Beware Europe!

China is not the only country engaging in Internet filtering and censorship. Be very wary, it could happen in your own backyard!
From a Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) listserv I belong to:

Music Industry Pressures EU Politicians for Filtered Internet

The music and film industry continues to pursue its idea of a politically “corrected” Internet – one that they imagine could protect their old business models without requiring any extra costs on their part. This time, the fix is Internet-wide filtering. In a memo to European policy-makers, the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) has called upon ISPs in Europe to filter the content sent across their networks, block protocols used by their customers, and cut off access to persistently infringing sites from the Net.

Disturbingly, European politicians seem open to the idea of ISPs policing and interfering with their customers’ communications on behalf of rightsholders. Last month, the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) tabled an amendment to a Parliamentary report that changed a request to “rethink the critical issue of intellectual property”, into a call for “internet service providers to apply filtering measures to prevent copyright infringements”.

EFF sent a letter pointing out that some of the groups hardest hit by blanket Internet filtering measures would be artists and teachers. But building filtering and censorship tools is not just bad for creators and education; it’s bad for all of society. Any country that has a centralized system in place to pry into its citizen’s private communications creates a very disturbing precedent and a dangerously powerful tool, vulnerable to misuse. Perhaps the music industry’s European lobbyists have lost sight of the serious collateral damage their proposals would cause, but European citizens and their elected policymakers should not.

For the full IFPI memo requesting filtering from ISPs:
http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/effeurope/ifpi_filtering_memo.pdf

For EFF Europe’s letter addressing calls for ISPs to filter for copyright
infringement:
http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/effeurope/CULT-filtering-letter.pdf

For this post:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2007/12/music-industry-europe-filter-pressure

Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged.

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: