EP Industry Committee takes a stand on the openness of the Internet

By EDRi · June 2, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [EP: Wirtschaftsausschuss bezieht Stellung zur Offenheit des Internets | http://www.unwatched.org/node/1966]

The Industry Committee of the European Parliament has adopted its
non-legislative report on Internet governance. MEPs took this opportunity to
respond directly, quickly and strongly to the recently-announced plans of
the Council of the EU to introduce systems for the revocation of domain
names and IP addresses (aiming to create a system of state-sponsored
cyber-attacks on Internet resources in third countries) as well as Internet

Parliamentarians responded very clearly and concisely (using the text
proposed by EDRi and the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue), explaining their
opposition to such plans, as well as the dangers of such an approach. The
Committee report calls on Member States to: “protect the integrity of the
global internet and freedom of communication by avoiding any regional
measures, such as revocation of IP addresses or domain names in third

Similarly, the Committee adopted a text (proposed by German Social Democrat
Matthias Groote) calling governments “to desist from imposing restrictions
on internet access by way of censorship, filtering, blocking, monitoring or
otherwise, and from requiring private entities to do so” and a text from
the Civil Liberties Committee of the Parliament arguing for efforts on
taking down websites first before blocking is even “considered”. It should,
however, be noted that this was a very rushed last-minute compromise and
(very unfortunately) it is not necessarily a reliable guide to how the
Parliament will vote when this issue is voted on, later this year, as part
of a legislative proposal.

Unfortunately, some last minute lobbying by the copyright industry resulted
in the addition of some unhelpful, but generally incoherent, text in the
report. For example, an inexplicable text was adopted calling for a balance
“between protecting users’ privacy and recording personal data”. Another
amendment seeks, in a very confusing way, to place intellectual property
rights on an equal footing with fundamental rights of freedom to communicate
and privacy.

The report (which is not yet available in its final form) will be voted on
by a full parliament “plenary” session in the coming weeks.

Council Conclusions concerning an Action Plan to implement the concerted
strategy to combat cybercrime (26.04.2010)

EDRi-gram: European Commission proposes Net blocking and defends illegal
activity (7.04.2010)

(Contribution by Joe McNamee – EDRi)