The European Parliament rejects “graduated response”… for the third time

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Paris, 26 March 2009 – The European Parliament, endorsing the Lambrinidis report1http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A6-2009-0103+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN and turning its back on all the amendments supported by the French government and defended by Jacques Toubon and Jean-Marie Cavada, has just rejected “graduated response” for the third time. France is definitely alone in the world with its kafkaesque administrative machinery, an expensive mechanism for arbitrary punishment.

The report of MEP Stavros Lambrinidis concerning the protection of individual liberties on the Internet has just been confirmed by the European parliament by an overwhelming vote of 481 to 252http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sce/data/votes_results/doc//AN.20090326.pdf.

It stands in clear opposition to the French HADOPI law in “holding that illiteracy with computers will be the illiteracy of the 21st century; holding that guaranteeing Internet access to all citizens is the same as guaranteeing all citizens access to education and holding that such access must not be refused in punishment by governments or private organizations; holding that this access should not be used abusively for illegal activities; holding that attention must be paid to emerging questions such as network neutrality, interoperability, the global accessibility of all Internet nodes, and the use of open formats and standards.”

The approval of the Lambrinidis report and the rejection of the French amendments is the third consecutive time that the European Parliament has rejected the French “graduated response”, since the approval of the Bono amendment to the report on cultural industries3http://www.laquadrature.net/en/european-parliament-rejects-graduated-response and the well-known Bono/Cohn-Bendit/Roithova Amendment 1384http://www.laquadrature.net/en/telecoms-package-european-democracys-victory-already-threatened.

Furthermore, all the amendments supported by the French government5Refer to this document, sent by the Secrétariat général aux affaires européennes (SGAE) of the government to French MEPs to recomand them to vote those amendments: http://www.laquadrature.net/files/090320 note plВniКre -SВcuritВ-libertВs-Internet – Rapport ini Lambrinidis.doc, notably those proposed by MEPs Jacques Toubon and Jean-Marie Cavada6http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sce/data/amend_motions_texts/doc/P6_AMA%282009%290103%28002-006%29_EN.doc, have been rejected. They were trying specifically to prevent measures related to graduated response, showing that the French government realizes that Europe is about to render the HADOPI law obsolete before it even comes to a vote.

“Europe has once again7The European Parliament, twice, the European Commission, the European Data Protection Supervisor, etc. sent a powerful political signal in France’s direction. Only a few days from the reprise of debate on the HADOPI project, the approval of the Lambrinidis report is an humiliation for the French minister of culture Christine Albanel who is facing a serious and near-unanimous opposition. This vote, moreover, is a demonstration that French citizens can turn to Europe when their rights are treated with contempt in France” concludes Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.

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