The telecom package debated by the European Parliament
(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)
The European Parliament (EP) discussed on 2 September 2008 the draft directives to reform the EU framework on electronic communications (telecom package). Besides the debates on the telecom issues, the MEPs have discussed the role of the ISPs in combating Intellectual Property Rights violations and the modifications to the ePrivacy directive in order to include more provisions on consumer protection and data security.
Some of the amendments that were passed by the EP Committees were challenged by some of the speakers, beliving they could endanger the principle of the neutrality of the Internet. Rebecca Harms (Germany), David Hammerstein (Spain) and Eva-Britt Svensson (Sweden) considered that the proposals will just pave the way to France's graduated response and supported the idea that the ISPs should not become the police of the Internet. The filtering measures were challenged, following some of the conclusions in the seminar on the Telecoms Package and Network Filtering arranged by Swedish MEP Christofer Fjellne on 27 August 2008 ( as reported in the previous EDRi-gram). Of course, the French presidency representative considered that the ISPs should have the obligation to inform its users about unlawful content.
The dangerous amendments were also challenged by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS). In his opinion issued just before the EP's debate, the EDPS presented "some observations about ad hoc amendments that may weaken the protection of personal data and privacy of individuals using the Internet. Some of the amendments that cause concern are related to traffic data and the protection of intellectual property rights, as well as regulation of notification of security breaches." The EDPS considered that if all the debatable amendments were adopted "the net effect will be increased monitoring of Internet users' activities, which inevitably would infringe upon their data protection and privacy rights."
The EDPS also expressed his positive remarks on some amendments to the ePrivacy directive: "The EDPS is particularly pleased about the inclusion of companies operating on the Internet under the scope of the obligation to notify security breaches. He is also pleased with the amendment that enables legal and natural persons to file legal actions for infringement of any provision of the ePrivacy Directive (not only spam)."
Viviane Reding, the EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, asked the EP not to limit the breach notification procedure only to serious cases accepted by the competent authority, as modified by the LIBE committee.
The vote on the entire Telecom package will take place in the next Parliamentary session during 22-25 September 2008.
The EP debate on Telecoms Package (2.09.2008)
Telecoms Package : the spectre of the graduated response hangs over Europe
EU Parliament debates telco reform ahead of vote (4.09.2008)
Comments on selected issues that arise from the IMCO report on the review of
Directive 2002/22/EC (Universal Service) & Directive 2002/58/EC (ePrivacy)
EDRi-gram: Seminar on the Telecoms Package and Network Filtering
EDRi-gram: Control on Internet users pushed with the new telecom package