Press review selection

[PressEurop] Data protection: Does Facebook have a privacy phobia?

[…] The recent online surveillance scandal involving US intelligence agencies has renewed calls for an urgent reform of European legislation on personal data, which has already been under discussion for years. The proposed reform, though, has consumer associations pitted against the lobbies of the Internet giants. […]

Pressure from the industry, which has been so intense that 18 American NGOs have formally requested that the United States stop meddling in European legislation, is, of course, motivated by money. “The Internet giants fear users having more control will cut down on the volumes of data they process”, says French advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. And their arguments have been heard: judging the project too punitive on small and medium-sized businesses (and too fuzzy and too sensitive, moreover), MEPs are rejecting the text, pushing the continuation of the discussion back to 2014. In the meantime, the giants of the Web will have the time to collect a pretty little packet of personal data.

[EUobserver] Justice & Home Affairs / MEPs slam US snooping, amid revelations France does the same

The European Parliament agreed on Thursday (4 July) to launch an inquiry into US spy allegations, amid revelations that France has its own secret surveillance programme.

Le Monde newspaper on Thursday said that France intercepts the metadata of emails, telephone calls and all Internet activity that passes through Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo. […]

Interceptions are subject to procedural oversight, says the French data protection authority, Cnil, but the system itself, notes the newspaper, operates in a legal limbo. […]

Jeremie Zimmerman, co-founder of the Paris-based internet campaign group La Quadrature du Net, told this website that: "The DGSE surveillance appears to target mostly French citizens and their foreign correspondents, and not the whole of the world's citizens like with Prism."

He said any abuse by the DGSE would be easier to stop compared to Prism because the US intelligence agency NSA operates with complete impunity.

Still, it is urgent that we have a proper public debate in order to oppose generalised surveillance by states and companies, as a major risk for our democracies,” he added. […]

[DebatPublic] [blog] It's just time

In Europe and elsewhere, societies are in a strange state. Even when not voicing it, many are indignant at social injustice, at the apathy in face of ecological challenges, at the ruling groups, their blind economicism and their colluded interests, at the development of pervasive control and surveillance. Meanwhile, citizens and societal groups develop new capabilities to express themselves and act. […]

La Quadrature du Net defends fundamental rights and freedoms in the digital sphere, in France, in Europe and globally. It promotes capability-building for everyone to make a constructive use of information technology and the Internet. This is but one of the urgent actions that demand your involvment and your support. However, all of the others depend on it. […]

However, this will turn into a reality only if the support of individual donors grows in proportion, as it started to do at the end of 2012. In our present campaign, we have decided to represent each of your contributions as a “Pi-xel” on a logo that will be filled as they accumulate. This is not just an image, it is for you to build the freedoms and digital capabilities for which we act.

Support La Quadrature du Net!

[NYTimes] Web's Reach Binds N.S.A. and Silicon Valley Leaders

When Max Kelly, the chief security officer for Facebook, left the social media company in 2010, he did not go to Google, Twitter or a similar Silicon Valley concern. Instead the man who was responsible for protecting the personal information of Facebook’s more than one billion users from outside attacks went to work for another giant institution that manages and analyzes large pools of data: the National Security Agency. […]

The disclosure of the spy agency’s program called Prism, which is said to collect the e-mails and other Web activity of foreigners using major Internet companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook, has prompted the companies to deny that the agency has direct access to their computers, even as they acknowledge complying with secret N.S.A. court orders for specific data. […]

Microsoft executives are no longer willing to affirm statements, made by Skype several years ago, that Skype calls could not be wiretapped. Frank X. Shaw, a Microsoft spokesman, declined to comment. […]

“We reached a tipping point, where the value of having user data rose beyond the cost of storing it,” said Dan Auerbach, a technology analyst with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an electronic privacy group in San Francisco. “Now we have an incentive to keep it forever.” […]

[PacificStandard] Told You So: Julian Assange, the NSA, and Edward Snowden

In their book Cypherpunks, Julian Assange and three other Internet activists predicted much of what Edward Snowden revealed about the NSA. [...]

Zimmerman offered hope from a different angle: “I’m convinced that there is a market in privacy that has been mostly left unexplored, so maybe there will be an economic drive for companies to develop tools that will give users the individual ability to control their data and communication.” It seems clear, too, that a public educated to the dangers of total surveillance will reward investment in the next iteration of privacy protections. In part, this is a matter of patient and careful explanation on the part of experts and the press. Whatever else we may hope for from the Snowden leaks, they have already opened a window here. [...]

[InfoJustice] Sharing is a cultural right, not a market failure

An endless stream of law proposals, soft-law initiatives and free-trade agreements keeps trying to eradicate or prevent the non-market sharing of digital works between individuals. New strategies are pushed using incentives and threats so that intermediaries will police the Internet to save the scarcity-based business models of a few from the competition of abundance. So is it business as usual? Well, no longer. [...]

Sharing is not a problem but a condition for the human (cultural) development. Entry of possession of digital files representating works and the right and ability to share them as one wishes with other individuals is the practical implementation of the “right freely to participate in the cultural life of the city” defined in the article 27.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I have explained why and how and will keep doing it.

The eradication of unauthorized sharing, far from helping the commercial offers to be more diverse (in terms of diversity of access to works) and fairer (in terms of price, author remuneration, and user rights) creates the conditions for them to become worse, concentrating the attention on an even more restricted set of works, imposing proprietary platforms and formats, restricting use rights, transforming the individual is a precarious renter of contents. [...]

[TheVerge] French 'three strikes' piracy law faces major reversal as leaders question ultimate penalty

Although no planned modification to the policy has been made public, comments from high-ranking officials show that the present government seems ready for change. France's minister delegate in charge of internet policy is quoted by The New York Times as saying "it's not possible to cut off internet access," before comparing suspending internet connections to "cutting off water." [...]

Some have called the law ineffective, noting that very few internet suspensions have actually gone through, with many third strikes being reduced in court to fines or suspended sentences. "If you cannot chop off a few heads as an example, then the chopping machine inspires less fear," said a spokesman for La Quadrature du Net, an advocacy group that's firmly against the anti-piracy law. SNEP, the French organization that protects the interests of the country's music industry, notes that visits to "illegal music sites" rose by seven percent between January 2010 and January 2013. The organization won't argue against the law change, but believes the proposed €60 fine is too low.

[RFI] La Quadrature's reaction to the recommendations of the Lescure Report

Interview of Jérémie Zimmerman, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, released on 19 May 2013 on RFI about the recommendations of the Lescure Report.

[ZDNet] No piracy watchdog, a tablet tax and free software: France's vision of culture in the digital age

A study commissioned last summer to find how to protect France's "exception culturelle" in the online era has delivered its verdict - and it's generating its fair share of criticism already. [...]

In a statement, the French internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net also acknowledged that the mission Lescure had a few interesting ideas ,but added that: "When it comes to concrete proposals regarding sharing of cultural works on the internet, [the report] quickly gives in to the arguments of the content distribution industry. The proposals are carbon copies of the policies suggested by the corresponding industry lobbies." [...]

[TheInquirer] France could drop three strikes copyright law

France's controversial three strikes copyright rules could be going the way of its aristocracy's heads. [...]

Protest group La Quadrature du Net called the announcement of the death of Hadopi "misleading".

"The announcement of the suppression of the Hadopi is misleading: its missions are redistributed to other entities (CSA), with the exception of the never-applied internet cut-off, and even completed by new monitoring or repressive competence. It hides the pursuit of Nicolas Sarkozy's anti-sharing policies," said Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net. [...]

[BBC] Should Google pay for the internet?

Governments should treat all data on the internet the same according to the principle of net neutrality. But in reality that is not the case - not just in North Korea or China but even in the US and the UK.

David Reid looks at the how the debate is shaping up in France, where one provider cut off users from some Google content, and what neutrality means in a world wide web filled with worldwide corporations.

[Re:publica2013] Personal Data: Nothing to hide? - Katarzyna Szymielewicz and Jérémie Zimmermann

Are we building the digital environment enhancing our life, or are we guinea pigs of those who control and trade our data?

From major battles won in 2012 against ACTA, SOPA and PIPA, we have a collective responsibility to project ourselves into advocating for protecting our freedoms online. Copyright, Net neutrality, data protection are among the key issues that will determine if our future societies will be more open and based on cooperation and sharing or knowledge, or will turn into authoritarian regimes based on control of our actions and communications.

Social media and all kinds of companies collect a lot of data about us. Some of it is essential to deliver relevant services or is given away with informed consent to receive better service. One may even think that we don't share anything important or valuable, while we do get convenient and innovative services in return. After all, we have nothing to hide, do we? However, more and more often our data becomes a commodity that can be used not only to make things easier but also to control our lives and profit from us. What about price discrimination, profiling based on our ethnic origin, sexual orientation or age, refusal of certain benefits or services because of the "wrong profile"?

The new "Data Protection" regulation that is currently being discussed in the European Parliament may answer some of these questions…

we all have a role to play in the rewriting of Privacy, whether we take a technological approach, through the use of decentralized services and encryption, or an activist/legislative approach. Multitude is our strength!

Katarzyna Szymielewicz of Panoptykon and Jérémie Zimmermann

[CSO] EU data protection vote delayed again

An important vote on the future of the European Union's privacy laws has been delayed again. [...]

In a published statement, digital rights group La Quadrature du Net said that as it currently stands, the regulation would significantly strengthen citizens' rights. But it added that in response to the Commission proposal, "powerful companies, mainly based in United States (banks, insurances and Internet services), have led an unprecedented lobbying campaign."

"Their goal is to make withdraw from the final version of the Regulation those proposals aimed at protecting citizens' personal data. Before this vote, we have to make certain that civil liberties MEPs will not break under lobby pressure," said organization spokesman Jérémie Zimmermann.

[PCPro] EU data regulation changes would "strip citizens naked"

A coalition of consumer rights groups has launched a campaign calling on the European Parliament to stop corporations from weakening regulations designed to protect online privacy. The campaigners – including the Open Rights Group, Privacy International, Digitale Gesellschaft, Access and La Quadrature du Net – have this morning presented a report to lawmakers claiming that amendments to the proposed Data Protection Regulation would strip consumers of a right to privacy. [...]

"Instead of fixing this often misused ground, members of the European Parliament are proposing to extend it by including the interests of third parties as a 'legitimate interest'," the report said. "This will allow companies unknown to citizens to process personal data if the companies believe it is in their 'best interest' to do so."

[CsoOnline] Civil rights coalition says EU data protection bill threatens citizens' rights

Some of the proposed changes to Europe's data protection laws would strip citizens of their privacy rights, a coalition of international civil liberties organizations said Thursday.The European Parliament is currently considering proposals from the European Commission for a complete overhaul of the E.U.'s data protection laws. [...]

The civil liberties coalition, which includes Access, Bits of Freedom, EDRI, La Quadrature du Net and Privacy International, has set up a website,, to help concerned citizens contact their representatives in the Parliament. [...]

"Without effective privacy protection, our personal lives are laid bare, to be used and abused by business and governments," said Joe McNamee of European Digital Rights and spokesperson of the coalition. [...]

[InfoWorld] EU data protection bill threatens citizens' rights, warns civil rights coalition

'Unprecedented' lobbying by big tech companies, the U.S. government, and advertisers could result in a bill that severely weakens privacy rights, coalition says. [...]

The civil liberties coalition, which includes Access, Bits of Freedom, EDRI, La Quadrature du Net and Privacy International, has set up a website,, to help concerned citizens contact their representatives in the Parliament. The groups have also presented a report based on their analysis of the proposed amendments. [...]

"Without effective privacy protection, our personal lives are laid bare, to be used and abused by business and governments," said Joe McNamee of European Digital Rights and spokesperson of the coalition. [...]

[Giornalettismo] [ITA] La libertà della rete è in pericolo

La libertà della rete è in pericolo in Europa. 80 associazioni che si battono per i diritti digitali hanno lanciato un appello alla Commissione europea al fine di proteggere il bene più prezioso di internet, la sua neutralità. [...]

Secondo i proponenti dell’appello gli operatori commerciali della rete stanno andando nella direzione sbagliata. “Si muovono verso un ambiente online frammentato, dove gli innovatori non hanno più uguale accesso ma dipendono da sottostanti accordi commerciali. Molti utilizzatori non potranno più decidere cosa vorranno fare con un accesso a Internet. Dare priorità e regolare specifici servizi, applicazioni o protocolli dove non è necessario per ragioni tecniche come il sollievo temporaneo per la congestione del traffico rappresentano una violazione. Internet deve essere neutrale, e tutti i suoi contenuti devono essere trattati allo stesso modo”. Sia le prove raccolte dagli organismi europei di riferimento che dai cittadini attraverso le piattaforme come Glasnost and RespectMyNet forniscono un quadro chiarissimo delle violazioni che stanno avvenendo in Europa, a parere delle associazioni che combattono per i diritti digitali. [...]

[ComputerWorlUK] European digital rights groups demand net neutrality protection

More than 80 European digital rights organisations on Wednesday called on the European Commission to do more to protect net neutrality. [...]

Digital rights organisation La Quadrature du Net claimed in January that Kroes had caved in to telecom operator pressure and was giving up on net neutrality. She replied that she would not be bullied by NGOs or lobbyists.Digital rights organisation La Quadrature du Net claimed in January that Kroes had caved in to telecom operator pressure and was giving up on net neutrality. She replied that she would not be bullied by NGOs or lobbyists. [...]

[ITWorld] EU digital rights groups demand net neutrality protection

More than 80 European digital rights organizations on Wednesday called on the European Commission to do more to protect net neutrality. [...]

The group said in an open letter to the Commission that operators across Europe are violating Internet neutrality particularly in the mobile sector, where they say there is evidence that companies including ISPs are "using technical measures for their own commercial interests and tampering with citizens' ability to access the Internet." [...]

Digital rights organization La Quadrature du Net claimed in January that Kroes had caved in to telecom operator pressure and was giving up on net neutrality. She replied that she would not be bullied by NGOs or lobbyists. [...]

[PuntoInformatico] IPRED, l'appello dei provider all'Europa

L'industria delle telecomunicazioni teme per la revisione della direttiva sull'enforcement della tutela del diritto d'autore. L'adozione di misure tecniche restrittive sarebbe nefasta per le libertà digitali. [...]

"La Commissione d'Europa non è ancora pronta a voltare pagina nelle policy legate al diritto d'autore - si legge in un intervento de La Quadrature du Net - Le autorità che hanno negoziato ACTA decidono di mantenere lo status quo, invocando la crisi economica per chiedere ancora le stesse politiche ormai guaste". [...]

[ColumbiaJournalismReview] French antipiracy efforts unsuccessful

The French government started cracking down on illegal downloading, so users switched to illegal streaming. [...]

After two years in action, Hadopi has been found to be ineffective and expensive. Its 60 bureaucrats have spent more than 10 million euros per year warning 1.2 million French Internet users that their downloading habits are illegal. According to its own report released in September, the program has caused French netizens simply to switch from illegal downloading to illegally streaming their favorite movies, shows, and music. [...]

It’s censorship,” said Jérémie Zimmermann, cofounder of digital rights activist group La Quadrature du Net. He wants the commission to recommend legalizing peer-to-peer sharing. “If the law has a problem with common social practices, it’s not the people who must change, but the law,Zimmermann said. [...]

[ArsTechnica] France could join the small club of countries that require net neutrality

The French government has put forward a new plan that could enshrine net neutrality in national law. If it passes, France would become the third country in Europe (after the Netherlands and Slovenia joined the club this year—Norway, too, has a similar, but, voluntary system), to enact such a policy and the fourth in the world, after Chile. [...]

The fact that the opinion is to only inscribe in the law a ‘principle’ without describing infractions and penalties and the place where it shall be written is what makes it toothless and probably makes the telcos not so worried,” said Jérémie Zimmerman, of La Quadrature du Net, a Paris-based activist group, in an instant message chat with Ars. [...]

[We just want] something in the telecommunications act to say, 'restricting communications based on the sender, or receiver, or type of data is illegal, and if you do it, you’ll be sanctioned,'” he added. “Except for the security of the network and its users, or temporary and non-foreseeable congestion. That’s what we call effective protection of net neutrality.” [...]

[NYTimes] France Proposes New Rules for Internet Equal Access

The French government on Tuesday called for a law requiring Internet service providers to give all the traffic on their networks equal priority, saying existing rules were insufficient for protecting free speech online and ensuring fair competition among Web publishers. […]

“Our goal is to support the vision of an Internet that is free, open, respectful of rights and that is a driver of innovation,” Ms. Pellerin said.

The proposal comes as the Hollande government has been discussing new curbs on other digital policy fronts. There has been talk, for example, of measures to restrict hate speech on social networks like Twitter, following a spate of anti-Semitic and racist postings on the microblogging site. How such a measure could be reconciled with legislation guaranteeing “neutrality” on social networks left some analysts scratching their heads.

It would be hypocritical to enlarge the exceptions to free speech at the same time as legislating for network neutrality in the name of free speech,” said Jérémie Zimmermann, a spokesman for La Quadrature du Net, a group that opposes any type of restrictions on information on the Internet.

France would not be the first European country to legislate on net neutrality issues. […]

[NewEurope] Data protection overhall

The European Commission’s plans to revise the current data protection framework have been in the pipeline for some time. Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding proposes splitting data protection rules into a Directive that covers law enforcement and a Regulation for the private sector. [...]

The Conservative and Liberal parties in the Parliament have voted against the interests of European consumers, who expect MEPs to ensure existing EU data protection standards are not diluted,” said Monique Goyens, director general of the European consumer organization, BEUC.

And according to Jeremie Zimmermann of La Quadrature Du Net: “Most of the compromise amendments attempt to modify the report by relaxing the obligations made to actors collecting personal data.

[ArsTechnica] France’s “Three Strikes” anti-piracy regime may target streaming sites

Here in the United States, five major ISPs nationwide are rolling out the Copyright Alert System, aka the “six strikes” plan. Verizon became the latest to join the fun, alerting its customers on Wednesday of the new rules. [...]

The French tech news site Numérama summed up the proposal in one word: blackmail. The Paris-based Internet advocacy organization, La Quadrature du Net, has compared this new proposal to the defeated ACTA and SOPA measures.

Currently confined to the fight against file sharing between individuals, Hadopi now wants to extend its control to Internet intermediaries such as hosting services, search engines, Internet service providers, or online payment services,” the organization wrote in a statement on Wednesday. [...]

[SPIEGEL ] European Activists Could Thwart US-EU Trade Deal

Consumer watchdogs, Internet activists and European farmers are gearing up to fight the planned trade agreement between Europe and the United States. Many in Europe are worried that politicians will make backroom deals at the expense of consumers. [...]

Jérémie Zimmermann, one of the organizers of the anti-ACTA movement, believes the time will soon come for new protests. The spokesman for the Paris-based organization La Quadrature du Net can prove that old paragraphs from the failed ACTA were inserted into a preliminary version of the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which the European Commission is currently negotiating with the Canadians and whch could serve as a blueprint for the treaty with the Americans. [...]

"It's a favorite game of the entertainment industry to hijack free trade agreements for their own purposes," says Zimmermann. He sees democracy at risk when negotiations concerning the future of all people are conducted behind closed doors. "Millions of citizens can be mobilized if their freedoms are threatened," he says. [...]

[TheRegister] Privacy warriors slam MEPs over 'corporate-friendly' data law rewrite

Privacy campaigners are up in arms about a European Parliament committee's decision to adopt a drafted opinion on data protection that some have argued further waters down Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding's proposed rewrite of DP law. [...]

Digital activists at La Quadrature Du Net agreed that the decision was a disaster for privacy law in Europe and urged EU citizens to lobby their MEPs hard and to complain about big corporations influencing the rewrite of data protection law. [...]

Among proposals understood to have been adopted, personal data would be processed by third parties without a legal requirement to inform consumers if they can prove "legitimate interest" about such action. The EDRi argued that such a "bizarre" move would completely freeze out a citizen's control of their own data, thereby rendering the "entire legislative measure close to meaningless". [...]

[V3] Outrage as MEPs accused of amending data law proposals after Google and Amazon lobbying

A vote by Members of European Parliament (MEP) on new data protection laws has drawn outrage after they were accused of watering down the proposals to appease large corporations like Amazon, Google and BT. [...]

However, others were less than impressed, with advocacy group La Quadrature du Net saying the vote jeopardized citizens' privacy at the expense of big business.

[They] "have voted to water down the safeguards protecting our privacy, as corporate lobbies had hoped," it said in a statement.

"The lobbying pressure in the European Parliament from industrial actors has reached a state of unique intensity." [...]

[CSOOnline] EU Parliament makes more than 900 changes to data privacy law

IDG News Service — The European Parliament's industry committee has approved more than 900 amendments to proposed new data protection laws. [...]

But according to Jeremie Zimmermann of La Quadrature Du Net, "Most of the compromise amendments attempt to modify the report by relaxing the obligations made to actors collecting personal data."

Digital activists are concerned about text that would allow companies that control data and third parties to process personal data without informing consumers, on grounds of "legitimate interest" except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject. [...]

[ComputerWorld] EU Data Protection: Please Write to MEPs Now

Last week I wrote about the revelation (to me, at least - maybe other people knew this was going on) that MEPs were simply cutting and pasting from lobbyists' proposals and presenting them as amendments to the important Data Protection regulation. [...]

In the case of the ITRE vote tomorrow, we basically need to contact our MEPs today and ask them to convey our views to their colleagues on these committees (unless your MEP is on a committee, in which case you can ask them directly - there's a list of UK members, and a full list for all nations. For the EMPL Committee vote on Thursday, the UK MEPs are here, and there's also a list of the European ones.) [...]

Here are six key issues, as discerned by La Quadrature du Net (also part of the above-mentioned coalition) :

  1. Defend the principle of explicit, informed and for specific purpose(s) consent, no more, no less
  2. Delete any mention of “legitimate interests” (for corporations to bypass privacy safeguards)
  3. Protect all personal data, even if pseudonymous or encrypted, refuse that absurd concept of “pseudonymous” data be used as derogation to safeguards
  4. Oblige both “controllers” and “processors“ of personal data to protect it
  5. Ensure that every breach of personal data be notified to the relevant bodies, and severely sanctioned if harmful and done on purpose


[Euronews] New platform tracks lobbyists copy-pasting their way into EU legislation

A team of German journalists and developers concerned about data protection legislation have launched an online platform to expose the copy-pasting of lobbyists’ position papers into EU legislation.

It’s called LobbyPlag and it aims to denounce deregulating influences (such as Ebay’s or the European Banking Federation’s) on EU Committee members’ amendments to the draft of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This law, planned to take effect in 2016, is intended to replace previous obsolete directives and unify data protection within the EU. [...]

LobbyPlag wants to raise awareness of this issue before the vote, negotiations and implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation. The next important date for the team, and other digital rights activists and partners such as La Quadrature du Net, is February 27, the deadline for tabling amendments. At the end of April lies the orientation vote in LIBE Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs , an other crucial deadline. [...]

[ArsTechnica] EU data law draft uses language -word-for-word- from US, EU corporations

LobbyPlag shows bill language copied from models by Amazon, eBay, and more. [...]

The watchdog project, known as LobbyPlag, shows verbatim contributions from US and EU corporate interests showing up in the opinion amendment already approved (PDF) last month by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) committee. The documents’ publication has caused ripples amongst other members of European Parliament (MEPs), as well as many digital and privacy advocates in Brussels.

We need a more balanced approach—people need to be aware that their privacy rules are being decided by a group of business people,” said Jan Philipp Albrecht, a German Green Party MEP. “And that's not what [citizens] expect the European Union to do.”

LobbyPlag takes its source material from anonymous sources, documents provided by the Swedish Pirate Party and the French Internet advocacy group, La Quadrature du Net. [...]

[PCWorld] European digital rights group pans copyright reform talks

Civil liberties activists attending the European Commission's new copyright talks last week declared the process a "waste of time" and an "outrageous attempt to avoid copyright reform." […]

[…] "75 percent of the participants to the working-group concerning users is affiliated with the industry and the themes and objectives are defined so as to ensure that the industry has its way and that nothing will change," said La Quadrature du Net spokesman Jeremie Zimmermann. "Through this initiative, the E.U. Commission shows its contempt of the many citizens who participated in defeating ACTA and are still mobilized against repressive policies. No citizen should agree to the terms and conditions of these Licenses for Europe," he added. […]

However, Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes urged attendees at the event to keep an open mind. "Digital technology was seen as a threat to content instead of an opportunity," she said, adding, "In some cases licensing won't be the solution."

[ZDNet] After ACTA, EU kicks off 'Licences for Europe' copyright reform

The European Commission has unveiled 'Licences for Europe', an initiative that encourages content stakeholders and consumers to work out short-term solutions to Europe's copyright issues ahead of creating legislation. [...]

Digital rights group La Quadrature du Net slammed the initiative as a "parody of debate" dominated by the entertainment industry. [...]

"More than ever, EU citizens must engage with their representatives and urge them to courageously call for reforming a copyright regime gone mad, which has come to threaten our society's fundamental values, users' freedoms and the very structure of a free internet. No citizen should agree to the terms and conditions of these Licences for Europe." [...]

[PCAdvisor] EU's copyright reform talks a waste of time, says digital rights group

Civil liberties group accuses EU Commission of trying to avoid copyright reform. [...]

"Licensing for Europe" is a series of round table discussions with content industries and users, aimed at creating copyright reform through a non-legislative process. The first meeting got under way on Monday morning discussing "user-generated content and licensing for small-scale users of protected material."

But digital rights group La Quadrature du Net denounced the process: "At best it aims to save time to avoid discussing the urgent need to reform copyright, and at worst to serve once again the interests of the entertainment industry. 75 percent of the participants to the working-group concerning users is affiliated with the industry and the themes and objectives are defined so as to ensure that the industry has its way and that nothing will change," said La Quadrature du Net spokesman Jérémie Zimmermann. "Through this initiative, the E.U. Commission shows its contempt of the many citizens who participated in defeating ACTA and are still mobilized against repressive policies. No citizen should agree to the terms and conditions of these Licenses for Europe," he added. [...]

[Techweekeurope] American NGOs Urge Their Government To Support EU Privacy Proposals

An open letter from US consumer and civil liberties bodies has asked the American government to support European efforts to introduce strict data privacy rules – which US companies such as Facebook have been opposing. [...]

Several months later, the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection voted in favour of relaxing the Regulation proposals. “This vote shows how much the European Parliament can be influenced by the massive lobbying driven mostly by giant US corporations (banks, insurance and Internet services) going against the interest of EU citizens,” wrote Jérémie Zimmermann in a statement from French activists La Quadrature Du Net. [...]

[ArsTechnica] Proposed EU data protection reform could start a "trade war" US official says

[...] As we reported over a year ago, Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding of the European Commission proposed a “comprehensive reform” to existing data protection law, which would regulate how online service companies are allowed to keep information on their customers. [...]

We are outraged, because we, the citizens, are now kept in hundreds of databases, mostly without our knowledge or consent,” the petition thunders. [...] Signatories to the petition include groups like Bits of Freedom (Netherlands), Electronic Privacy and Information Center (USA), European Digital Rights, Privacy International (UK), the Chaos Computer Club (Germany), La Quadrature du Net (France), and well-known European activists, including Smári McCarthy (Iceland), and Max Schrems (Austria), whom Ars profiled last year. [...]

Nothing, not even ACTA, caused the US to lobby on this scale in Brussels,” said Joe McNamee, of European Digital Rights (EDRI), in an e-mail to Ars. “What is even more surprising is that demonstrably false arguments are sometimes being used, undermining the excellent reputation for professionalism that the US representatives have always had. This is damage that won't easily be undone.” [...]

[Nytimes] European Privacy Proposal Lays Bare Differences With U.S.

[...] Several proposed laws working their way through the European Parliament could give 500 million consumers the ability to block or limit many forms of online Web tracking and targeted advertising. All the major American tech companies have directed their lobbyists in Brussels, where the Parliament is based, to press to weaken or remove these proposals from the European provisions. [...]

Faced with the United States industry opposition, some supporters of the proposals are worried about the prospects of producing meaningful changes.

“The outcome is very unclear at this point,” said Jérémie Zimmermann, a spokesman for a French digital rights group, La Quadrature du Net. “The U.S. lobbying on this has been very effective so far. It is impossible to tell what will happen.”

[CIO] Conference Highlights Gap Between EU, US Data Privacy Approaches

IDG News Service (Brussels Bureau) — A widening gap between the European Union and the U.S. was the subject of much discussion at the Computers, Privacy & Data Protection conference in Brussels on Wednesday. [...]

In a statement, Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, also called for citizens to act "by urging our elected representatives to protect our rights and freedom by adopting strong safeguards for our privacy."

But he said that a vote on Wednesday in the European Parliament's consumer committee (IMCO) had weakened privacy rights by allowing easier profiling of users by companies and by softening obligations of notification of personal data breaches. "This vote shows how much the European Parliament can be influenced by the massive lobbying driven mostly by giant U.S. corporations -- banks, insurance and Internet services -- going against the interest of E.U. citizens," he said. [...]

[TechWeekEurope] EU Committee Votes To "Water Down" Data Protection Regulation

On Wednesday, the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted in favour of relaxing the European Data Protection Regulation (DPR) proposals. Privacy campaigners say the parliament is giving in to US commercial pressure. [...]

This vote shows how much the European Parliament can be influenced by the massive lobbying driven mostly by giant US corporations (banks, insurance and Internet services) going against the interest of EU citizens,” wrote Jérémie Zimmermann in a statement from La Quadrature Du Net.

It should act as a wake up call for citizens to defend their right to privacy against the illegitimate collection, process and trade of their personal data,” he added. [...]

[HuffingtonPost] Eva Blum-Dumontet: 29c3: Hacking Politics

Every year at the end of December, computer hackers from all over the world gather in Germany - this time in Hamburg - for the Chaos Communication Congress, four days of talks, meetings and workshops. [...]

Surveillance, protection of whistle-blowers, web neutrality, anonymity online, data retention, copyrights... Hackers are fighting more than one battle. Yet, according to Jérémie Zimmerman, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, an advocacy group defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet, there is a common parameter to those causes: the appreciation of technology. [...]

Cryptography, open source software and web neutrality are talked about in every corner. For Jérémie Zimmerman, the last two are not something our society can do without. "The combination of a free and open Internet and open source software are the two essential prerequisites for a free society in a democratic and connected environment." And indeed many organisations emerged from this hacker ethics asserting the Internet as a tool toward building a better functioning democracy. [...]

[CIO] EU Commissioner Kroes Won't Be Bullied on Net Neutrality, Says Spokesman

[...] In her blog on Thursday, Kroes said consumers should be free to make their own choices about their Internet subscriptions, but that this "does not preclude consumers from subscribing to more differentiated, limited Internet offers, possibly for a lower price."

La Quadrature du Net interpreted this to mean that "Kroes supports the creation of a fragmented Internet, banning innovation and opening the door to unacceptable censorship."

"By deliberately ignoring that such offers would change almost nothing for operators in terms of cost, but would allow them to avoid investing in the development of network capacity while restraining possibilities for citizen participation, Neelie Kroes takes into account only short-term private interests that run contrary to public interest," the organization said in a press statement. [...]

[Zdnet] France puts net neutrality law on ice

Were some expecting too much from a net neutrality roundtable organised by France's digital economy minister? Perhaps - but the lack of action and the promise of more discussion has clearly disappointed. [...]

The delays did not go down well among net neutrality's supporters. In a press release, the French internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net asked: "What's the use of Fleur Pellerin?" According to the organisation, this week's roundtable has only been useful to "hide the minister's lack of action" with Pellerin "once again postponing plans for a law that would defend citizens". [...]

Benjamin Bayart, president of the French Data Network, a non-profit telecommunications operator, said he was surprised the country is still debating whether net neutrality should be enshrined in law. "If we're still discussing net neutrality, it's because politicians haven't decided to do their job," he added. [...]

[RFI] French internet provider blocks ads in face-off with Google

France's Digital Economy Minister Fleur Pellerin was to hold crisis talks on Monday over a decision by the country's second largest telecoms company, Free, to block online advertisements. [...]

Analysts believe the company is seeking to put pressure on US internet giant Google to play a bigger role in financing telecom infrastructure. [...]

Free's move contradicts the idea of a democratic internet, Jérémie Zimmermann of the online citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du net told RFI. [...]

[NYTimes] France Rejects Plan by Internet Provider to Block Online Ads

In a potential test case for Europe, the French government on Monday ordered a big Internet service provider to stop blocking online advertisements, saying the company had no right to edit the contents of the Web for users. [...]

“Should users be held hostage to these commercial negotiations? That is not obvious to me,” said Jérémie Zimmermann, a spokesman for La Quadrature du Net, a group that campaigns against restrictions on the Internet. [...]

UFC-Que Choisir said it hoped that the latest twist in the dispute between Free and Google had demonstrated the inadequacy of existing net neutrality protections. Instead, the group is campaigning for legislation.

“More than ever, the public authorities must act in 2013 to guarantee consumers a neutral, quality Internet,” wrote Alain Bazot, the president of UFC-Que Choisir. [...]

[ArsTechnica] France's second-largest ISP deploys ad blocking via firmware update

France's darling indie ISP, Free, has shaken up the French Internet landscape yet again: in a quiet firmware update released Wednesday evening, the company added an ad blocking option to its Freebox router and activated it by default. [...]

Meanwhile, Benjamin Sonntag, of the French online advocacy group, La Quadrature du Net, sent Ars screenshots while using Free in Paris, showing that ads on the French tech news site Numérama were not blocked, but ads on the site of French newspaper Le Monde were. [...]

[ITWorld] European Commission drops court challenge of ACTA legality

The European Commission has finally killed ACTA, the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, by withdrawing its bid to have the treaty's legality confirmed.

ACTA was rejected by the European Parliament in July following widespread protests across Europe. The treaty had been agreed to and signed on behalf of Europe by the European Commission in January 2012. […]

"Withdrawal of ECJ referral of ACTA shows that citizens were right, and that Commissioner DeGucht was wrong and lying," tweeted Jeremie Zimmerman of the digital liberties group La Quadrature du Net.

[TheInquirer] European net neutrality discussions close

European discussions on the openness of the internet closed yesterday with pressure groups asking that net neutrality be enshrined in law. [...]

In France, La Quadrature du Net said that ensuring net neutrality in law is the only way to ensure a level playing field and fair and proper behaviour from incumbent telcos.

"Preventing operators from introducing differentiated QoS interconnection policies is indeed of paramount importance to protect the Internet from legitimate traffic management policies that would hurt freedom of communication and innovation online," it wrote in its response. [...]

[InfoJustice] Civil Society Warnings About IPR Provisions in the Canada-EU Trade Agreement

A leaked text of the Canada-Europe Free Trade Agreement, and an email sent from the Secretariat of the Council of the European Union to the Member States and the Commission, are fueling concern about the agreement’s intellectual property provisions. [...]

The La Quadrature du Net has written the EU warning that “such criminal measures, broad and disproportionate, are designed to combat widespread non-market cultural practices and target Internet actors driving innovation and growth.” [...]

[LaStampa] [IT] Social media e sviluppo umano

Da oggi a venerdì la Social Media Week è a Torino. Ecco i temi della «lectio» d'apertura dell'evento [...]

« Questa neutralità di Internet, sua caratteristica fondamentale, è minacciata quando si accede alla rete tramite dispositivi mobili o specializzati come lettori di e-book e persino quando ci si collega con la normale connessione domestica. Gli operatori telefonici, in particolare i membri dell’ETNO (cioè gli ex monopolisti) stanno cercando di inserire dei provvedimenti nella revisione del trattato dell’ITU (International Telecommunication Union). Se ci riuscissero, non sarebbe altro che un coup d’état privato contro Internet. » [...]

Philippe Aigrain è tra i fondatori di La Quadrature du Net, un collettivo per la difesa delle libertà dei cittadini su Internet. [...]

[Wired] [IT] Aigrain: « I veri social media non sono Facebook e YouTube »

Inizia oggi la Social Media Week, con la media partnership di Wired Italia, a Torino fino al 28 settembre. L'intervento di apertura è dedicato proprio ai social media, con una lezione di Philippe Aigrain, tra i fondatori di La Quadrature du Net, un collettivo per la difesa delle libertà dei cittadini su Internet e autore di Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age. Ecco per voi il testo della lezione. [...]

« I social media permettono a ognuno di noi di dare il proprio contributo alla cultura e alla società; mettono nelle nostre mani la comunicazione, la produzione e la distribuzione di attività che, prima dell’avvento di Internet, erano accessibili solo a una manciata di grandi aziende. » [...]

« Questo potenziale è minacciato da alcune tendenze contemporanee. La prima ha a che fare con quello che spesso abbiamo dato per scontato su Internet: il fatto che la produzione di un individuo sarà sempre ragionevolmente ricercabile, accessibile e tramessa tanto quanto la produzione di una società internazionale o di un governo. » [...]

[ArsTechnica] France convicts first person under anti-piracy law (even though he didn't do it)

A 40-year-old Frenchman living in rural eastern France has become the first person ordered to pay a fine under France’s controversial anti-piracy three-strikes law known as Hadopi. [...]

Jérémie Zimmerman, of the French digital rights group La Quadrature du Net condemned this verdict, in an e-mail sent to Ars.

"This is pure harassment and intimidation of this poor chap who doesn't even know what happened to him, and shows the absurdity of the whole scheme," he wrote. "Actually, Hadopi cases are completely empty of any evidence, with only IP addresses collected by private companies that no judge could ever accept as valid." [...]

[Netzpolitik] Frankreich: Die Fusion des Internets

Frankreichs Premierminister Jean-Marc Ayrault kündigte in der letzten Woche die mögliche Zusammenlegung des Rundfunk- und Fernsehrats CSA mit dem Telekomregulierer ARCEP an. Einer der Hauptgründe sei, dass audiovisuelle Medieninhalte zunehmend über das Internet verbreitet und konsumiert werden. Konkrete Vorschläge für die Fusion sollen noch im November vorgelegt werden. [...]

Kritisiert wurde der Vorschlag der Zusammenlegung von CSA und ARCEP von Bürgerrechtlern und Verbraucherverbänden. Wir haben mit Jérémie Zimmermann, Sprecher der französischen Bürgerrechtsorganisation Quadrature du Net, gesprochen: [...]

« Die „Regulierung der Inhalte“ durch eine zentrale Stelle ist zum Scheitern verurteilt und ein großer Irrtum. Das Internet ist kein audiovisueller Mediendienst – Inhalte kommen nicht nur von Unternehmen sondern auch von unterschiedlichen Nutzern, von kommerziellen wie nicht-kommerziellen Akteuren. Das dezentrale Internet wie Kabelfernsehen zu regeln, ist ein erster Schritt in Richtung administrative Kontrolle der Netze und Zensur der Kommunikation. » [...]

[EFF] Hardware Hacker, Anti-ACTA Activist, and Groundbreaking Anonymity Group Win EFF Pioneer Awards

EFF to Honor Andrew (bunnie) Huang, Jérémie Zimmermann, and the Tor Project at San Francisco Ceremony. [...]

Jérémie Zimmermann is the co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, an influential French advocacy group defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet. Zimmermann has been instrumental in the fight against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a far-reaching international treaty that would curtail many Internet freedoms in favor of extremist intellectual property protectionism. Zimmermann has worked tirelessly to spread the word about ACTA and the ways in which it would put a chokehold on Internet and digital rights. This July, after years of secretive negotiations, ACTA was defeated in the European Parliament. Zimmermann has also worked on numerous other technology policy topics, including freedom of expression, copyright, regulation of telecommunications, and online privacy. [...]

[RFI] French telecoms and broadcasting authorities to be merged

Jérémie Zimmerman, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, an internet users' rights watchdog urges French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to abandon a planned merger of telecoms and the broadcasting authorities which, he says, smells like censorship.

[DailyDot] Reported demise of French "three strikes law" greatly exaggerated

Contrary to previous reports, France’s HADOPI might not be in any danger of being repealed anytime soon, an expert told the Daily Dot. [...] France’s Minister of Culture, Aurélie Filippetti, told Le Nouvel Observateur that HADOPI’s funding, which is used in part to email citizens thought to be downloading copyrighted content, was “expensive to send a million emails” and had “not fulfilled its mission.” [...]

But Jérémie Zimmermann, cofounder of French digital rights advocacy group La Quadrature, told the Daily Dot that [...] “This declaration [...] has been mostly carried out of a context.” [...]

We will most likely end up with cosmetic changes to the law,” he said, “an increased efficiency in the objective of intimidating people and discouraging them from sharing.

[Ip-watch] Divergent Approaches To Copyright Reform Emerge In Europe

Two very different views of copyright reform emerged this week, one from a report commissioned by the UK government, the other from a French citizens’ advocacy group. […]

La Quadrature du Net’s Reasonable Alternative

Now that the European Parliament has rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), it is time to consider a new copyright regulatory and policy framework suited to the digital era, French advocacy group La Quadrature du Net (LQDN) said in a 31 July paper.

Its 14 objectives include using the legal doctrine on exhaustion of rights to allow “non-market” sharing of digital works between individuals […]

[EuObserver] Commission set for fresh collision course over Acta copy-cat clauses

The European Commission is set for another intellectual property rights clash with MEPs, after leaked documents revealed that proposals from the rejected counterfeit treaty Acta had been included in a draft trade agreement between the EU and Canada. [...]

Jérémie Zimmerman, co-founder of the internet campaign group La Quadrature du Net, issued a statement calling on the trade agreement to be scrapped if it contained provisions from the axed treaty. Describing Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht as "the copyright lobbies' lapdog", Zimmerman added that "CETA literally contains the worst of Acta".

Acta was rejected by MEPs in Strasbourg last Wednesday (July 4) by an overwhelming 478 to 39 majority, with MEPs insisting that any attempts to revive it without full re-negotiation would be blocked. [...]

[PCWorld] No ISP Police Rule in Canada-EU Trade Agreement Says Spokesman

A European Commission spokesman said on Wednesday that some elements of an E.U.-Canada trade deal that activists claimed infringed digital civil liberties have been removed. [...]

"These negotiations have been going on for more than three years and it is only today following media coverage of the leak that we have any indication about what is in the text. So I want to see proof that these articles have been removed," said Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net. [...]

The Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA) is still in the early stages and will not be put before the European Parliament until the beginning of 2014.

[ComputerWorld] European Commission Covertly Pushing ACTA?

Digital civil liberties groups have said that a trade deal being thrashed out between Europe and Canada is an attempt to introduce the controversial anti-piracy agreement ACTA by the back door. [...]

"The worst and most damaging parts for our freedoms online are word for word the same in ACTA and CETA. This trick to bring back ACTA through the backdoor is in line with Trade Commissioner De Gucht's declaration after the vote on July 4, that he has no consideration whatsoever for citizens and the Parliament and is just the copyright lobbies' lapdog. CETA must be opposed and defeated, just like ACTA," said Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, in a statement. [...]

[TheStar] Controversial copyright rules threaten Canada - European trade deal

In October 2007, several leading economies, including the U.S., European Union, and Canada, announced plans to negotiate the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). [...]

With public pressure mounting, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly last week to reject ACTA, striking a major blow to the hopes of supporters who envisioned a landmark agreement that would set a new standard for intellectual property rights enforcement. [...]

Meanwhile, the U.S. and EU recently announced their own plans to negotiate a trade deal but agreed to keep intellectual property issues out of the talks. If CETA becomes known as ACTA II, the future of the Canada – EU trade deal may hinge on adopting a similar approach.

[V3] Quick guide to ACTA and other internet legislation

Earlier this week the European Parliament (EP) voted overwhelmingly to reject the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) with 478 MEPs voting against the treaty, to just 39 in favour. This vote led to huge acclaim from internet advocacy groups, with the likes of the Open Right's Group (ORG), the Pirate Party and La Quadrature du Net all welcoming the vote from those in the parliament. [...]

However, while ACTA may appear to be on its way out, there are numerous other pieces of internet legislation that have internet groups concerned that are working their way through the legal process or already on the statue books. [...]

[ZeroPaid] La Quadrature Du Net - Let's Build Better Copyright Laws

After what many call as the death blow to Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) thanks to an overwhelming rejection in the European Parliament, some might call the battle for balanced copyright over for now. La Quadrature Du Net, however, argues that this is a great time to build more acceptable copyright laws. [...]

Beyond ACTA, we must stop this repressive trend which keeps imposing measures that harm the Internet and fundamental freedoms. Citizens must demand a reform of copyright which will foster online cultural practices such as sharing and remixing, instead of endlessly repressing them. The ACTA victory must be the beginning of a new era, in which policy-makers put freedoms and the open Internet –our common good– ahead of private interests.” concluded Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for the citizen advocacy group. [...]

[RussiaToday] ACTA demolished: 'Huge victory for democracy and freedom online'

ACTA’s failure in the European Parliament is a huge victory for democracy and online freedom, Jeremie Zimmermann told RT. [...] Zimmermann insists that copyrights should be adapted to society, but “not the other way around,” and this should be done through democratic processes. [...]

"Well, first of all, this is a huge victory for the citizenship, for democracy and for freedom online. We worked very hard for the last four years to achieve this. The whole citizens of the Internet network, the public global sphere achieved this victory." [...]

"So, when we do file sharing between individuals and not for profits this is beneficial for culture. This practice of file sharing between individuals and not for profit is not only legitimate, but it is beneficial for culture and economy and therefore for the whole society. So, sharing files between individuals not for profit must be made an exception to copyright." [...]

[RussiaToday] ACTA killed: MEPs destroy treaty in final vote

ACTA has received a knockout blow from the European Parliament as the majority of MEPs voted in favor of rejecting the controversial trade agreement, which critics say would protect copyright at the expense of freedom of speech on the Internet. […]

“This is a huge victory for the citizenship, for democracy and for freedom online. We worked very hard for the last four years to achieve this,” Jeremie Zimmermann, a co-founder and spokesperson for civil advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, told RT.

[Wired] Acta officially dead after being rejected by European Parliament

The European Parliament has rejected the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta) by a vote of 478 to 39, which means that it cannot become law in the EU. This is the first time that the Parliament has exercised its Lisbon Treaty power to reject an international trade agreement. [...]

Philippe Aigrain, co-founder and strategy adviser for La Quadrature du Net added: "European institutions must now recognise that the alliance between citizens, civil society organizations and the EU Parliament is at the core of a new democratic era in Europe. European copyright policy must now be built with the participation of citizens."

Jérémie Zimmermann, a spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net, added that the Acta victory "must be the beginning of a new era in which policy-makers put freedoms of the open internet ahead of private interests".

[NYTimes] European Parliament Rejects Anti-Piracy Treaty

European legislators on Wednesday rejected an international treaty to crack down on digital piracy, a vote that Internet freedom groups hailed as a victory for democracy but that media companies lamented as a setback for the creative industries. [...]

After the vote, some members of the Parliament stood up in the chamber, displaying placards reading “Hello democracy, goodbye ACTA.” [...]

It’s a crushing victory,” said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesman for La Quadrature du Net, a group in Paris that was active in the treaty protests. “It’s a political symbol on an enormous scale, in which citizens of the world, connected by the Internet, have managed to defeat these powerful, entrenched industries.” [...]

[RussiaToday] Interview of Jérémie Zimmermann

Interview of Jérémie Zimmermann on Russia Today's TV channel.

We are now going to talk to cofounder of the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, Jérémie Zimmermann who's joining us live from Strasbourg. Thanks for being with us. Now that ACTA's been turned down what's the alternative because several countries were keen to sign up for the anti-copyright law before this?

Well, first of all it is a huge victory for citizenship, for democracy and for freedoms online. We've worked very hard for the last four years to achieve this and it's the whole of the citizens of the Internet in a network global public sphere who achieved this victory. But as you say, this victory must be the beginning of something else and through the victory on ACTA, we hope that the EU policy makers will understand that this endless spiral of repression that is being pushed for the last 15 years by the entertainment industry has to stop, that combatting our cultural practices online is not an option and would only be done at the expense of our fundamental freedoms and of the very fabric of what is a free Internet. We have concrete proposals and they are already on the table of the EU policy makers about reforming copyright, about making our cultural practices legal, that sharing and remix of cultural goods be made legally into the law, so we can end this war against sharing. This is urgent and I hope that through the ACTA battle, the members of the European parliament understood. If you heard the yesterday's debates, you heard members of all the groups, all the parties claiming that copyright has to change. So this is a signal that citizens sent through the Internet to policy makers. This is a symbol of global scale: it goes way beyond the borders of the European Union.

But the protesters, have they got a legitimate solution to this, this is the Internet we're talking about?

Yes, well, the internet today is a global online public sphere. This is where people meet, this is where people discuss, this is where public opinion critalizes, this is where we can discuss concrete proposals as alternative to ill-founded policies. If you look on how ACTA was drafted, it was mostly a few US-based industries and a few unelected representatives who agreed together. What we can do all together in the open with a free decentralized universal Internet will be a much better quality, I can assure you.

As an advocate for cyber freedom, where do you think the line should be drawn where one person's right becomes an infringement?

In copyright, you have this notion of fair use, in author's right it's called the limitations and exceptions, and those are parts where the artist doesn't have his word. The author cannot, for instance, ban you from lending a book, cannot ban you from making a parody of his work, because lending books and parodies are of general interest. So what should govern policy making, is this notion of general interest. When it comes to filesharing online, you have dozens of independant studies including one from the French three-strikes authority, HADOPI, that prove that people who share the more files on the Internet are the peolple who spend the more for culture, the same way that people who borrow the more books in libraries are the peolple who buy more books. So, when we do filesharing between individuals and not for profit, it's actually beneficial for culture because the more people access culture, the more cultural they get, end the more they like authors and artists, and the more they like them, the more they spend for them, to support them. So this practice of filesharing between individuals and not for profit is not only legitimate but it is beneficial for culture and for its economy, therefore for society as a whole. So sharing between individuals and not for profit must be made an exception to copyright. This is a very easy piece of legislation.

Certainly people are going to be arguing that ditching ACTA could be a green light for pirats and frauds to openly defy copyright law. Briefly what do you say to that argument ?

It's the notion of copyright itself that should be revised. We all have the capacity today to participate in culture, to share, to rip, to remix. We all participate to culture and it is our fundamental right to participate in culture. It is article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We all have the rights to participate in culture and now we have the technology to do so. So it is copyright that should be adapted to society and not the other way around. And not through opaque anti-democratic processes through ACTA but within Parliaments with citizens being heard and I hope that the defeat of ACTA is the beginning of this.

[ComputerActive] European Parliament to decide fate of ACTA

The European Parliament (EP) will decide the fate of the ACTA treaty on Wednesday.

Five EU parliamentary committees, including the International Trade (INTA) committee of the EP, have already recommended that the deeply unpopular and controversial treaty should be rejected. [...]

"A definitive rejection of ACTA would represent a tremendous victory for citizens around the globe, and for European democracy and citizenship," said French digital advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

The online pressure group said that while it is "time to reform copyright and patent regimes", this should be in favour of citizens, and contributors and policymakers should develop "a framework fit for the digital age". [...]

[TechDirt] ACTAfacts? ACTAfiction? Or Just Unsourced Pro-ACTA Propaganda Purporting To Be Objective?, a new pro-ACTA website, made the rounds earlier this month, along with a new report claiming ACTA would create billions of euros in growth and hundreds of thousands of new jobs. [...] This week resurfaced on fliers at the European Parliament and on the entrance door to the EU Trade committee, prior to an important vote on whether to recommend the European Parliament to reject or accept ACTA on July 4th. [...] Oh, and the container ship image? Yeah, it's infringing according to Jeremie Zimmermann. [...]

Yes, that's right, in a refreshing moment of candor, Hardy appears to be admitting that all he cared about was making sure the number was "big enough," not particularly "accurate." That seems like a "fact" worth keeping in mind when you judge these "actafacts."

[EPIC][PCINpact] Anti-ACTA : Marielle Gallo denounces « a soft form of terrorism »

What is your state of mind after ACTA's rejection in committees?

This case is not over at all. There is going to be this plenary vote, for which, don't worry, I don't hold much hope. [...] Now, if this is a result of the disinformation campaign we have been enduring for the past months [...]

We're supposeed to represent citizens, but since they are busy with other things, we are supposed to think for them! [...]

One might trust lawyers to define notions in a more precise manner… You talk about disinformation, I have a naive question: a campaign by whom, for what?

Listen, you must be aware that even the Anonymous went down into the Polish Parliament! It's not only a disinformation campaign. It's a soft form of terrorism that frightens people. People are being scared. It's a fantasy. ACTA has become a fantasy. And that, that's propagated by the whole Internet network. I have an excellent relationship with Jérémie Zimmermann, but I don't have his firepower.

[RussiaToday] ACTA rejected by committee in crucial blow before final EU Parliament vote

The International Trade Committee (INTA) of the European Parliament recommends rejecting ACTA.

The committee rejected the controversial legislation 19 votes to 12. This is the fourth and final committee to deliver its report on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and will likely affect the European Parliament’s vote early July. [...]

The way is now paved for a quick and total rejection of ACTA by the European Parliament! With a political symbol of such a global scale, the way will be open for copyright to be reformed in a positive way, in order to encourage our cultural practices instead of blindly repressing them,” concludes Jeremie Zimmermann, co-founder and spokesperson of the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net told RT.

[RT] 'ACTA's death would resonate worldwide'

The International Trade Committee (INTA) of the European Parliament (EP) is set to adopt its opinion report on ACTA, ahead of the EP’s July 3 vote. RT discussed the controversial act with digital rights expert Jeremie Zimmermann. [...]

Jeremie Zimmermann, co-founder and spokesperson of the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net told RT that INTA was also likely to recommend that the vote be delayed.

RT:What are the chances that INTA will support ACTA?

Jeremie Zimmermann: To explicitly support ACTA very little, but there are chances that INTA will adopt what has been presented as a "reasonable" way of just postponing the final vote by a few years, after the ECJ would have given its opinion on ACTA's impact on fundamental freedoms. Such a postponement would in reality help the Commission, who negotiated ACTA for the EU, and the pro-ACTA lobbies: they see this stratagem as a way not to lose face. [...]

JZ: If the whole of Parliament rejects ACTA, then it will be politically dead forever. The EU cannot ratify it, and with its 27 member states, it is one of the main negotiating partners with the US. So it would mean the total failure of ACTA, and a big blow for the Commission. Then we can push forward a positive reform of copyright, where acts of sharing carried out with no aim of profit would not be combatted anymore, but would be legalized. This way we can invent a copyright system that would not contravene freedom of expression and other fundamental freedoms. [...]

[NYTimes] Europe and Consumer Groups at Odds Over Restricted Net Access

In Europe, the debate over unrestricted Internet access — so-called net neutrality — has shifted to a core question: How much should the European Union intervene when mobile Internet service providers restrict Web access? [...]

Jérémie Zimmermann, the co-founder of a French net neutrality activist group, La Quadrature du Net, said the report by Berec underlined the growth of restricted Internet service in Europe and should alarm consumers.

When 20 percent, maybe even half, of Europeans have only restricted Internet access,Mr. Zimmermann said, “I would argue that network neutrality is failing in Europe.” [...]

[TheInquirer] European Parliament committees vote to reject ACTA

The oppressive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) faced three votes in the European Parliament today, and has lost all three of them.

First up was a vote at the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). ACTA was rejected there, despite being a place that Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder and spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net and an ACTA opponent called the "home of the copyright talibans!"

"Such a vote shows that even the most conservatives Members of the Parliament now understand that ACTA must be killed, and that current conceptions copyright cannot hold in the long run," added his colleague, Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net in a blog post. [...]

ACTA's next vote is in front of the third world development committee DEVE, then it will find itself in perhaps what is its spiritual home, INTA, the international trade committee, in mid-June. A final vote in the European Parliament should happen in the first week of July.

Although ACTA and its supporters got their faces smacked today that does not mean that the struggle is over. [...]

[EuObserver] Brussles to tackle online blocking and throttling

Digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes is to draft legislation on 'net neutrality' following data that between 20 and 50 percent of European Internet providers use software to block online access. [...]

Jeremie Zimmerman, spokesman for Internet freedom group La Quadrature du Net, said: "The Berec study clearly shows, telecoms operators are increasingly restricting their users' communications. Specific ports or protocols are often blocked, without adequate justification, and partner-services are being privileged at the expense of the rest of the Internet."

He added the commission should take steps to "ban operators from using the word 'Internet' if they block, throttle or charge differently for specific Internet services and applications." [...]

[CIO] European Commission favors consumer choice over net neutrality legislation

Neelie Kroes wants to give consumers the opportunity to choose neutral Internet access services, but won't ban limited access services. [...]

At least 20 percent of E.U. mobile broadband users, and potentially up to half of them, have contracts that allow their providers to restrict access to P2P file sharing and to VOIP services such as Skype, Kroes said. [...]

Consumers should be free to choose to obtain a discount by buying limited online services if they wish, she said. Enforcing net neutrality for all could create obstacles to entrepreneurs who want to provide tailored connected services or service bundles, she said. [...]

"I have been expecting this but I am indeed disappointed," said Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder and spokesperson of citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, which favors an E.U.-wide net neutrality law. Kroes' conclusions are not satisfactory for users, Zimmerman said. "The status quo is to satisfy the operators."

[RussiaToday] Dead on arrival? Dutch Parliament kills ACTA before EU vote

Lawmakers in Holland have voted to strike down the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), slammed by many as a free speech and information access choker. Dutch MPs have also ruled the government will never sign any such agreement. [...]

"The treaty should be taken off table, whatever the decision the European Parliament should take," said MP Kees Verhoeven, a major sponsor of Tuesday’s motion in the Dutch Parliament. [...]

As the controversial bill is making its slow way through the EU Parliament, the UK Pirate Party, the Open Rights Group (ORG) and the French La Quadrature Du Net are calling for more anti-bill rallies.

"The votes this Thursday, in three of the Committees responsible for offering 'Opinions' on the treaty, will really affect whether the European Parliament ultimately rejects ACTA or not. It is important that your MEP understand people's concerns. And calling your MEP will help make this happen," says the Open Rights Group in a blog post. [...]

[TheInquirer] MEPs are voting on ACTA this week

With the European Parliament due to vote on the repressive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) this week, anyone that opposes it is urged to tell their representative to vote Nay.

Citizens' rights and political groups the UK Pirate Party, the Open Rights Group (ORG) and the French La Quadrature Du Net have said that while much work has been done to show MEPs how much popular opposition there is to the draconian ACTA treaty, there is still time to show more. [...]

The final vote on ACTA will happen in the first week of July and La Quadrature Du Net said that it is important that the sound of rejection rings through the European Parliament.

"Citizens have a decisive influence on the debates in the European Parliament. We must keep expressing our views to the committee members, during both the opinion votes and the final report's vote, to ensure that the Parliament has no other option during the plenary than to massively reject ACTA," it says.

"A massive and clearcut rejection, carried by a strong citizen mobilization, will pave the way for a much needed positive copyright reform." [...]

[Europarl] Compatibility of ACTA with Fundamental Rights

Statements by NGO representatives and extracts from concluding remarks by Dimitrios DROUTSAS (S&D, EL) rapporteur

Transcript of Jeremie Zimmermann's statement :

« The legal arguments are not anymore the ones that matter, because it is now obvious for everyone, that ACTA is a political question and that beyond ACTA are those extremely political questions of : what do we want as a future of copyright ? What do we want as a future for enforcement, and will we let this enforcement of copyright hurt fundamental freedoms online and hurt what we share as a common and universal infrastructure that is the free Internet.

This is a choice as a society that we have to face. Does all that is in our power to maintain this infrastructure universal, accessible to others without barriers or do we buy the argument that : "oh! Culture will die, music will die, movies will die, therefore we have to control the Internet, therefore we have to turn it into a television 2.0. I don't buy this. I don't buy this and facts prove me right. It's even the HADOPI, in France, the three-strikes authority in French, in its own study that shows that people how do filesharing spend much more for culture than people how do not. »