Published in News

EU president wants China style internet firewall

by on07 September 2017

Governments should be allowed to spy to save big content

A Council of the European Union document leaked by Statewatch on 30 August reveals that during the summer months Estonia - which holds the current EU Presidency - has been pushing the other Member States to strengthen indiscriminate internet surveillance and protect Big Content from piracy.

If the idea gets traction then the EU will follow in the footsteps of China regarding online censorship.

Not only does the EU feel that filtering the uploads is the way to go, the Presidency wants a new copyright super-tough directive.

According to the leaked document, the text suggests two options for each of the two most controversial proposals: the so-called “link tax” or ancillary copyright and the upload filter. Regarding the upload filter, the text offers two alternatives:

Option A maintains the Commission’s original proposal of having in place an upload filter which will be under the control of platforms and other companies that are hosting online content. Although it removes mentions to “content recognition technologies”, in reality, there is no way to “prevent the availability” of certain content without scanning all the content first.

Option B is, at best, a more extreme version of Option A. In fact, it seems so extreme that it almost makes the first option look like a reasonable compromise. This may, of course, be the “diplomatic” strategy. In this extreme option, the text attacks again the liability regime of the e-commerce Directive – which, bizarrely, would not be repealed, leaving us with two contradictory pieces of EU law but adds a “clarification” of what constitutes a “communication to the public”. This clarification establishes that platforms (and its users) would be liable for the copyright infringing content uploaded by its users.

Of course, it will only work if the European Parliament agrees and no one notices it going through. It is likely that only the UK would back such a plan because it is a big fan of surveillance as the documentary Spectre showed. In any event it is not going to be in the EU by the time the daft plan gets through,

Last modified on 07 September 2017
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Read more about: