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Net filtering

Wikileaks and the Control of the Internet

Op'Ed by Jérémie Zimmermann initially published in French in Mediapart

WikiLeaks has become the symbol of disturbing information that can't be stopped. Recent declarations and actions against the organization clearly expose the will of governments to control the Internet. From now on, it seems that both sides are fighting a battle that could be one of the most important that we must wage for the future of our democracies. On one side, those who would like to put the Internet under control, through administrative or privatized censorship, in order to remain in power. On the other, citizens of the word at large ready build networked societies in which the sharing of knowledge, freedom of expression and the increased transparency allowed for by the Internet must be protected and strengthened at all costs.

In the ACTA poker, repression is exported

Joint press release of April and La Quadrature du Net

Paris, June 26th 2010 - Spokespersons for La Quadrature du Net and April met the French negotiators of ACTA a few days ahead of the next negotiation round of this anti-counterfeiting agreement. No satisfactory answer was given on crucial questions of interoperability and provisions aiming at transforming the technical intermediaries of the Net in a private copyright police. Do the negotiators of this illegitimate agreement, bound by the negotiation and power game with the United States, really have breathing space to protect our freedoms?

Spanish Presidency leading Europe towards Digital Inquisition?

Paris, February 25th 2010 - A disturbing document on Internet policy written by the Spanish Presidency of the EU Council has been published. While asking Member States to detail their guidelines for the repression of illegal activities on the Internet, the Presidency amalgamates child pornography, xenophobic and racist speech and copyright infringement.

French Parliament approves Net censorship

Paris, February 11th, 2010 - During the debate over the French security bill (LOPPSI), the government opposed all the amendments seeking to minimize the risks attached to filtering Internet sites. The refusal to make this measure experimental and temporary shows that the executive could not care less about its effectivity to tackle online child pornography or about its disastrous consequences. This measure will allow the French government to take control of the Internet, as the door is now open to the extension of Net filtering.

Obama on free circulation of information

« I think that the more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes, because then citizens of countries around the world can hold their own governments accountable. »

Barack Obama - Remarks at Town Hall Meeting with future Chinese leaders, Nov 16th, 2009

Hillary on Internet freedoms

« We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. And we recognize that the world’s information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it. Now, this challenge may be new, but our responsibility to help ensure the free exchange of ideas goes back to the birth of our republic. »

Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State - Remarks on Internet freedom, Jan 21st, 2010.

La Quadrature's response to the EU 2020 consultation

La Quadrature du Net submitted its response to the EU 2020 consultation launched by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso.

To make the knowledge society a reality, La Quadrature calls on the Commission to focus on Internet users' rights regarding access to information commons, particularly by mandating Net neutrality and reforming the European copyright regime.

Viviane Reding - Openness, inter-operability and neutrality

« Indeed, the architectural principles that underlie the Internet we have today, namely the principles of openness, inter-operability and neutrality do not only create an environment that enables innovation in services and applications, more importantly they allow for an environment where users can express themselves freely without discrimination by their service provider. Therefore, those basic design principles need to be preserved. »

Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and the Media - February 3rd 2009

Banning people from printing books

« It's a breach of our civil liberties, when government limits access to the Internet it's like limiting freedom of speech. It's like banning people from printing books. »

Christofer Fjellner, Swedish legislator in the European Parliament who sponsored the banning of the "graduated response" in an adopted amendment.

European Parliament to adopt a report on IPR enforcement

The European Parliament is in the process of writing an own-initiative report in response to the Commission's communication on "enhancing the enforcement of intellectual property rights".

Dangerous Anti-sharing Law in Spain

The Spanish government just announced a new bill that would grant an administrative body –the Commission for Intellectual Property– the power to order the take down or blocking of websites that “allow or facilitate” copyright infringements. Even more dangerous for civil liberties and freedom of expression, the Commission would be allowed to determine on its own whether judicial intervention is necessary.

Dogmatic IPR enforcement fails to address the challenges of the Internet-based creative economy

La Quadrature du Net's response to the European Commission's communication on “Enhancing the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market
COM(2009) 467

An evolution of "amendment 138"

Here is a comparison chart of the different versions of "amendment 138" along the whole co-decision procedure.







Denomination Wording of the text Quick analysis and references

Original amendment 138 voted on Sept 24th 2008

, 8.4.g of the Framework directive, tabled by Bono (PSE, FR), Cohn-Bendit (Greens, FR) and Roithova (EPP, CZ)

La Quadrature answers werebuild.eu survey about an open Net

La Quadrature du Net publishes its answers to the survey by werebuild.eu about an open Internet infrastructure, and invites its NGO supports to engage themselves as well in this reflection about such crucial questions.

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