are set to vote on a new set of telecom rules that has some punters rather cross at the Union.
One aspect of the new legislation in particular has raised a few
eyebrows among techies. Following in the footsteps of France and the
UK, the EU is planning to introduce strict penalties for file-shearers.
The EU plans to enforce a new rule under which persons suspected of
file sharing could simply be disconnected. However, the wording of this
particular rule is somewhat vague and that is what's causing quite a
bit of controversy.
The regulation reads:"A user's internet access may be restricted, if
necessary and proportionate, only after a fair and impartial procedure
including the user's right to be heard." The restrictions can only be
imposed "with due respect for the principle of presumption of innocence
and the right to privacy".
Unfortunately, EU lawmakers threw out an amendment which stipulated
that any disconnect would have to be performed following a court
verdict. So at the moment, it's not clear who will conduct the 'fair
and impartial' procedure or who will safeguard the principle of
presumption of innocence.
While it is clear the EU and every other legislative body must take
action to curtail criminal activities, we're a bit miffed that the
Union doesn't seem to trust its courts that much.