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Help oppose Sarko's three strike nonsense

by nicta Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 03:21:24 PM EST

The amazing people at la laquadrature.net are ramping up their campaign against Sarkozy's antidemocratic and liberticide plan.

In spite of 88% of MEP voting in favor of amendment 138 which would preemptively bar the adoption of three strike laws in the EU, our right wing government is lobbying through back channel to try to kill it.

Note that it is customary for EU member state to refrain from legislating on an issue that's still being debated in the European Parliament. Yet naboléon felt that pleasing his buddies in the mass entertainment industries was more important than respecting our european partners.


Paris, November 20th 2008 − Essential rights and freedoms for Internet users are at stake. On November 27th, The Council of EU may open the door to an pan-european "graduated response" by removing Amendment 138, voted by 88% of the European Parliament from the "Telecoms Package". Academic studies confirm that the fundamental principles of proportionality and privacy may also be threatened by the ministers of the Member States, along with this blatant denial of everyone's right to a due trial. La Quadrature du Net (Squaring the Net) publishes an open letter and renews its call for European citizens to write to their government representatives urging them to protect basic freedoms.

La Quadrature du Net's previous analysis was confirmed in a study by top UK cyber-lawyers1. According to this document, foundations of "graduated response"2 are already present in the "Telecoms Package" as voted by the European Parliament on Sept. 24th3 and clearly reinforced in Council's working documents proposed by French presidency4. The only barrier against the propagation of Nicolas Sarkozy's project is now Amendment 1385, which recalls that only the judicial authority can restrict citizen's fundamental rights and freedoms.

Check the campaign page.

These conclusions clearly void the explanations from some government representatives arguing that there is nothing to worry about, copyright enforcement matters are no more in Telecoms Package and that Amendment 138 isn't necessary. The most recent working documents from the Council of EU6 show an obvious will of denying fundamental rights and freedom of internet users recalled by the European Parliament: along with Amendment 138 protecting the right to a due and balanced trial, Amendment 1667 recalling the principle of proportionality may also be removed, as well as crucial protection of privacy measures that were added, according to the recommendations of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)8.

"No accountable politician would even think about removing such protections of citizens' fundamental rights and freedoms, moreover when recalled by plebiscite by elected Members of European Parliament. The problem at this stage is the `political laundering' where unaccountable ministers of Member States can stealthily achieve such removal behind closed doors." explained Gérald Sédrati-Dinet, analyst for La Quadrature du Net who just published a detailed explanation of this process of "political laundering"9.

"Citizens must alert their ministers like they did with their MEPs in September. Europe must protect citizen's rights and freedoms, not abolish them to serve corporate interests. With this decision on November 27th, everyone will judge if European Democracy is working." added Jérémie Zimmeramann, co-founder of La Quadrature.

La Quadrature du Net publishes the letter sent to the French ministers in charge of Telecoms10. The citizen group renews its call for European citizens to draw attention on these issues by writing to their representatives in the EU Council.

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The telecoms package is now being considered by the Council after getting its first reading by the European Parliament. Viviane Reding does not like what the Council is currently proposing:

EurActiv.com - Commission threatens to withdraw telecoms package | EU - European Information on InfoSociety

As European telecoms ministers head towards a "minimalist" deal to reform EU telecoms and internet rules, Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding threatened to withdraw her proposal and put an end to the year-long negotiations.

Speaking during a press conference, Reding made clear her preference for "no deal rather than a bad deal," arguing that the Council position was so distant from the other EU institutions that "realistically speaking, it will be very difficult indeed to reach a deal".

The EU Telecoms Council will sit on 27 November in Brussels to agree a common position on reform of EU electronic communications. The compromise text negotiated by national diplomats rejects the European Commission's main proposals (EurActiv 17/11/08), paving the way for "status quo" to be maintained, according to Reding's spokesperson, Martin Selmayr.


But that's largely a dispute over how much control the Commission gets. It's possible that this is all theater.

In case the Council strikes amendment 138, there is still a long fight ahead. In case it doesn't, though, the amendment is guaranteed to pass in the end. So there's a good reason to exert pressure.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 05:21:51 PM EST
Well Sarko's been slapped twice already; once by the EP passing the amendment overwhelmingly, and twice, even more interestingly, by the Commission accepting it.

A 'centrist' is someone who's neither on the left, nor on the left.
by nicta (nico@altiva․fr) on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 08:57:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"by the Commission accepting it" ... in spite of loud formal calls not to !
That was quite remarkable.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 09:14:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Say No to Sarkozy's European Takeover! | La Quadrature du Net
The most recent working documents from the Council of EU show an obvious will of denying fundamental rights and freedom of internet users recalled by the European Parliament: along with Amendment 138 protecting the right to a due and balanced trial, Amendment 166 recalling the principle of proportionality may also be removed, as well as crucial protection of privacy measures that were added, according to the recommendations of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS).

Just to give a glimpse of the foul play that apparently goes on in Brussels - and not limited to the Council - amendment 166 disappeared from the EP webpage the crucial day before the voting. The day before the voting NGO:s give their recommendations to the parlamentarian groups, and if the amendment is not there it might be missed. For example BEUC - The European Consumers' Organisation missed it. PES puts a lot of weigth on BEUCs recommendations. Swedish internet activists were up in arms about it at the time.

Lines of communications appears to have been working, PES decided in favour of 166 and it passed but by a much slimmer margin then 138. Do not think there has been any explanations as to why 166 disappeared. It evidently appeared later as it can be found now but at two o'clock the day before the vote is just was not there (follow link and scroll down for screenshot).

Now why all this fuss about an amendment recalling the principle of proportionality? Because if it stands net filtering (that is general net surveilliance and censorship of the forbidden parts) can not be used to counter online copying. And net filtering is a wet dream for the copyright lobby as well as a lot of politicians and bureaucrats.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Nov 21st, 2008 at 07:14:20 AM EST
Ratcheting up surveillance and overall "control" of the Net has been a constant from the Sarkozy camp over the past couple of months.

All this in the name of "protecting the children" and "fighting piracy", of course.

Turning the ISP's into copyright cops has an advantage: it forces them to install packet filtering systems. Once the equipment and the technical capability is in place, the potential for abuse is irresistible for any power hungry political leader.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Nov 22nd, 2008 at 07:32:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not terrorism then? That is usually the third argument for controlling the tubes.

And the urge for control seems at least EU-wide. I hope the various Parti Pirate gets over whatever split they have going on, and gets to work on organising some serious opposition in France.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Nov 22nd, 2008 at 10:30:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Terrorism goes without saying, that's why I had forgotten that one :)
by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Nov 23rd, 2008 at 06:24:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh yes, Three Strikes has worked so well in the US.  How many other stupid ideas from Prison Planet USA is Europe planning to adopt?
by rifek on Sun Nov 23rd, 2008 at 12:45:20 AM EST
Thank you for the warning, nicta.  Would you update this when the petition is ready, please?

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sun Nov 23rd, 2008 at 05:37:30 AM EST


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