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Deutsch: EP hat die Rechte der Nutzer im Telekompaket zu schützen
The new developments on the Telecom Package over the last two weeks, with the approval of a new text in the IMCO (Internal Market Committee) of the European Parliament (EP) and the initiation of the trialogue between EU Council, the European Commission and the Parliament in order to reach an agreement on the final text, shows the worst situation for Internet users.
Although much of the MEPs seem happy with the new text that allows "simplifying life for telecom users", they seem to forget that other articles are raising much bigger problems for Internet users, especially related to the 3 strikes proposal or to privacy on the Internet. And facing the June 2009 Euro-elections, MEPs need to support the users' rights also for the second reading of the text, which will probably take place during the first week of May.
Thus, the much praised Amendment 138 adopted by a large majority of the MEPs in the first instance has been turned up-side-down by the COREPER (Committee of Permanent Representatives), which transformed it from a substantive law provision (an amendment to the directive) into a simple recital and completly change it in a pro-copyright amendment. Thus the new text says "no restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights of end-users, without a prior decision taken by legally competent authorities".
By changing the initial text: "judicial authorities", the new text opens the backdoor for the recently adopted 3 strikes law in France and shows the weaknesses of the European Parliament rapporteur, Catherine Trautmann, that gave in to pressure from the UK and France.
And this is not the only case where the EP has given in. In relation with the scope of the data breach notification obligation for the providers of telephony and Internet access services, this has been radically limited comparing with the initial text adopted in the first reading by the EP. It seems that the new text already negotiated in the trialogue discussions will apply only for the the data breaches by electronic communication providers, which is a major hold-back taking into consideration that most of the "headlines" data breaches belonged to Government services, banks and online services. The new text just forgets the excellent points made by Article 29 Working Group and the European Data Protection Supervisor, that pushed for a larger constituency for this obligation.
Even though the European Parliament's Telecoms Package rapporteur, Catherine Trautmann, and the European Commissioner of Information Society, Viviane Reding had been publicly supportive of the net neutrality principle, it seems that the negotiations might accept an amendment that will not give users "unrestricted rights" of access to the Internet.
The new situation prompted a response from several Internet communications companies such as Google, Microsoft and Skype that, gathered as the Voice on the Net Coalition Europe urged "the European decision-makers to adopt principles to allow consumers to access the services, applications and content of their choice on any public network, regardless of the provider that offers them." This move comes also after the announcement of T-Mobile in Germany or Telefonica in Spain to block Skype on iPhones.
There is also a glimpse of good news, after it has been decided by the IMCO that "voluntary data retention" clause should to be deleted. It also seems that this compromise amendment will survive the trialogue negotiations.
Telecoms package: strengthening users' rights and internet security
Distorted amendment 138 tries to present graduated response as legal
European Parliament compromises on Internet rights (31.03.2009)
Trautmann deal wraps up Internet limitations (1.04.2009)
Leading Providers of Voice Solutions over the Internet Protest Against
Blocking or Degrading of VoIP applications over mobile networks, after
T-Mobile announcement (3.04.2009)
Internet rights being written out as Spain blocks Skype (7.04.2009)
EDRi-gram:Data protection authorities support civil society on the Telecom
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Deutsch: Französische Nationalversammlung stimmt für das 3 Treffer-Gesetz
An almost empty National Assembly voted on 2 April 2009 in favour of the extremely controversial law introducing the graduate response system in France, in spite of the fierce opposition from privacy campaigners, individuals, associations and even some French deputies.
The poor attendance of the Assembly at the vote is considered by some as one of the reasons for the success of the draft law so strongly pushed by the French Minister of Culture, Christine Albanel.
The approved text has undergone some modifications during the discussion in the assembly. One of the voted amendments is apparently amnestying all the Internet users sued for downloading. Actually the text refers only to users accused of counterfeiting in relation to related rights.
One of the few victories of the opposition in the National Assembly was the amendment allowing an Internet subscriber whose connection has been cut by Hadopi to stop paying for the respective subscription related to the Internet.
A so called Hallyday clause was voted, stipulating that illegal downloading will not be subject to sanction when the author of the downloaded work resides in a tax haven, such as is the case of French artist Johnny Hallyday (hence the name of the clause) who lives now in Switzerland and pays a minimum amount of taxes for the fortune he has earned in France from his works.
Differently from the initial text where the sanctioned Internet user had only 7 days to make an appeal to the court, the modified version allows now a period of 30 days for the formulation of an appeal, after the notification date.
Rapporteur Franck Riester introduced the proposal that Hadopi applies a label to the legal downloading sites thus favouring the legal offers. The amendment says that the search engines should thus emphasize the authorised sites. Faced with opposition arguments and questions related to whether this would force sites like Google to point out such sites, the rapporteur answered that Google should not be affected and that the proposal was only to create lists of legal sites.
The law gives entire freedom to Hadopi authority regarding the sanctions to be taken against infringers. The authority may either cut the connection of the user after three infringements or choose to ask the user to protect the connection against downloading. The measure is to allow an institution, such as a hospital, to keep its Internet connection. Therefore, a physical person may have his connection cut but not an institution. Still, the decision will belong to Hadopi authority which is free to choose the sanction according to the user.
On 2 April, the Culture Minister has also confirmed that the Internet users that want to be sure that they will not be considered liable under the Hadopi law, should install filtering software on their computers. This software, approved by Hadopi, will need to communicate with a remote server showing that the software is active at the moment the alleged infringement takes place.
Nicolas Maubert, attorney with Gide Loyrette Nouel, has argued that the Hadopi law could be in breach of the protections provided by the French Constitution and therefore might be challenged by the French judicial body.
"When a law seems so risky in its application, so unpredictable and random from the technical point of view, it is not a good law and it takes something from Courteline, a little from Kafka and a lot from Alfred Jarry", stated opposition deputy Christian Paul.
Also, in view of the recent position of the European Parliament which has voted for guaranteeing the Internet access to all citizens as a fundamental human right, the French law may be is a critical position. However, during the debates in the National Assembly, on 30 March, Christine Albanel, stated that the European Parliament's votes against the graduate response had no legal or political incidence.
And even if the point related to the cutting off of the Internet user is solved, Hadopi authority will still have the power to apply fines and other penalties and pass injunctions. French users who frequently download content illegally might soon find themselves severely fined.
As last minute news, on 7 April, the Joint Mixed Commission (Commission Mixe Paritaire - CMP), a commission including 7 deputies and 7 senators, supposed to agree upon a compromise text on the draft law before the law is sent for the final vote in the Parliament on 9 April, took its decision.
The graduated response mechanism proposed now is that Hadopy authority sends two electronic warnings, followed by a registered letter to the alleged illegal Internet downloaders. In case of non-compliance during a period of a year, the infringers' access will be cut off for 2 months to one year or up to three months in case the user commits to stop the infringement. CMP rejected the amendment which proposed that Internet users sanctioned for alleged illegal downloading should stop paying their subscription. So, besides having their access cut off, they would also continue to pay for a service they will not be able to use. Furthermore, the commission rejected the amendment proposing an amnesty for Internet users prosecuted for illegal downloading before the entering into force of the law.
The Commssion has also reduced the present period of 6 months to 4 months from the issuing of a movie in cinema halls to the occurrence on DVDs.
In case the text is finally voted by the French Parliament on 9 April, the socialists, who consider the law as "inefficient, useless, technically inapplicable and which will not bring any euro to the creation", will appeal to the Constitutional Council.
French pass 'three strikes' file-sharing law (3.04.2009) http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/03/french_three_strikes/
How the Assembly modified the Hadopi (only in French, 3.04.2009)
The Création et Internet law adopted in a quasi empty Assembly (only in
Draft law favouring the distribution and protection of the creation on the
internet, modified by the National Assembly in first reading (only in
Hadopi adopted (only in French, 3.04.2009)
Hadopi debates: catching up session for the week-end (only in French,
Hadopi: The Mixed Joint Commission (CMP) advanced for Tuesday (only in
Hadopi law: the "double pain" re-established before the final vote (only in
EDRI-gram: France: Three strikes law debated by the General Assembly
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Deutsch: Europäisches Parlament fordert Respekt für die Menschenrechte im Int...
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Macedonian: Европскиот парламент бара да се...
On 26 March 2009, the European Parliament voted with a large majority to support Lambrinidis report concerning the protection of individual liberties on the Internet, rejecting the amendments proposed by the French Government and the copyright industry.
The position of the EP is that "guaranteeing Internet access to all citizens is the same as guaranteeing all citizens access to education" and that "such access must not be refused in punishment by governments or private organizations". The MEPs ask the Member States to "recognise that the Internet can be an extraordinary opportunity to enhance active citizenship and that, in this respect, access to networks and contents is one of the key elements; recommend that this issue be further developed on the basis of the assumption that everyone has a right to participate in the information society and that institutions and stakeholders at all levels have a general responsibility to assist in this development, thus attacking the twin new challenges of e-illiteracy and democratic exclusion in the electronic age."
The report adopted by the MEPs acknowledges the necessity of providing safety measures for the protection of Internet users, especially children, due to the risks users may be exposed on the Internet which can be used as a tool for criminals or terrorists. The report proposes actions against cybercriminals but at the same time, asks for a balance between security on the Internet and the guarantee of the fundamental rights of Internet users' privacy. The MEPs call to Member States to protect the "respect for private life, data protection, freedom of speech and association, freedom of press, political expression and participation, non-discrimination and education.(...) Having in view the global character of the Internet, the MEPs recommend that Member States and the European Commission should draw regulations for data protection, security and freedom of speech in order to protect the privacy of Internet users," says the EP recommendation.
The EP also urges Member States to take due account of the "importance of anonymity, pseudonymity and control of information flows for privacy and the fact that users should be provided with, and educated about, the means to protect it efficiently, for instance through various available Privacy-Enhancing Technologies (PETs)." The recommandation asks the Member States to identify all entities which use Net Surveillance and to draw up publicly accessible annual reports on Net Surveillance ensuring legality, proportionality and transparency.
In the EP's opinion, attention must be paid to "network neutrality, interoperability, the global accessibility of all Internet nodes, and the use of open formats and standards". EP also raises the issue of the Internet users' consent for giving personal information to governments or private companies, drawing the attention on the imbalance of the negotiating power between users and institutions. The MEPs' position is that users should be able to have the right to permanently delete any of their personal details saved on "internet websites or on any third party data storage medium."
By rejecting France's amendments to the report, the EP has rejected again the graduate response scheme pushed so hard by France. The EP considers that the IPR enforcement does not need to use "the systematic monitoring and surveillance of all users activities on the Internet" and that the penalties need to be proportionate to the infringements committed.
The European Parliament also publicly supports the "Internet Bill of Rights" and the promotion of the "privacy by design" principle.
Recomamndation on Security and fundamental freedoms on the Internet
EP recommendation on Strengthening security and fundamental freedoms on the
Lambrinidis report: pro-copyright changes rejected (26.03.2009)
The European Parliament rejects "graduated response"... for the third time
Privacy and Fundamental Freedoms Put to Vote (27.03.2009)
EDRI-gram: EP wants a better balance between Internet security and privacy
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Deutsch: Verlängerte Urheberrechtsfrist für Tonaufnahmen abgelehnt
The proposal for the extension of the copyright terms for sound recordings was rejected on 27 March 2009 by COREPER, which has the task to negotiate a consensus before the EU Council of Ministers takes votes.
To the great disappointment of the recording industry, COREPER rejected the extension of the copyright term as there was no consensus of the Member States on the matter. A sufficient number of states opposed the legislative proposal to constitute a "blocking minority".
So, the European Commission's intention to extend the term from the current 50 years to 95 years, although backed by the legal affairs committee in the European Parliament is at least postponed. UK is one of the states having changed its position in this matter, having reservations to the attempts of industry lobbyists to oppose to a related retirement fund for future musicians. The British government stated having voted against the proposal because the "current text did not yet give sufficient benefit for performers." UK would be in favour of a shorter extension of up to 70 years.
"It is clear that today's outcome will not kill off the proposals to extend copyright term, but rather that member states need more time to consider that details of the proposal and reach an agreement," said John Denham, British MP, UK secretary of state for innovation.
The Featured Artists' Coalition (FAC) considers any extension of the existing rights would only benefit record companies and that at the end of the 50-year period, copyright should automatically transfer from record labels to artists. "Record companies would simply gain another 45 years of ownership, entrenching the terms of record contracts signed in an analogue age," was FAC's statement.
The FAC has set up a different set of policies on copyright and intellectual property than that of the music industry lobbying groups and has launched a "Charter for fair play". The Charter states that artists should have the "ultimate ownership of thei music" and that "rights holders should have a fiduciary duty of care to ther originator of those rights and must always explain how any agreement may affect how their work is exploited."
The coallition's opinion this will not be achieved by the extension of the copyright term but by a change in the approach of the agreements between artists and the music industry and in the up-dating of the legislation. "So we will campaign for laws, regulations, business practices and policies that protect artists' rights. We will stand up for all artists by engaging with government, music and technology companies, and collection societies. We will argue for fair play and will expose unfair practices," says the Charter.
The EU Czech presidency will continue working on the proposal in order to prepare a second reading for a possible agreement in the future.
EU governments vote against copyright extension in Brussels (1.04.2009)
Europe split on music copyright extension (28.03.2009)
Every Vote Counts: the EU Copyright Term Extension Battle Heats Up
U.K. Biz 'Disappointed' At EU Term Extension Rejection (27.03.2009)
Pop star union demands new kind of copyright extension (2.04.2009)
FAC - A charter for fair play in the digital age
EDRi-gram: Extension of copyright term postponed in the European Parliament
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Deutsch: Behavioural Targeting am Europäischen Verbrauchergipfel
The European Commission Directorate - General for Health & Consumers organized the European Consumer Summit on "Consumer Trust in the Digital Market Place" held in Brussels on 1 and 2 April, 2009. The agenda featured policy workshops on 'Consumer challenges and opportunities in the digital world' and 'Consumer advocacy'. Within the first topic, the whole range of consumer concerns in the digital market place considered to be major obstacles to the full take-off of business to consumer e-commerce and possible solutions to create consumer trust were discussed. Thematically, the topic of consumer data collection, profiling and targeting was arching out pointing to the heavy reliance on personal information in the digital environment; something which captured policy makers' attention in Europe fairly recently.
In a preceding 'Roundtable on Online Data Collection, Targeting and Profiling' hosted by the Directorate-General for Health & Consumers on 31 March experts and stakeholders' input had been generated in order to feed back into the main event. In her key note speech Commissioner Meglena Kuvena observed that "personal data is the new oil of the Internet and the currency of the digital world" - a reality to be accepted in exchange for free content online. However, well established consumer protection principles, including the applicable data protection regulations, are not fully complied with in the "World Wide Web (...) turning out to be the world 'wild west'."
In order to reassert the confidence of the users and consumers, Mrs. Kuneva sees privacy policies as the key to implement fairness and transparency standards as well as meaningful consumer control. Her message to the participants of the roundtable showed determination to enforce existing regulation on the Internet and to regulate where adequate response to consumer concerns on the issue of data collection and profiling is missing.
The roundtable proceeded with contributions from industry, lobbies and consumer organizations as well as academics discussing the data collection practices and business models as well as risks and opportunities for consumers. The business model to (co)finance content and free services with online advertisement that incorporates to a varying degree targeted information and personal data is certainly pervasive also beyond gratis offers. It is important however to tell apart the numerous online advertising practices and assess whether and to what extent personal information of users is involved. Companies and industry associations favour good practice principles and self-regulation, and, inevitably, see consumer control implemented with the opt-out mechanism. According to this spectrum, users are empowered individually to control the use of their personal information and collectively through the lever of brand value that would caution companies. Critical interventions raised the need for special protection of sensitive segments such as children and sensitive personal data, a state of fairness in privacy policies and consent generation, and the problem of multi-layered and networked data collection, leaving the user largely unaware of who controls which personal information. Consumer education about online advertising and the meaning of privacy policies and consent emerged as a consensus from the discussion.
Member of European Parliament Stavros Lambrinidis, rapporteur of the recent report on strengthening security and fundamental freedoms on the Internet, stressed the necessity to prescribe limits to the 'consent' that can be obtained from users regarding the processing of their personal data in the digital marketplace. As reflected in his report, the imbalance of negotiating power and knowledge between individual users and data processing industry and authorities bears the risk that "Big Brother" will come stealthily and with our "consent".
In the progress of the European Consumer Summit behavioral advertisement and its consumer policy implications were prominently raised and wrapped up, asking for:
a. the evaluation of different online advertising practices,
b. ways to improve consumer control and information,
c. the role and robustness of standards and best practices, and
d. how the fairness concept can be best transposed from offline to online.
In order to keep a channel for discussion open, the Directorate-General for Health & Consumers proposed to set up a privacy blog on its webpage and invited comments. The way forward was not specified and is further complicated by the fact that online consumer data protection is situated at the intersection of the tasks of three Directorates - General: Health and Consumers, Freedom Security and Justice, and Information Society and Media.
In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) examined online behavioral advertisement to some length and published in February 2009 a Staff Report on Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising.
Meglena Kuneva, European Consumer Commissioner, Keynote Speech (31.03.2009)
Report with a proposal for a European Parliament recommendation to the
Council on strengthening security and fundamental freedoms on the Internet
FTC Staff Report on Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral
Center for Democracy & Technology, A Guide to Behavioral Advertising
Center for Democracy & Technology, Threshold Analysis for Online Advertising
Internet Governance Forum (IGF), Workshop 83: The Future of Online Privacy:
"Online advertising and behavioral targeting" (5.12.2008)
(contribution by Kristina Irion - Center for Media and Communications
http://www.cmcs.ceu.hu) at Central European University)
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Deutsch: Zweite PrivacyOS Konferenz
Meetings between researchers from universities with representatives from industry, data protection authorities, standardizers from W3C and ISO and NGOs to discuss privacy challenges and develop privacy infrastructures represent the idea behind the European Privacy Open Space. The second PrivacyOS event was held in Berlin, 1-3 April at the same time as Re:publica.
As a PrivacyOS project partner, EDRI participated in conference with a delegation of 4 persons representing its members: Andreas Krisch (Vibe!AT, Austria), Leena Romppainen (Electronic Frontier Finland), Ralf Bendrath (Netzwerk Neue Medien, Germany) and Filip Pospisil (Iuridicum Remedium, Czech Republic). Other EDRI members, such as Metamorphosis (Macedonia) are also partners in this project on their own. A huge number of presentations were packed into the three day period, varying from eGovernment development in Austria and Lithuania to UK database state and from Deep packet inspection to eHealth. The presentations will be available from the PrivacyOS web site in the near future.
On the Re:publica side, Stanford Law School professor, founder of Creative Commons and author Lawrence Lessig gave a presentation about copyright issues, illustrating his ideas and urging people to resist the copyright extension being processed in the European Parliament.
Due to the events and presentations being on top of each other, it was impossible to attend everything that was interesting, but PrivacyOS was definitely worth going to for the wide variety of topics, forming contacts and remixing ideas.
Reject the Term Extension Directive
Every Vote Counts: the EU Copyright Term Extension Battle Heats Up (03.2009)
Data Retention Austria - Second Attempt - Presentation by Andreas Krisch
(contribution by Leena Romppainen- EDRi-member EFFi)
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Deutsch: http://www.unwatched.org/node/1361horm: Überprüfung auf Europäische...
On the event on 31 March 2009, the European Commissioner for consumers, Meglena Kuneva, warned on the transparency in the online environment: "We must establish the principles of transparency, clear language, opt-in or opt-out options that are meaningful and easy to use. (...) I am talking about the right to have a stable contract and the right to withdraw."
The concern of the Commission is related to Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology experiments such as the profiling and ad-serving system Phorm secret tests performed in UK by BT in 2006 and 2007.
In a report issued in March 2009, Free Press advocacy group considers the use of DPI technologies is a threat to the open nature of the Internet. "Improper use of DPI (deep packet inspection) can change the Internet as we know it--turning an open and innovative platform into just another form of pay-for-play media. (...) When a network provider chooses to install DPI equipment, that provider knowingly arms itself with the capacity to monitor and monetize the Internet in ways that threaten to destroy Net Neutrality and the essential open nature of the Internet" says the report.
The report concludes that although DPI can help in solving network congestion problems the "technology--the same electronics equipment, in fact--also allows providers to monitor and monetize every use of the Internet, and DPI vendors succeed by developing and marketing this capability."
EDRi-member Open Rights Group (ORG) has recently sent a letter to the major websites such as Microsoft, Google, YouTube, Facebook, AOL, Bebo, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay, urging them to opt out the controversial Phorm technology. A petition initiated by the group, signed by about 21 000 people, is asking for the investigation of Phorm and its banning if the system breaches privacy laws.
A spokeswoman for Phorm said most of the companies having received the ORG letter were already using the targeted advertising offered by the system and that many of them have proven "their commitment to user privacy as signatories to the IAB UK's interest-based advertising good practice principles".
While the UK peers consider that in relation to behavioural targeting, the Information Commissioner's Office, responsible for enforcing EU privacy regulations, had failed in its duty to consumers (as in 2008, ICO accepted Phorm provided it got permission from users if the data collected was used for "value added services."), the UK Government plans however to employ similar technologies to track UK Internet users' behaviour. Viviane Reding, the European Commission's telecoms commissioner who is currently investigating Phorm believes an agreement with the UK government might be possible on this matter.
In preparation of eventual regulatory measures, Kuneva's department is initiating an informal investigation of online privacy and data collection.
In the meantime, Phorm continues its tests. On 30 March 2009, Phorm officially announced a trial of its technology by Korea Telecom.
EU issues ultimatum on internet privacy (31.03.2009)
Major Websites Are Urged To Reject Phorm Profiling (24.03.2009)
Report Warns Against DPI Technology (20.03.2009)
EU Extends Deep Packet Inspection Technology Investigation (30.03.2009)
Deep Packet Inspection - The end of the Internet as we know it? (03.2009)
EDRI-gram: UK Government ignores the European Commission regarding Phorm
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Deutsch: ISPs werden aufgefordert, Kinderpornografieseiten im Internet zu sperr...
In Germany, based on the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), the government has had discussions for several months now on how to block child pornography sites hosted on servers outside of the country. The German Government announced on 25 March 2009 a draft law that would cover rights and obligations of telecommunication media content providers and would include the obligation to block access to child pornography sites listed by a government agency.
According to BMFSFJ Minister Ursula von der Leyen who has been pushing for some time for an agreement with big ISPs, "The rights of children carry more weight than unhindered mass communication."
However, some members of the German Parliament and Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries have shown reservations to a contractual solution considering a regular law should cover the filtering regime as such measures could impact on fundamental rights of citizens. Policies should be put in place in order to deal with the liabilities in cases of errors.
The movement is criticised by the industry and non-governmental organisations, which consider that blocking only makes access more difficult but is not able to entirely prevent it. The EDRi-member FITUG (Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft) Germany has also warned on the fact that, until now, blocking has been useless in fighting child pornography and such measures might lead to blocking sites that have no relation to child pornography as it has happened in other countries.
Blocking systems exist now in several European countries. The CIRCAMP system, developed in Norway in 2004, which blocks entry to known child pornography sites by a red stop sign graphic and a message, is used in nine European countries among which the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
In UK, 95% of the main UK ISPs have already adopted a similar service via the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). A system developed by BT, called Cleanfeed, checks IP addresses against the child pornography blocklist created by IWF and blocks users from accessing their content.
Malcolm Hutty, president of EuroISPA, representing ISPs from across Europe at the EU, considers the EU plans to block sites will "increase risks to the security, resilience and interoperability of the internet" and also stated: "For technical reasons, blocking simply cannot provide the level of protection that is necessary, and simple morality demands that we take strong collective action to get child pornography removed from the Internet, rather than simply hiding behind national firewalls," he added.
All the national plans seem to be in line with the new EU proposal to legally bind all broadband ISPs in Europe to block "access by Internet users to Internet pages containing or disseminating child pornography."
With the view to "combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography", the proposal for an EU framework decision on prevention and settlement of conflicts of jurisdiction in criminal procedures of 20 January 2009 asks that: "Each Member State shall take the necessary measures to enable the competent judicial or police authorities to order or similarly obtain the blocking of access by internet users to internet pages containing or disseminating child pornography, subject to adequate safeguards."
Germany Opts For ISP Filtering Of Child Pornography; NGOs Warn Of Unintended
Germany Cracks Down on Child Porn Sites But Critics Want More Action
German Minister Announces Plans for Mandatory Web Filtering (16.01.2009)
Germany to implement obligatory block on child porn sites (16.01.2009)
UK.gov to get power to force ISPs to block child porn (2.04.2009)
EU proposal for a Council Framework Decision on prevention and settlement of
conflicts of jurisdiction in criminal procedures (20.01.2009)
EU Proposal Could Force UK ISPs to Block Child Abuse Sites (2.04.2009)
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Deutsch: Big Brother Awards Frankreich 2009
The French Big Brother Awards ceremony, or 'Orwell Party', was held this year on Saturday 4 April. The 2009 edition awarded 12 of the 35 nominees, in 6 categories, one of them being the positive 'Voltaire Award'. Armand Mattelart, a renowned professor of Information and Communication Studies, chaired the 2009 jury composed by 10 other members, among them academics, artists, and representatives from French NGOs, including EDRI-member IRIS.
Awarding almost one third of the nominees is a sign that the Jury task was hard this year, with the increase of surveillance and social control in France.
The French ministry of Interior, Michèle Alliot-Marie, received the lifetime menace award, for her 'immoderate taste for police files', which quantity has increased by 70% in 3 years, as well as for her other 'qualities': her 'novlang' (video-surveillance is now called video-protection by French officials), her 'incitements to denouncement', and her talent to construct the 'internal enemy'.
The French ministry of Budget, Eric Woerth, received the State award. The Jury wanted to particularly alert against the centralised database RNCPS to be created, massively interconnecting data from the social sector in view of fraud fighting, using the social security number as identifier. This, of course, reminds the SAFARI project scandal that led to the adoption of the French Data Protection Act in 1978.
The award for companies was given to the French mutual insurance system, a not-for-profit organization, for 'its joint activism with private insurance companies in order to access some medical data from the social security administration'.
Paris Mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, earned the local authorities award for 'his conversion to video-surveillance', after he agreed to contribute to the government efforts in this field, increasing by 4 times the number of cameras in Paris, reaching 1200 of them in public areas.
The Novlang award has two ex aequo recipients. The first one is Humabio, an EC funded research project on multimodal biometrics, most notably relying on behavioural biometrics to 'increase freedom of movement'. The second recipient is the family benefits sector of the social security system, for having trained its employee using a method, called IGGACE, which goes even further than a simple lie detector, since it is supposed to detect 'lying intent'. The method was originally developed for the police sector.
Not only the jury gave an additional award as a 'special mention', but it also awarded two ex aequo recipients. Frédéric Lefebvre, French MEP and spokesperson of Nicolas Sarkozy's party, certainly deserved his award for his 'incompetence and insistence to control the Internet', including by supporting the French 'three strikes law'. The other recipients is the 'anonymous zealot': having seen the number of individual civil servants who denounced irregular migrants, sometimes in breach of the professional secret, decided to highlight this phenomenon through a generic category.
Finally, the Voltaire award or positive prize was given to three ex aequo recipients, actually three coalitions that have been particularly active and gain some success: the coalition against the EDVIGE police file, the coalition of elementary and primary school directors against the central database of children (Base élèves), and the coalition against the use of biometrics in schools. In addition, another Voltaire prize was awarded, as a 'special mention', to Mireille and Monique, two volunteers who help irregular migrants based in Calais with the hope to reach the UK. This simple humanitarian help is a highly risky activity in France, a country where such help is now criminalized.
2009 Big Brother Awards France (only in French, 05.04.2009)
(Contribution by Meryem Merzouki - EDRi-member IRIS France)
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Annual report for 2008 on access to EU documents
The most popular area for requests in Justice and Home Affairs. Just over
73% of the documents listed on the Council register are accessible
full-text. But, of course, the remaining 27% include many documents
concerning measures under discussion. There has been an increase in the
number of documents classified as "Restricted", where disclosure would be
"disadvantageous" to the interests of the EU or its member states - in 2008
there were 505 "Restricted" documents some 40% of which concerned justice
and home affairs (around 200+).
"The Economics of Intellectual Property. Suggestions for Further Research in
Developing Countries and Countries with Economies in Transition"
The series of papers in this publication were commissioned from renowned
international economists from all regions. They review the existing
empirical literature on six selected themes relating to the economics of
intellectual property, identify the key research questions, point out
research gaps and explore possible avenues for future research.
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21-23 April 2009, Winchester, UK
BILETA 2009 Annual Conference
23-24 April 2009, Brussels, Belgium
The future of intellectual property - Creativity and innovation in the digital era
23-24 April 2009, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Second European Licensing and Legal Workshop organized by Free Software Foundation Europe
22-23 May 2009, Florence, Italy
E-privacy: Towards total control
Call for papers deadline: 15 April 2009
23 May 2009, Florence, Italy
Big Brother Award Italia 2009 Nominations by 17 April 2009
11 May 2009, Brussels, Belgium
GigaNet is organizing the 2nd international academic workshop on Global Internet Governance: An Interdisciplinary Research Field in Construction.
13-14 May 2009 Uppsala, Sweden
Mashing-up Culture: The Rise of User-generated Content
19-20 May 2009, Brussels, Belgium
European Commission organizes a personal data protection conference to look at new challenges for privacy
24-28 May 2009, Venice, Italy
ICIMP 2009, The Fourth International Conference on Internet Monitoring and Protection
1-4 June 2009, Washington, DC, USA
Computers Freedom and Privacy 2009
5 June 2009, London, UK
The Second Multidisciplinary Workshop on Identity in the Information Society (IDIS 09): "Identity and the Impact of Technology"
28-30 June 2009, Torino, Italy
COMMUNIA Conference 2009: Global Science & Economics of Knowledge-Sharing Institutions
2-3 July 2009, Padova, Italy
3rd FLOSS International Workshop on Free/Libre Open Source Software
13-16 August 2009, Vierhouten, The Netherlands
Hacking at Random
23-27 August 2009, Milan, Italy
World Library and Information Congress: 75th IFLA General Conference and Council: "Libraries create futures: Building on cultural heritage"
10-12 September 2009, Potsdam, Germany
5th ECPR General Conference, Potsdam
Section: Protest Politics
Panel: The Contentious Politics of Intellectual Property
16-18 September 2009, Crete, Greece
World Summit on the Knowledge Society WSKS 2009
21-23 October 2009, Istanbul, Turkey
16 October 2009, Bielefeld, Germany
10th German Big Brother Awards Deadline for nominations: 15 July 2009
15-18 November 2009, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
UN Internet Governance Forum