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TAFTA: Illegitimate EU-US Agreement Will Begin Under Total US Surveillance

Paris, 4 July 2013 — Today, exactly one year after the final rejection of ACTA, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in strong reaction to the massive spying by the USA. Our representatives have failed to demand that the upcoming secret negotiations of trans-atlantic trade agreement be frozen. In a context where EU officials are being spied upon by US counterparts, this upcoming “super-ACTA” will be born with very little legitimacy.

TAFTA: First Step Towards a Super-ACTA

Paris, 23 May 2013 — In a plenary vote, the European Parliament just adopted a mandate to the European Commission explicitly allowing it to “include strong protection of intellectual property rights (IPR)” in the proposed EU-US trade agreement negociations, the “Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement” (TAFTA), also know as “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP).

European Parliament to Vote Green Light to Next ACTA?

Paris, 17 May 2013 — On 22 May, the European Parliament will vote in plenary on a resolution on the proposed EU-US trade agreement, the “Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement” (TAFTA), also know as “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP). After the ACTA, SOPA and PIPA battles, once again the entertainment industry will try to use a trade agreement as an opportunity to impose online repression. With Wednesday's vote, Members of the European Parliament may be about to vote in favor of the same kind of repressive copyright enforcement provisions that they rejected in ACTA a few months ago.

EU Parliament Opens The Door to Copyright Repression in TAFTA

Paris, 25 April 2013 — Today, the “International Trade” (INTA) committee of the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the proposed EU-US trade agreement – the “Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement” (TAFTA), also touted as the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP). The Parliament unfortunately decided to ignore the calls of civil society groups to keep “IP out of TAFTA”.

Regulation Set To Strip Citizens Of Their Right To Privacy

Paris, 25 April 2013 — A coalition of international and european organisations, including Access, Bits of Freedom, Digitale Gesellschaft, EDRI, La Quadrature du Net, Open Rights Group, and Privacy International, release a commun campaign and website, nakedcitizens.eu. The site allows concerned citizens to contact their representatives in the European Parliament to urge them to vote in a way that ensures the protection of their fundamental right to privacy.

Regulation Set To Strip Citizens Of Their Right To Privacy

Civil rights groups urgently demand that Members of the European Parliament protect the privacy of their citizens

Since revisions to the EU legal framework on data protection were proposed, there has been an unprecedented level of lobbying by corporations and foreign governments. The European Parliament is considering dangerous amendments to the Commission's proposals. These amendments would strip citizens of their privacy rights, according to a report from a coalition of civil rights groups. The report bases its findings on the analysis of nearly 4000 proposed amendments currently discussed in the European Parliament.

Will the EU Parliament Let TAFTA Turn Into Another ACTA?

Paris, 24 April 2013 — On 25 April next, the “International Trade” (INTA) committee of the European Parliament will vote on a draft resolution on the proposed EU-US trade agreement, the “Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement” (TAFTA), also touted as the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP). After the ACTA, SOPA, PIPA and CETA fights, once again the negotiators of this new trade agreement try to use it as an opportunity to impose online repression. With Thursday's vote, Members of the European Parliament can and must remove “intellectual property” provisions from the negotiations, and avoid an undemocratic trade agreement that will inflict the worst of both regimes’ rules on the other party. Instead, the current version of the resolution that will be put to vote on Thursday proposes to “include strong protection of intellectual property rights (IPR)” in TAFTA.

Copyright: EU Commission Invokes Crisis to Stick to Repression

Paris, 16 April 2013 — The EU Commission is not yet ready to change course on copyright policy. With the release of two new roadmap documents1 on copyright, patent and trademark policy, the EU body who negotiated ACTA decides to stick to the status quo. And ironically invokes the crisis to urge for more of the same broken policies.

EU Copyright: We Need Actions, Not Consultations!

Paris, 29 March 2013 — Two years after a first consultation, the European Commission is conducting yet-another public consultation on the “Civil enforcement of intellectual property rights”, essentially on the IPRED directive1. Many aspects of this new consultation are similar to the previous one, and call for similar answers. La Quadrature du Net therefore re-sent its previous submission and denounces a process aiming at buying time to delay any debate on the urgent need to reform copyright.

  • 1. IPRED (Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive) is an EU directive organizing the repression of infringements of copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc. Because of its overreaching nature, IPRED harms access to culture, and hampers new cultural practices such as remixing, but also the development of new technologies and innovation in general.

Will You Let Protection of Your Data Go Down the Drain?

Brussels, 19 March 2013 — The “Legal Affairs” (JURI) Committee, the fourth and last one on this matter, had just voted its opinion on the European Commission's proposal of data protection regulation, led by Marielle Gallo (France - EPP). With this latest opinion vote, slightly less catastrophic than the previous ones, the European Parliament weakened once again the protection of citizen's personal data. Members of the four committees who gave their opinion chose to side with giant US corporations such as Facebook and Google that collect, process and trade data about our everyday life. Citizen mobilization is slowly starting to bear fruit, yet it must be tremendously amplified before the crucial vote of the main “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) Committee -[EDIT: probably on 29 May]- on its report.

No Copyright in EU-US Trade Agreement!

IP out of TAFTA

Civil Society Declaration released by 47 European and International organisations, to exclude from the upcoming Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) any provisions related to patents, copyright, trademarks, data protection, geographical indications, or other forms of so-called “intellectual property”.

Net Neutrality Neutralised in France?

Paris, 12 March 2013 — Questioned by the French government on the need to legislate on the protection of freedoms on the Internet, the National Digital Council (Conseil national du numérique or CNNum) published today an opinion on Net neutrality1 [fr]. It recommends that the French government makes this principle of non-discrimination into law, broadening its scope to include search engines and other online services. But by overbroadening the neutrality principle, the CCNum's recommendations could result in a meaningless law.

  • 1. Net neutrality, or network neutrality, is a founding principle of the Internet which guarantees that telecoms operators do not discriminate online content, services or applications, be it according to the source, the recipient, or the nature of the information being transmitted. This principle ensures that all users, whatever their resources, access the same and whole network, and makes freedom of communication and innovation possible.

Data Protection: Last Opinion Vote in JURI on 19 March

Paris, 11 March 2013 — Revision of the European Data Protection Regulation is ongoing and the “Legal Affairs” (JURI) Committee will vote on its opinion on 19 March. Unfortunately, there are strong indications that JURI will vote in the same way as the previous committees and weaken the protection of EU citizens' privacy against corporations that collect, process and trade their personal data. With only one week left before the vote, citizens must act urgently and contact their members of the European Parliament (MEP).

Freedoms Online in France: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

Paris, 28 February 2013 — Following an intergovernmental seminar on digital policy [fr], French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced a law “on the protection of digital rights and freedoms” for early 2014. While this announcement offers hope for the defense of freedoms online, recent statements made by members of the French government suggest it is not yet ready to break away from the repressive trend initiated by its predecessors.

Citizens' Privacy Jeopardized in EU Parliament Committees Again

*** UPDATE [01/03]: see the opinion of the ITRE committee on the proposal for a regulation on the protection of personal data ***

Paris, 21 February 2013 — One month after the terrible opinion vote of the “Consumers” (IMCO) Committee, MEPs from the “Industry” (ITRE) committee, and to a lesser extent from the “Employment” (EMPL) one, have also voted to weaken protection of EU citizens' privacy. In the ITRE committee, because of the support of Members of the liberal (ALDE) group, conservatives' amendments lifting restrictions on the collection, processing and resale of citizens' personal data by companies have been adopted. Before the “Legal Affairs” (JURI) committee's opinion vote1 and the main, crucial, “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) committee's report vote2, citizens should act and urge their MEPs to break away from big corporations' lobbying and to protect their fundamental right to privacy.

  • 1. Scheduled for the 18-19th March 2013
  • 2. Scheduled for the 24-25th April 2013

EU Parliament: Will Liberals (ALDE) Weaken Privacy in Industry Committee?

Paris, 20 February 2013 — While the “Industry” (ITRE) committee is about to vote on its opinion regarding data protection regulation, it is now clear that the outcome will depend on the Members of the liberal ALDE group. They will have to choose between allowing full-on exploitation of our personal data or imposing tough safeguards to protect our fundamental right to privacy. Citizens must act today 20 February before 4pm and urge their MEPs to defend the general interest by choosing the latter.

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