo-consultative process, it is the governments’ desire to control the Internet a bit more that is becoming apparent,” French Internet freedom campaign group La Quadrature du Net wrote on its Web site.
Sarkozy has called for “a civilized Internet” and has proposed another gathering, on online copyright protection, ahead of the November meeting of leaders of the Group of 20 [...]
With blogs and Tweets oiling the wheels of revolutions in some countries and scans and downloads sparking trade disputes in others, the stakes are high for leaders seeking to promote and profit from the web but also to regulate it.
"Under the guise of a pseudo-consultative process, it is the governments' desire to control the Internet a bit more that is becoming apparent," French Internet freedom campaign group Le Quadrature du Net wrote on its website.
"Behind the smokescreen of this 'forum', citizens must hold world leaders more responsible for their actions and denounce the many continual breaches of their liberties."
Media freedom campaigners including Reporters Without Borders have criticised moves by some European countries, such as a recent French law making web users liable to prosecution if they illegally download films and music.
The first-of-its-kind event is being convened by President Nicolas Sarkozy to put the Internet firmly on the agenda of the Group of 8 countries [...]. But an alternate view is that the president wants to push his often-invoked vision of a “civilized Internet” — one that is safer for children, more favorable to copyright owners and more lucrative for the French treasury.
The get-together comes as the Internet takes a central role in powering economic growth and empowering societies, as revolutions in the Arab world have shown. At the same time, digital piracy in the West and censorship in China continue to vex policy makers, prompting calls for greater coordination of Internet strategies.
“In spite of a harmless sounding rhetoric, the E-G8 Forum is a smokescreen to cover control of governments over the Internet,” wrote Jérémie Zimmermann, a spokesman for La Quadrature du Net, a group that campaigns against restrictions on the Internet.
Sarkozy's French government is hosting an "EG8" summit on Internet policy and have invited lots of technical people [...] the Sarkozy agenda is control and censorship. Jeremie from La Quadrature du Net sez :
"The Elysee (French Presidency) does not want to hear anything about cyberdissidents or freedom of expression, it wants 'control'." [...] (about the reasons behind the cancellation of a pre-G8 international conference on freedom of expression online)
This policy directly originated from the French presidency, and was imposed on the Foreign Affairs Ministry.[...]
[BoingBoing.net] Fight back against Sarkozy's EG8 -- an exercise in censorship and control dressed up as a technology summit
Jeremie Zimmermann from La Quadrature du Net sez,
As a host of the G8, France's president Nicolas Sarkozy wants to step up centralized control over the Internet. He has convened world leaders to a summit aimed at working towards a 'civilized Internet' a concept he borrowed from the Chinese government. [...]
The Internet allows us to express our opinions universally. The Internet unites us and makes us strong. It is a space in which the common civilisation of our diverse planet meets. [...]
I was invited to the EG8 and declined. I believe it's a whitewash, an attempt to get people who care about the Internet to lend credibility to regimes that are in all-out war with the free, open net. [...]
Members of the European Parliament have overwhelmingly backed plans to co-ordinate mobile broadband spectrum across the continent, in a move that could increase the spread of online connectivity.
Digital rights organisation La Quadrature du Net offered an enthusiastic reaction to the passed bill, noting that it supports shared and unlicensed use of spectrum, and therefore "paves the way for the development of the next generations of free wireless internet communications".
Amendments included in the adopted text encourage the use of the unused 'white spaces' between frequencies allocated to industries, as well as wireless mesh network technology, the group noted.
The European Commission is contemplating making Internet providers police their networks to tackle illegal downloads, a highly contested measure which is currently being scrutinised by the European Court of Justice.
The open Internet advocacy group, la Quadrature du Net, has often argued that infringements should be treated like any other crime in a court of law – innocent until proven guilty – and not on an ad-hoc basis executed by industry players.
Ireland is the first country to introduce filtering after Internet service provider Eircom caved into the pressure of a lawsuit filed against it by the music industry.
High-speed Internet for all - including on mobile phones - and lower consumer prices are the main highlights of the European Commission's digital agenda, a five-year plan to ensure higher connectivity for EU citizens and business.
In an interview with EurActiv, EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said interoperability would be at the centre of the Commission's efforts. Her plans, she explained, were designed to prevent dominant market players from locking consumers in to their technologies.
Jérémie Zimmermann [...] commented: "The whole Digital Agenda is the partly equivocal result of ongoing tensions within the Commission, but it also reveals intense pressure coming from corporate lobbies. While parts of the agenda are somewhat disappointing for open standards and Free Software users, the proposals are quite encouraging overall."
The European Commission has decided against introducing legislation to protect net neutrality on the continent, preferring to leave it to the market to resolve any concerns about the blockage or throttling of services or content.
Net neutrality, one of the most contested issues surrounding the internet, would preserve the passage of data across the information superhighway without discrimination regarding their nature or source. [...]
"Under heavy pressure, Kroes has carefully avoided taking any action to regulate the way internet access providers discriminate their users' internet traffic," said La Quadrature du Net, an online civil liberties pressure group.
Despite claiming to support net neutrality, the European Commission has been criticized for not going far enough in its latest report released Tuesday. [...]
However, advocacy group, La Quadrature du Net, which promotes the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet, described the Commission's report as "extremely disappointing" and said Kroes was "hiding behind false liberal arguments that could undermine the freedom of communication and innovation in the digital environment."
"This report fails to offer a policy protecting the free, open and neutral Internet," said Felix Tréguer, records management officer at Quadrature du Net.
Legislation to prevent a 'two-speed' internet, with some content arriving faster than others, has been ruled out
The European commission has decided against introducing legislation to protect net neutrality, saying media scrutiny and giving consumers enough information about their internet service provider will be sufficient to protect an "open and neutral" internet. [...]
"This simplistic spin does not stand the test of reality. In practice, millions of users can only chose one operator to connect to the internet, either because of geographical or commercial constraints," said La Quadrature du Net, a France-based online civil liberties group.
Neelie Kroes, the EU's telecom commissioner, explains changes in level of service and competition. The new directive will ensure that mobile phone and Internet providers will allow customers to switch within one day. [...]
"In practice, millions of users can only chose one operator to connect to the Internet, either because of geographical or commercial constraints," wrote La Quadrature du Net, a French Internet advocacy group, in a statement posted to its website on Tuesday.
The European Commission is planning to investigate whether European mobile operators are managing wireless Internet traffic to discriminate against competitors or consumers who use data-intensive services.
Advocates of network neutrality criticized the inquiry as insufficient, saying that the fact-finding mission was superfluous and ignored obvious, continuing problems with the mobile Internet.[...]
“Judging from what we’ve seen of her report so far, it appears that Mrs. Kroes is not even convinced there is a problem,” said Jérémie Zimmermann, a spokesman for La Quadrature du Net, a French group that opposes restrictions to the Internet.
The European Commission will unveil proposals to foster a neutral and competitive Internet on Tuesday (19 April), drawing praise from big industry for its cautiousness while consumer groups and activists lament its lack of substance.
The EU paper admits that problems have been detected such as blocking of Internet telephony and anticompetitive traffic management, but also claims these have so far been dealt with by a national regulator or negative media coverage.
According to Jérémie Zimmermann, the founder of the Internet advocacy group, Bouygues, SFR and Orange [...] are already infringing net neutrality by banning VOIP, peer-to-peer file sharing and discussion forum newsgroups on their mobile connections.
Blocking websites to prevent unlawful downloads of music and films could be illegal itself, according to the European Court of Justice's Advocate General.
“The installation of that filtering and blocking system is a restriction on the right to respect for the privacy of communications and the right to protection of personal data, both of which are rights protected under the Charter of Fundamental Rights,” Cruz Villalón to the ECJ.
"The advocate general's conclusions make clear that asking internet service providers to police their networks to enforce copyright runs counter to fundamental rights,” said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for internet liberties group La Quadrature.
La Quadrature du Net has welcomed the publishing of a cross party report that it said could serve as a benchmark for wider reaching European rules.
The group has published its own translation of the report, which calls for the preservation of the Internet's universality and would preserve end users' "fundamental freedoms".
"The report reveals a deep understanding of the technical, social, economic and political realities of the Internet, and of the huge importance of preserving its universality. The rapporteurs stress the importance of protecting Net neutrality, which is the guarantee of online freedom, refusing to sacrifice it in the name of telecoms operators' economic interest", said Jérémie Zimmerman, co-founder and spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net.
The European Union (EU) parliament's committee on industry, transport and research (ITR) has unveiled proposals for the use of unlicensed spectrum to boost existing wireless broadband coverage.
Jeremie Zimmerman, co-founder and spokesperson for LQN, said: "Citizens should be thankful to the members of the ITR committee for their encouraging vote in favour of free and open wireless communications."
But he cautioned: "We can be sure that the telecoms and broadcasting industries will lobby hard in order to remain in control of airwaves."
THE EUROPEAN UNION PARLIAMENT has adopted amendments to the European Union Spectrum Policy that allows free use of airwaves by citizens.
[...] Internet freedom advocacy group La Quadrature du Net said the move would "lead to the development of the next generations of free wireless Internet communications".
Zimmermann added that he expects telecom companies to battle hard against it, saying, "We can be sure that the telecoms and broadcasting industries will lobby hard in order to remain in control of airwaves. For the sake of innovation and freedom of communication, it is crucial that wireless Internet become more open [...]
Quadrature du Net's repository of #cablegate cables related to ACTA, the secretive copyright treaty reveal that governments all over the world were pissed off that the USA and Japan wouldn't let them discuss the treaty with their citizens and industry.
More importantly, they explicitly confirm that the reason that ACTA was negotiated in secret among rich countries was that this was seen as the most expeditious way of getting a super-extreme copyright agreement passed with a minimum of fuss, and that all the poor countries who were excluded from the negotiation would later be coerced into agreeing to it.
A batch of cables released by WikiLeaks has shown new insights into the motivation for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) currently under discussion. [...]
The WikiLe aks cables show that the news of the leak caused concern among negotiators [...]
"The history of ACTA as exposed by these US diplomatic cables shows how an opaque and illegitimate process has led to ill-founded and unbalanced repressive provisions," Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, told V3.co.uk.
"As democratic representatives start debating the ratification of ACTA, they should reject ACTA so as to protect democratic values and the rule of law."
As La Quadrature du Net noted in a statement, the cables "do not bring anything entirely new to our understanding of Acta". However, they do reveal certain interesting details about the lengthy and secretive formulation of the agreement.
Cables from 2006, around the time that work on Acta began, showed that Japan resisted a World Trade Organisation legal attack on China, which is widely seen as a haven for intellectual property infringement — while groups such as La Quadrature du Net are most exercised by the online infringement aspects of Acta, the agreement is largely concerned with physical counterfeits.
US negotiators wanted to make the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta) a "freestanding agreement" to avoid scrutiny from international groupings such as the G-8 or OECD, according to diplomatic cables revealed by Wikileaks.
Wikileaks made available a number of Acta-related cables to the French digital rights campaign group La Quadrature du Net.
La Quadrature du Net said: "The history of Acta, as exposed by these US diplomatic cables, shows how an opaque and illegitimate process has led to ill-founded and unbalanced repressive provisions. As democratic representatives start debating over the ratification of Acta, they should reject Acta so as to protect democratic values and the rule of law."
[Techdirt] Leaked State Department Cables Confirm That ACTA Was Designed To Pressure Developing Nations
The site La Quadrature Du Net has a rather comprehensive look at a series of leaked State Department cables that confirm what many people said from the beginning about ACTA: that it was designed by US special interests as an "end run" around existing international intellectual property groups [...]
The full cable on this matter makes it clear that the US had a big plan and that plan involved bringing together only "like-minded" countries, and Japan was gleeful about this, but had originally expected the OECD would help.
French digital rights group La Quadrature du Net has compiled a list of relevant WikiLeaks cables regarding ACTA. In one, a top intellectual property official in Italy told the US that "the level of confidentiality in these ACTA negotiations has been set at a higher level than is customary for non-security agreements." [...]
As a Japanese trade official noted, "we should move as fast as possible and keep in mind that the intent of the agreement is to address the IPR problems of third-nations such as China, Russia, and Brazil, not to negotiate the different interests of like-minded countries. The new agreement could serve as a yardstick for measuring the market economy status of countries such as China and Russia."
The European Commission stands accused of reneging on copyright rules as it is reportedly discussing a private deal to allow companies to disconnect users from the Internet for suspected piracy.
"These talks, if true, could well lead to the back-door imposition of a 'Hadopi-type' regime throughout Europe, with the Commission's imprimatur, and without any prior legal scrutiny and preconditions," Socialist & Democrat MEPs Stavros Lambrinidis (Greece) and Françoise Castex (France) argue.
An Internet advocacy group, La Quadrature du Net, highly doubts whether a judge would ever enforce the law as the evidence has been gathered by a private company and not by the police.
In 1974 [...] a draft security law known as Project Safari called for the government to use social security numbers to interconnect all personal administrative data. "It was very, very bad political move to hunt the citizen through their data," said Jeremie Zimmerman, a founder of internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.
The CNIL (Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertes), the French data protection agency, was created as part of the 1978 law. The agency now handles some 5,000 complaints and information requests a year.
MORE THAN SEVENTY-FIVE websites have been shut down by the US government in an assault on alleged copyright and trademark infringement.
[...] Just last week the four people responsible for running the filesharing tracker website The Pirate Bay had their jail sentences slightly decreased but their financial penalties increased.
The increased damages and continued threat of jail time, which were the result of a court appeal by The Pirate Bay, were greeted with dismay by the French Internet freedom group La Quadrature du Net.
Members of the European Parliament have approved the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), overcoming yet another hurdle and making its progress into law an increasing certainty.
However, while the EC confirmed in a statement to the European Parliament that neither personal searches nor the so-called 'three strikes' procedure for illegal downloaders will be introduced by this agreement, the approval was greeted with dismay by rights organisation La Quadrature du Net.
"This vote is a terrible blow to EU citizens. It shows that the conservatives and some of their allies can get the Parliament to vote in favour of ACTA," said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for the group.
The European Parliament has passed a resolution supporting the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, an international treaty that is designed to crack down on counterfeiting and unlawful file-sharing.
"The Commission welcomes the European Parliament resolution on Acta and the confidence expressed so far by MEPs towards the accord," John Clancy, spokesman for EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht, said in a statement on Thursday.
However, the anti-Acta lobby was less pleased. "This vote is a terrible blow to EU citizens," Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen organisation La Quadrature du Net, said in a statement on Wednesday. [...]
The European Parliament today passed a resolution welcoming the almost final text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
The MEPs' vote, which effectively gives the European Commission the green light to agree the final ACTA wording, was described today as a "call to arms for those interested in maintaining freedom of speech and internet-led innovation" by a member of civil liberties advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.
A member of La Quadrature du Net, Jérémie Zimmermann, said: "This resolution is a political statement from the parliament, and is very worrying for advocates of civil liberties; MEPs needs to be made aware of how this legislation would limit innovation and put corporations above the rights of ordinary citizens [before the agreement is passed].
"Now is the time to lobby your MEPs," he added.
The European Parliament approved a resolution Wednesday signaling its willingness to support a controversial trade agreement aimed at boosting international cooperation in combating counterfeiting and piracy.
The parliament called on the commission "to confirm that ACTA's implementation will have no impact on fundamental rights and data protection, on the ongoing EU efforts to harmonize intellectual property rights enforcement measures, or on e-commerce," according to a parliament news release.
Despite this, the Paris-based Internet civil liberties group La Quadrature du Net said it was disappointed by the parliament's move. "All citizens concerned with democratic law making, the preservation of the online ecosystem, freedom of speech, privacy and access to medicines should work with their elected representatives to make sure that the European Parliament does not give its assent to ACTA," the group's spokesman Jérémie Zimmermann said in a statement.
[ComputerWeekly.com] Acta text finalised as civil liberties body accuses piracy act of threat to freedom
Negotiators have finalised the text of the controversial multilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta), which aims to stop international trade estimated at billions of pounds a year in counterfeit and pirated copyright works in physical and digital forms.
La Quadrature du Net, a digital civil liberties body, said in a statement that by putting legal and monetary pressure on internet service providers (in a more subtle way than in previous versions of the text), Acta would give the music and movie industries "a weapon to force them to police their networks and users themselves".
Negotiators have published a finished text of the controversial treaty, after ironing out final details
The MEPs’ stance echoes that of La Quadrature du Net, an activist group critical of ACTA, which has criticised negotiators for giving the impression that the European Parliament’s approval will amount to a rubber-stamp.
“Citizens and their elected representatives are put before a ‘fait accompli’,” stated La Quadrature du Net spokesman Jérémie Zimmermann in October. “Ratification of ACTA must be opposed by all means.”
The text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been finalised after all negotiating nations reached a consensus on the last remaining issues during discussions in Tokyo.
La Quadrature Du Net, a highly vocal opponent of ACTA, recently called for the relevant organisations within governments debating the treaty to oppose its ratification.
"ACTA's bias and lack of legitimacy should compel the legislative bodies of the negotiating countries to strongly oppose its ratification, and acknowledge the necessity to reform patent and copyright law."
A Brussels summit and a three-month consultation of internet service providers, telecoms firms, consumer groups and civil liberties activists on the topic of ‘net neutrality' carried out by the European Commission, whose results were published this week, reveal wide divisions amongst stakeholders in the sector over how to maintain an open internet.
The topic is highly controversial, as was revealed by the result of the commission's consultation. A number of respondents said that 'traffic management' is inevitable and desirable in order to support efficient networks.
Railing against such thinking, Jeremie Zimmerman of La Quadrature du Net, an online civil liberties outfit, told the summit: "Net neutrality must be made into law. Provisions aiming at competition and transparency have proven ineffective to protect it. This fundamental principle must by guaranteed through EU-wide regulation."
Sceptics have begun to express alternative views on the initially positively received latest version of the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) text.
Shera and French internet lobby La Quadarature du Net both point with concern to a paragraph in the current ACTA text , obliging signatories to provide enforcement measures with respect to at least copyright and trademarks “including the unlawful use of means of widespread distribution for infringing purposes” .
La Quadrature du Net also expresses fears a special-purpose committee established to consider “development” and amendments to ACTA might short-circuit more recognised international bodies.
Within the last few weeks, Hadopi, the new French government agency charged with combating online piracy, has begun sending out thousands of warning e-mails on a daily basis to illegal file sharers around the country.
[...] Internet freedom groups say the legislation is a dangerous step towards online censorship, and that trying to stop people sharing is hopeless task. [...]
[...] Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, another French Internet advocacy group, believes the problem requires an economic rather than a legal solution.
Twenty autumns ago, Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist, came up with a catchy name for a revolutionary project that aimed to open the Internet to the masses. “The World Wide Web,” he called it, and the image proved to be so evocative that, for many people, the Web has become synonymous with the Internet.
So as other kinds of Internet traffic have started to grow more rapidly than Web use, some open-Internet campaigners see a threat to the Web and, more generally, the Internet as we know it.[...]
For Internet users in countries like China or Iran, the idea that there are limits to online freedom is nothing new. There, governments routinely block access to Web sites that feature dissenting political views.
For advocates of openness, the nightmare outlook is one in which telecommunications companies, allied with other corporate partners, seize control of the Internet and run it in a way that maximizes profits, rather than openness. [...]
“The Internet has become a truly global space where everyone, almost everywhere, has access to the same information,” said Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, a group based in Paris that campaigns against restrictions on Internet use. “I think this is one of the most precious things we have ever built as a civilization, and this is what is at stake now.”
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Final negotiations for a controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta) have been completed in Tokyo, with EU sources insisting that the draft accord will not restrict the freedoms of EU citizens or require legislative changes.
Wednesday's final text includes chapters on 'civil enforcement', 'border measures' and 'enforcement of intellectual property rights in the digital environment', sparking fears earlier this year that the Acta legal framework could result in large scale monitoring of internet users.
Some critics were still sceptical about the final text, however. "Whatever happens, it's still circumvention of the democratic process," Jérémie Zimmermann, the co-founder of the French digital rights group La Quadrature du Net, told the technology website ZDNet UK.
For three years, technology and telecommunications companies have watched nervously from the sidelines as the United States and nearly a dozen trading partners have negotiated a trade agreement that critics feared could undermine all sorts of online activities.
[...] For one thing, the latest draft opens the door to expanding the scope of the agreement beyond just copyright protections to encompass trademarks and possibly even patents and other types of intellectual property [...]
Jeremie Zimmermann, a spokesman for La Quadrature du Net, a public interest group based in Paris [...] "This kind of private police and private justice of the Net is very dangerous," he said.
[...] the latest draft text of ACTA has been released (pdf). Let's bulletpoint a few things up top, and then we'll discuss things in more detail down below:
- This version is not final [...]
- [...] it involved secrecy, misleading statements, ignoring important stakeholders until copies were leaked and concerned stakeholders shouted loud enough to be heard. As La Quadrature Du Net points out, this whole process was a counterfeit of democracy.
- The document still has many, many problems. [...]
All in all, what we have here is a travesty of process. You had a bunch of industry stakeholders, who drove the process from the beginning, putting in extreme language and extreme ideas. [...]
Members of the European Parliament have asked the Commission to halt a global trade agreement against counterfeiting (ACTA) after reports that negotiations on the controversial pact were concluded without their consent in Tokyo on Saturday (2 October).
"The aim of this premature announcement of a deal is of course to install the impression that ACTA is a done deal, that parliaments have no other choice than to accept it without any possibility to modify it," according to Internet freedom NGO La Quadrature du Net.
The negotiations were "almost across the finish line," according to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, speaking on Saturday.
A França está declarando guerra à disseminação livre de informações e cultura pela internet, considerada “pirataria” pelas autoridades. A partir desta quinta-feira (30/9), os franceses que realizarem downloads e trocas de arquivos protegidos por direitos autorais devem começar a receber advertências formais, primeira etapa repreensiva de uma nova lei de combate à “pirataria” na rede.
“O governo confiou missões de polícia a entidades privadas. Eles irão vigiar o espaço público - a rede de compartilhamento de obras em sistema P2P (peer to peer) -, constatar infrações e coletar supostas provas. E, claro, farão isso com fins comerciais”, diz Jérémie Zimmermann, cofundador da ONG Quadrature du Net, de defesa dos direitos na internet.
As the 11th round of negotiations [...] Reporters Without Borders reiterates its opposition to the way these talks are being held behind closed doors without democratic consultation and to the potentially repressive positions being taken by the countries involved. [...]
In the ACTA’s latest version, Internet service providers and companies that provide website hosting services are no longer required to take repressive measures against illegal downloaders and civil sanctions have instead been included in the “General Obligations with Respect to Enforcement.”
The ACTA recommends the use of criminal proceedings for trademark counterfeiting and certain kinds of illegal downloading. [...] Reporters Without Borders thinks this could foster an oppressive climate for all Internet users.
Woensdag stemde het Europarlement in meerderheid voor het rapport Gallo, een voorstel voor de bescherming van intellectueel eigendom. GroenLinks en D66 reageerden furieus op het rapport, maar zoals VVD’er Toine Manders al opmerkte: het heetste hangijzer staat er niet eens in. Wat de partij van Marielle Gallo echt wil is sinds deze week in Frankrijk van kracht: HADOPI, oftewel three strikes out. Drie keer betrapt worden op illegaal downloaden, en je internet wordt afgesloten.
Na lang gesteggel lijkt de wet nu van kracht te zijn. Deze week werd het internet overspoeld met berichten over de eerste IP-adressen die door HADOPI ingezameld werden. Dat gaat met tienduizenden tegelijk, melden diverse bronnen. Maar wat is het nu precies, die HADOPI wet? En moeten we er nu wel of niet voor vrezen? 3VOOR12 sprak met een van de felste tegenstanders van de wet, internetactivist Jeremie Zimmerman van La Quadrature Du Net, de Franse versie van Bits Of Freedom. “De HADOPI wet die nu van kracht is, is geen nederlaag, het is juist een grote politieke overwinning. Het is namelijk een dode wet.”
EU policymaking history is repeating itself as another row erupted in the European Parliament yesterday (22 September) over how to tackle Internet piracy and whether users can be cut off from the Internet for making illegal downloads. EurActiv reports from Strasbourg.
The battle for Hadopi
The main activists in the debate are a group called La Quadrature du Net, a French NGO campaigning for web neutrality, which appears to have convinced MEPs that an anti-piracy law will open the door to Hadopi.
"Soon, elected representatives across Europe will realise that the crusade of these industries against their own public undermines the founding values of our democracies, and that it should be stopped by all means," said Jeremie Zimmermann, the NGO's founder.
[...] Members of the European Parliament have recommend the removal of barriers to a single digital market by granting European Union-wide copyright licences for products such as music, books and films.
“[T]he phenomenon of on-line piracy has assumed very alarming proportions, particularly for the creative content industries,” notes the report, authored by conservative French MEP Marielle Gallo. [...]
“The Gallo report is an illustration of the will of the entertainment industry to try to impose private copyright police and justice of the Net.” said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.
The European Parliament on Wednesday (22 September) adopted a non-legislative report on enforcement of intellectual property rights, calling for tougher application of intellectual rights and copyright harmonisation at the EU level. Meanwhile, civil liberties activists warn that such moves would undermine fundamental freedoms in the bloc.
While Ms Gallo said the text "makes no assumptions about any penalties that should be imposed and does not foresee a European 'Hadopi' law", critics warn it creates an opportunity for measures similar to French anti-piracy legislation, named for the new government agency created to hunt down online pirates that has the power to cut off internet access after 'three strikes' and even jail repeat offenders.
"The Gallo report is an illustration of the will of the entertainment industry to try to impose private copyright police and justice of the Net," said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesman for online civil liberties pressure group La Quadrature du Net, in reaction to the parliament's decision.
The report is due to be voted on in the European Parliament on 22 September, but fortunately MEPs are lighting flaming torches and sharpening pitchforks in preparation, and could run it out of Brussels completely.
While the DEA only wants to kick in UK citizens' doors and fleece their ISPs for the privilege, the rot in the Gallo report is Europe wide, and could lead to 'more repression' through excessive legislation, said the advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, which is backing the MEPs' rebellion and calling for more to join them.
An alternative approach has been suggested by detractors, which aims to be more user friendly, less-draconian, more relevant, less offensive, fairer, and possibly less appreciated by media firms.
The European Parliament has passed a motion insisting that any negotiations of the controversial ACTA treaty should safeguard the rights of citizens and local ISPs. [...]
"Written Declaration 12/2010 is a strong political signal sent by the European Parliament to the Commission that ACTA is not tolerable as a way of bypassing democratic processes," said Jérémie Zimmermann, a spokesman for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. [...]
Gwen Hinze, international director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, added: "Let's hope that EU negotiators now recognise that ACTA should protect the fundamental rights of all citizens and net users, and not just the narrow interests of major content businesses."
Today 377 members of the European Parliament adopted a written declaration on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in which they demand greater transparency, assert that ISPs should not up end being liable for data sent through their networks, and say that ACTA "should not force limitations upon judicial due process or weaken fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and the right to privacy." [...]
La Quadrature du Net, a French group that heavily backed the declaration, sees it as a sign that ACTA is doomed.
"Written Declaration 12 is a strong political signal sent by the EP to the Commission that ACTA is not tolerable as a way of bypassing democratic processes. Legislation related to Internet, freedom of speech and privacy cannot be negotiated in secrecy under the direct influence of entertainment industry lobbies," said spokesperson Jérémie Zimmermann. "Full rejection of ACTA is the only option."
Adopts Written Declaration 12 which criticizes lack of transparency in the ongoing Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations and the fact that it includes limitations upon judicial due process or weaken fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and the right to privacy; [...]
“Written Declaration 12 is a strong political signal sent by the EP to the Commission that ACTA is not tolerable as a way of bypassing democratic processes,” says Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. “Legislation related to Internet, freedom of speech and privacy cannot be negotiated in secrecy under the direct influence of entertainment industry lobbies.” [...]
Eurodiputados europeos han reunido hoy 369 firmas contra el tratado ACTA después de que salieran a la luz borradores en los que se apuntaban como medidas contra la piratería el rastreo de comunicaciones o la vigilancia y bloqueo de los clientes en su acceso a Internet por parte de los proveedores.
Sobre la declaración, el eurodiputado francés François Castex, ha anunciado que "es una gran victoria para aquellos que defienden los derechos fundamentales de los ciudadanos y la neutralidad de los intermediarios técnicos". [...]
"Es un esfuerzo fantástico y un gran resultado. Hemos demostrado que era posible", aseguran en Twitter desde Quadrature du Net, uno de los organizadores de la firma, según recoge elpais.com. [...]
A network neutrality policy proposed recently by industry giants Google and Verizon not only sparked controversy here in the United States, but the news is making waves internationally as well.
Pro-neutrality groups [...] blasted the proposal as one that would only benefit industry behemoths and would be a detriment to startups, consumers, and others. They argue in favour of neutrality for all parts of the internet and against allowing service providers to block or restrict certain users over others.
“The Google/Verizon could have a lasting impact on the Net neutrality debate everywhere, especially if it is followed by [legislation], in the US and beyond,” said LQDN spokesman Jérémie Zimmermann. “The lobbying power of these two companies combined with that of other telcos agreeing with their position – AT&T, etcetera – is huge.”
A network neutrality policy proposed recently by industry giants Google and Verizon not only sparked controversy here in the United States, but the news is making waves internationally as well.
The European Union has launched a consultation on key net neutrality questions [...]. France-based neutrality advocacy group La Quadrature du Net (LQDN) is one entity that will provide input to that process early next month.
“The Google/Verizon could have a lasting impact on the Net neutrality debate everywhere, especially if it is followed by [legislation], in the US and beyond,” said LQDN spokesman Jérémie Zimmerman.