The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
The Italian parliament rejects a bill that would have imposed strict intellectual property restrictions. Meanwhile, a Berlin-based site called 'Ask the State' helps citizens submit freedom of information requests to the German government. And, Austria scientists pioneer 'blind quantum computing.' And finally, is that Stradivarius violin really worth millions of dollars ?
Italian free speech groups claim victory
During the furor over sweeping anti-piracy bills in the US and Europe, a digital rights saga in Italy has gone largely unnoticed. Free speech groups have led a revolt against the so-called 'Italian SOPA.'
So you've heard of SOPA, an American anti-piracy bill that was met with resounding opposition by websites from around the world. Within the past couple weeks, there have also been similar protests in Poland, Slovenia and Bulgaria against ACTA, a new major international treaty that also aims to stop online piracy. But a similar digital rights saga in Italy has gone largely unnoticed. Last week, Italian free speech and libertarian groups spearheaded a revolt against the so-called "Italian SOPA," a reference to the controversial U.S. anti-piracy bill. The groups claimed the legislation would have dealt a major blow to free speech in Italy and beyond. But since Italian politicians across the political spectrum voted against the amendment, the free speech groups are claiming victory for now. From Milan, Shant Shahrigian reports. [...]
Internet companies that stream their content to mobile devices would be likely to seek government intervention to avoid potentially burdensome new costs imposed by a wireless billing plan under consideration by AT&T (NYSE: T), sources at an apps company and watchdog groups told dealReporter.[...]
AT&T’s billing proposal could start to look like a net-neutrality violation under some circumstances, according to watchdogs. The FCC declined to comment.
“This is precisely the kind of anti-competitive, job-killing behavior that net neutrality rules were intended to prevent,” the apps company source said. “The one bright spot in the economy, that is sorely in need of new jobs, is this apps economy, and the prospect that AT&T would turn around and start taxing these entrepreneurial companies [would only] throw a cold wet blanket on it.” [...]
Reminiscent of the mooo.com screwup in the US, where Homeland Security's ICE division "accidentally" seized 84,000 sites and plastered them over with a warning graphic about how they'd been seized by the US government for child porn, the Danish police similarly "accidentally" had 8,000 legitimate sites declared as child porn sites that needed to be blocked. Among the sites listed? Google and Facebook. [...]
According to NITEC chief Johnny Lundberg, it began when an employee at the police center decided to move from his own computer to that of a colleague.
“He sat down and was about to make an investigation, and in doing so he placed a list of legitimate sites in the wrong folder,” Lundberg explained. “Before becoming aware of the error, two ISPs retrieved the list of sites.” [...]
In just two examples of internet censorship gone wrong, 92,000 innocent websites lost business and possibly also their good reputation. [...]
On 17th February 2011, RT reported that the US had mistakenly shut down 84,000 websites, wrongfully accused of having links to child pornography during a child porn raid. [...]
Unfortunately, in the process, they also mistakenly seized a large DNS service provider. This provider, owned by FreeDNS hosts some 84,000 domains - none of which are connected to child pornography. [...]
On 2 March 2012, RT reported on a similar situation in Denmark - also connected with child pornography. [...]
Even though SOPA and PIPA are effectively dead, and hopefully ACTA will soon follow them, even without these draconian measures there are more and more occurrences of this nature, endangering the free internet. [...]
Many countries censor the Internet, but few spell out their intentions as explicitly as Pakistan.
In an effort to tighten its control over the Internet, the government recently published a public tender for the “development, deployment and operation of a national-level URL filtering and blocking system.” [...]
While China and other governments that sanitize the Internet generally do so with little public disclosure, Pakistan is being surprisingly forthcoming about its censorship needs. It published its request for proposals on the Web site of the Information and Communications Technology Ministry’s Research and Development Fund and even took out newspaper advertisements to publicize the project. [...]
To try to prevent this from happening, Ms. Saleem wrote to the chief executives of eight international companies that make Net filtering technology, asking them to make a public commitment not to apply for the Pakistani grant.
Back in 2009, Arbor Networks, a company specializing in network management, announced that the peer-to-peer model of file sharing, wherein each client acts as a server, was in decline. Users were turning more and more towards streaming.[...]
For some, like Maxime Rouquet or La Quadrature du Net, the fight against piracy will push users towards securing their connection more and more, something which can have disastrous effects on the network.
“And of course, nothing will be donated to the artists,” adds Benjamin Bayart. “With peer-to-peer, everyone wins. Nobody earns or loses money. In general, people are looking for something that they have simply not found elsewhere, or can’t afford. Those people who have money and are not spending it are a minority.”
He concludes:If you try to block peer-to-peer, what will people do? They wouldn’t be able to find that latest episode of Dexter that they were looking for. Result: people will stop watching the series. It’s exactly the same not broadcasting a song over the radio: you’re losing out on an audience. The only way to ensure that people don’t download any more, would be to suppress their interest in culture …[...]
The government seems to be failing in its attempts to reassure people that the trade agreement ACTA will not close the free and open internet [...]
Protests against ACTA have been held in dozens of cities across Europe, sparked by fears that it will restrict internet freedom and choke the trade of lifesaving generic medicine. Several European countries have subsequently withdrawn their support, with the Slovenian ambassador to Japan even apologising to the future children of Slovenia for signing without “paying attention”. [...]
Bakom EU:s senaste initiativ mot piratkopiering finns starka ekonomiska intressen som vill bryta ner skyddsvallarna kring användarnas integritet på nätet. Det menar Jeremie Zimmerman på franska organisationen La Quadrature du Net. [...]
It seems that the much-debated Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) may very well be an agreement that is dead in the water. For several weeks now, the controversy surrounding this agreement has raised some strong and passionate arguments, some founded and some not. [...]
There may have been a number of reasons (and motives!) for the vociferous reaction across the globe against the agreement. Essentially, keen opponents of ACTA are adamant that this legislation will impinge on the fundamental and civil digital rights of the individual. The claims put forward by its opponents suggest that it will breach the right of free expression and privacy in communication. ACTA’s opponents believe that its enactment will provide governments and big business free access to people’s lives reminiscent of Orwell’s ‘Big Brother’. [...]
The violent reaction to ACTA immediately grabbed the attention of European politicians and indeed some countries have postponed signing ACTA’s ratification, among which are Germany, Latvia and Poland. The confusion surrounding ACTA was also felt in Malta. [...] The Prime Minister has made it clear that no agreement will for any reason infringe or threaten the right of free expression on the Internet. Hence the Prime Minister is to present a Bill that will guarantee and recognise four new civil rights.[...]
The global Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) treaty aims to combat copied products and reduce online piracy. But its fine print remains a source of heated debate. Now the European Parliament wants to have a say. [...]
The European parliamentarian Jan-Philipp Albrecht, a member of the Green Party, was opposed to ACTA from the beginning. "In the area of copyrights, measures are being proposed that are very oppressive toward Internet users," Albrecht told DW. "Instead of prosecuting users, those providing infringed material should be taken to court."
A further problem, according to Albrecht, is that not all countries have participated in formulating the agreement. This is not in line with the rules of the international community. [...]
Even if support for ACTA is crumbling, not all politicians are turning their backs to the treaty. European parliamentarian Daniel Caspary sees a positive side. "ACTA is a milestone in the battle against product piracy," he said on this homepage. But he doesn't view the agreement as an optimal solution given the limited number of countries on board. [...]