By: MarkJ - 22 October, 2009 (8:00 AM)
The European Parliament appears to have surrendered to pressure from Member States by abandoning amendment 138, a provision adopted on two occasions by an 88% majority of the plenary assembly, and which aimed to protect citizens' right to Internet access. The move paves the way for an EU wide policy supporting arbitrary restrictions of Internet access, such as customers being cut-off from the Internet by their ISP.

Under the original amendment 138 text any restriction of an individual could only be taken following a prior judicial ruling. The new update has completely removed this, meaning that governments and Rights Holders could now have grounds to force UK ISPs into disconnecting their customers from the Internet (i.e. such as when "suspected" of illegal downloading).

The Amendment 138 Update Text

"Any such measures liable to restrict those fundamental rights or freedoms may only be taken in exceptional circumstances and imposed if they are necessary, appopriate and proportionate within a democratic society, and shall be subject to adequate procedural safeguards in conformity with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and with general principles of Community law, including effective judicial protection and due process.

In particular, any measures may only be adopted as a result of a prior, fair and impartial procedure ensuring inter alia that the principle of presumption of innocence and the right to be heard of the person or persons concerned be fully respected. Furthermore, the right to an effective and timely judicial review shall be guaranteed."

Jrmie Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net, said:

"Amendment 138 was in haste dissolved into useless legalese and soft consensus. The Parliament hurried to get rid of the safeguards of citizens' freedoms because it knew that with the imminent coming into effect of the Lisbon treaty, both institutions will soon share the legislative power in the field of judicial affairs. And the bad excuses we have heard these past few days to justify to abandon amendment 138 will then be totally obsolete. In the end, the Parliament was not brave enough to stand against the Council to defend citizens' freedoms.

Ministers of Member States, who want to be able to regulate the Net without interference from the judiciary, were rushing to kill amendment 138 and put an end to the negotiations. It is a shame that the Parliament's delegation, and especially rapporteur Catherine Trautmann, was not determined enough to use the political context to assert its authority in the European lawmaking process in order to protect European citizens. Even though it has been an interesting and constructive discussion, amendment 138 has turned, by the lack of courage of the delegation, into the emblem of the powerlessness of the Parliament."

Score 1 for Peter Mandelson.
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Comments: 10

asa logoCarrot63
Posted: 22 October, 2009 - 8:56 AM
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This will surely guarantee a nice pot of music industry cash for the Labour election war chest.
asa logoDuke
Posted: 22 October, 2009 - 5:34 PM
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Labour? According to the list of members on the Delegation ( ) the only UKers involved were Conservatives. Even then, the final text was supposedly rather different from what even the delegation wanted ( in Swedish; there should be an English translation soon via Pirate Party International) with the senior French delegate removing many of the important parts from what was agreed.

It seems the Pirate Party may have a lot of work to do.
asa logoLiberty
Posted: 22 October, 2009 - 6:49 PM
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Incorrect. After enough people stop using the net to share files, sales will go down and the Industry will have the EU enact more laws to "crack" down on the wiley pirates. Anyone for house raids by the soon to be established "Media Police"?
asa logoFlorin Iaru
Posted: 22 October, 2009 - 8:49 PM
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We'll meet more often, sharing sticks, hdds, dvds, bluerays finding good stuff. Bad music is a crap that will never sell more! Bad movies must die! I'm thick of lying advertising!
asa logoJonas Maebe
Posted: 23 October, 2009 - 8:32 AM
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The text above is the text that the *Council* wants. The current EP compromise proposal can be found at the bottom of
asa logoChazz
Posted: 23 October, 2009 - 10:11 AM
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I think this is a bad move, a very bad move, and I think it's far too regulatory. I don't think this much infuluence should be allowed, it's going to be abused.
asa logomarkam
Posted: 27 October, 2009 - 5:25 AM
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We should take more interest in the Freenet.All over the world the internet is been hijacked by governments.The arguments they use sound good but inevitably laws are abused.Just look at China.

Also search machines have become so big that they have become very vulnerable to manipulation by governments.
asa logoGiGaBaNE
Posted: 29 October, 2009 - 6:07 PM
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screw em!
asa logoSteve Rogers
Posted: 9 November, 2009 - 5:31 PM
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I will copy CDs, point my microphone at the radio, and write down lyrics I heard at concerts. I will remember how the tune goes and hum it. Music wants to be free and humans can not control that, the fools.
asa logoCoffeyVickie35
Posted: 31 August, 2011 - 4:59 AM
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