The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
[EurActiv.com] EU Parliament split over electronic data protection | EU - European Information on InfoSociety
Proposed new rules on the management of traffic data for electronic services have sparked controversy in the European Parliament, potentially delaying the final vote on the Telecoms package.
Last November, the European Commission proposed a wide review of the rules on EU electronic communications, the so-called 'Telecoms package'. The proposals include upgrading the DirectivePdf external on personal data and protection of privacy for electronic services (see our Links Dossier).
Several parliamentary committees are involved in the dossier on data protection, but two have a binding say on framing the European Parliament's final text. These are the Internal Market and Civil Rights Committees.
The Council is expected to give its final opinion on the issue in November under the current French EU Presidency.
Here's the story that's been making headlines in Europe over the last few days: the EU is getting ready to impose Internet traffic monitoring fit for a police state, might ban all peer-to-peer software, and is ready to implement a "three strikes and you're off the 'Net" policy for users sharing copyrighted files. Gross exaggerations, of course, but you wouldn't necessarily know that if you'd read the news sections of online rights groups, or even the website of the venerable BBC. The phrasing in these reports appear to have originated in press releases from two Internet privacy groups that have what can be charitably called an overheated take on some of the EU legislation's provisions.
Ambiguities, not communism
That ambiguity hasn't stopped a number of groups from drawing some very unambiguous conclusions about those provisions. The BBC report echoes the contentions of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, which accused the European Parliament rushing towards a "Soviet Internet." That contention appears to be based on a provision on packet filtering. Benjamin Henrion, an FFI representative, also charged that the legislation will create some sort of software licensing authority. "Tomorrow," he stated, "popular software applications like Skype or even Firefox might be declared illegal in Europe if they are not certified by an administrative authority."
Those claims are reiterated and extended by the French group La Quadrature du Net, which issued an analysis (PDF) of several amendments last week. In addition to accusations of spying and censorship, the group decries a provision that they term "blackmail by e-mail." This would codify the use of warning letters sent to copyright infringers by ISPs. Oddly, these warning letters are conflated with the "three strikes" proposals, which would ban the infringers after repeated warnings. (The European Parliament rejected the idea of a widespread "three strikes" rule only a couple of months ago.)
An amendment to a European telecommunications law could see illegal file sharers disconnected from the net.
Should the Telecom Packet proposals be passed by the European Parliament in September, the 'three strikes' recommendation, which would see illegal file sharers warned about their activities and possibly even disconnected if they continue to offend, would come into force across Europe.
STRAATSBURG - Europarlementsleden die zich bezighouden met de harmonisatie van Europese telecomwetgeving werden volgens Toine Manders (VVD) maandagavond overladen met agressieve e-mails.
Eine lückenlose Internetüberwachung, wie sie Konservative auf Drängen der Unterhaltungs- und Medienindustrie im Telekommunikations-Paket verankern wollten, wird es nicht geben. Abgeordnete des EU-Parlaments haben im Industrie-Ausschuss (ITRE) und Binnenmarkt-Ausschuss (IMCO) am gestrigen Montagabend über rund 1000 Änderungsanträge zum sogenannten Telecom-Paket abgestimmt, die in über 30 Kompromissvorschlägen zusammengefasst wurden. Dabei wurde der von der zuständigen Berichterstatterin Catherine Trautmann (Sozialisten) vorgelegte Kompromissvorschlag angenommen. Inzwischen soll es auch bei den Konservativen mehr Skepsis gegenüber einer "Internetüberwachung" geben.
Proposals have been put before European authorities that could see ISPs adopting a far stricter policy towards internet users who illegally download copyrighted music and movie content.
The Telecom Packet includes the proposal of several laws that would see Europeans suspected of putting movies and music on file-sharing networks thrown off the web. A Europe-wide "three strikes" law could be made law which would see users banned from the web if they fail to heed three warnings that they are suspected of putting copyrighted works on file-sharing networks.
"[The amendments] pave the way for the monitoring and filtering of the internet by private companies, exceptional courts and Orwellian technical measures", said Christophe Espern, co-founder of French rights group La Quadrature du Net (Squaring the Net) in a statement. The Foundation for a Free Internet Infrastructure (FFII) added that the amendments would create a "Soviet internet". "Tomorrow, popular software applications like Skype or even Firefox might be declared illegal in Europe if they are not certified by an administrative authority", warned Benjamin Henrion, FFII representative in Brussels, in a statement.
According to BBC News, members of the European Parliament voted yesterday in favor of advancing new telecom reform legislation known as the Telecoms Package that includes a series of controverisal amendments that digital rights activists say would pave the way for a 'three-strikes' law against online copyright infringers in Europe.
Opponents, led by a French group called La Quadrature du Net, warn that the legislation designed to harmonize Europe's telecom laws would instead threaten the openness of the Internet by requiring ISPs to give individuals suspected of downloading unauthorized copyright material two warnings before cutting off their Net access entirely. Another organization, Free Internet Infrastructure (FFII), went a step further, saying that a provision that would give the government the power to determine what type of software can be used online (and what can't) would lead to a "Soviet Internet" in Europe.
The European Parliament will vote on the legislation in September.
Gestern Abend gabe es im EU-Parlament in Strassburg einen Abstimmungs-Marathon über das Telekom-Paket. Der Binnenausschuss [IMCO] musste 300 Änderungsanträge (Amendments) behandeln, der Industrieausschuss [ITRE] gar ca. 800. Aus diesen Gründen gibt es bisher auch kaum verlässliche detaillierte Informationen, welche Kompromisse durchgekommen sind. Die Futurezone berichtet als erstes mit Verweis auf Eva Lichtenberger von den Österreichischen Grünen, dass zumindest die Eu-weiten Internet-Sperrungen nach dem französischen Modell keine Mehrheiten gefunden haben: Entscheidung über “Telekompaket“. Mal schauen, was im Laufe des Tages noch analysiert wird und was konkret in etwa 30 Kompromissen zusammengefasst wurde. Ich hab schon Positionspapiere dazu gesehen, wo ich aber nicht wirklich von der verwendeten Sprache überzeugt war.
Unklar ist, was jetzt mit den “rechtmässigen Inhalten” ist (”lawful content”). Die Verwendung dieses Begriffes in den Kompromissen muss da noch bis Plenums-Abstimmung im September raus. Weil es unklar ist, wie die Provider denn ermitteln sollen, was “rechtmässige” und im Umkehrschluss “unrechtmässige” Inhalte sind. Dies würde einen Eingriff in die Netzinfrastruktur bedeuten und stellt eine ähnliche Herausforderung dar,w ie beispielsweise die chinesische Netzzensur. Wahlweise kann man direkt bestimmte (P2P-)Dienste blocken oder mit Deep-Packet-Inspection einfach mal den kompletten Datenverkehr analysieren, bewerten und sonstwas damit machen. Das ist nicht akzeptabel und verletzt die Netzneutralität.
France is about to enact laws that penalise persistent file-sharers
Europeans suspected of putting movies and music on file-sharing networks could be thrown off the web under proposals before Brussels.
Campaigners say the laws trample on personal privacy and turn net suppliers into copyright enforcers.
"[The amendments] pave the way for the monitoring and filtering of the internet by private companies, exceptional courts and Orwellian technical measures," said Christophe Espern, co-founder of French rights group La Quadrature du Net (Squaring the Net) in a statement.
The UK's Open Rights Group said the laws would be "disproportionate and ineffective".
MEP Malcolm Harbour, rapporteur for users rights and the e-privacy directive who has helped oversee the Telecoms Package, challenged the rights groups view of the amendments.
"The intention of the directive is nothing like direction they are claiming," he said.
The reforms to the package would likely improve rights for consumers, he said adding that there was no mention of specific anti-piracy measures in the Package.
It is not clear yet whether the amendments will be accepted in full. In April 2008 European politicians voted against similar proposals that would have seen suspected file-sharers thrown off the net.
Making laws in the European Union is a long, complicated and often tedious process that involves a delicate ballet featuring the Council of Ministers, the Parliament and the Commission.
This reads like a call for a public information campaign, but observers like the UK-based Open Rights Group and the French-based La Quadrature du Net believe it would oblige ISPs to contact subscribers when they are accused of transmitting licensed content without permission, for example when using file-sharing networks or downloading from unauthorised sources.