(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)
An appeal from three European NGOs - La Quadrature du Net, netzpolitik.org and EDRi-member Open Rights Group - reveal some disturbing MEPs amendments to the draft directives to reform the EU framework on electronic communications (telecom package).
The review of the telecom package was merely focusing on telecom-related issues (except for discussions on the ePrivacy directive, which is the subject of another EDRi-gram article in the current issue), but some of the 800 amendments on the 5 directives that form the current package might go further than just establishing the rules for a functioning electronic communications market and could endanger the principle of the neutrality of the Internet.
Some amendments will transform the ISPs from technical intermediaries that have no obligation to prior surveillance of contents into law enforcers. Therefore they might be asked to block their users from lawful activities in the interests of their security or to work with content producers and rights-holders' organizations, including sending intimidating messages, with no judicial approval. The amendment meant to support Intellectual Property Rights owners could open the door to censorship and might mean in practice the loss on privacy on the Internet.
"The politicians who engage in these summer manoeuvres dishonour Europe and their mandate. They rely on the fact that nobody watches them few days before Parliamentary holiday, to divert the Telecom package from its primary objectives of consumer protection. They pave the way for the monitoring and filtering of the Internet by private companies, exceptional courts and Orwellian technical measures. It is inconceivable for freedom but also for European economic development. We call on all MEPs to oppose what they have already rejected." said Christophe Espern, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net (Squaring the Net).
The appeal of the three organisations comes just before the 7 July vote in the ITRE and IMCO Committees of the European Parliament on the suggested amendments to the telecom package. The plenary discussion and vote for the whole package will take place in September, but the vote in the two committees could have a significant impact on the final result.
Mobilization Package Telecom ( in English, German and French)
Telecom Package warning document for IMCO/ITRE vote (30.06.2008)
The commented amendments in HTML format
Participate: Europe-wide action against the telecom package (only in German,
Write to your MEP: say no to "3 strikes" through the backdoor (2.07.2008)