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Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

This time a Parliament recommendation is different from the usual reports, because it is about the internet and communication freedoms. Most persons will overlook the provisions on criminal sanctions but that is the meat:

Strengthening security and fundamental freedoms on the Internet
European Parliament recommendation of 26 March 2009 to the Council on strengthening security and fundamental freedoms on the Internet (2008/2160(INI))

l) proceed to the adoption of the directive on criminal measures aimed at the enforcement of intellectual property rights, following an assessment, in the light of contemporary innovation research, of the extent to which it is necessary and proportionate, and while simultaneously prohibiting, in pursuit of that purpose, the systematic monitoring and surveillance of all users” activities on the Internet, and ensuring that the penalties are proportionate to the infringements committed; within this context, also respect the freedom of expression and association of individual users and combat the incentives for cyber-violations of intellectual property rights, including certain excessive access restrictions placed by intellectual property holders themselves;

m) ensure that the expression of controversial political beliefs through the Internet is not subject to criminal prosecution;

Provision l) relates to the so called IPRED2, the second IP enforcement directive (criminal measures) which is a kind of zombie law on the Council level, originally proposed in 2005. The Parliament report suggests to have a fresh reconsideration of the zombie but to prohibit “the systematic monitoring and surveillance of all users” activities on the Internet, and ensur[e] that the penalties are proportionate to the infringements committed”. The best technical solution to make this happen would be either a restart or the proposal of an amended version by the Commission.

The private telecommunication surveillance and interception is penalised by many penalty codes in Europe but recently Nokia disputed with the Finnish legislator over monitoring communication of its employees (“Lex Nokia”) to protect trade secrets. Most member states are not very keen to get the European Union involved with criminal law harmonisation, a controversy that apparently got started with the Maastricht revision round and the cumbersome installation of Europol.

Read the full text to see how diverse and broad the views of parliament are on the matter.

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