Part 3 of a series of 3 postings on the leaked EU TTIP discussion document
It has emerged that the rules that protect Internet service providers and hosting companies from content liability are being tabled for discussion in talks about the proposed EU –EU trade deal (TTIP) . The proposal was revealed in a leaked European Commission document published recently by the German newspaper Die Zeit. Since any move by the EU to on intermediary liability legislation will be highly constroversial, it is interesting that the Commission is putting it forward for TTIP talks.
Part 2 of a series of 3 postings on the leaked EU TTIP discussion document
Just as the European Parliament is about to vote on new data protection rules, TTIP touches on another aspect of privacy.
Has a discussion on communications traffic data slipped into the EU-US trade talks (TTIP)? It seems as though it might have done. Iptegrity previously reported on the re-work of telecoms law that is signalled by a series of provisions in a European Commission document that is to form the basis of discussion at the TTIP talks. Within that context, the issue has slipped in via a back door.
Part 1 of a series of 3 postings on the leaked EU TTIP discussion document
The European Union could give away unlimited rights to foreign telecoms companies to buy up rivals in Europe as part of the proposed new transatlantic trade deal (TTIP). This is one of an astonishing set of proposals revealed in a Commission document leaked by the German newspaper Die Zeit last week. The leaked document further indicates a possible re-write of the EU telecoms framework, outlining a ‘mini’ version of the EU Telecoms Package for discussion.
A back-room political compromise on net neutrality that is being quiety negotiated in the European Parliament is currently sitting on a knife-edge. It is the only element of the Telecoms Regulation (Connected Continent) that has not been agreed between the different party groups (as previously predicted by Iptegrity). The Committee vote is on Monday.
The big stakes are whether a telco-led agenda for priorised Internet services will be permitted. This agenda will also have serious implications for ordinary telephone services and how television is delivered. In addition, there are issues surrounding Neelie Kroes flagship anti-discrimination clause.
***Update Tuesday 25 February - the vote has been postponed until 10 March.***
When even the experts are struggling, it should set off alarm bells. The net neutrality issue is hotting up in the European Parliament, but who really understands what is happening? It has been under scrutiny from the various committees and is now with the Industry committee for a vote in a couple of weeks time. The signs are that the rapporteur, Pilar Del Castillo, is being challenged, but there are concerning indications that MEPs will give in to amendments that put at risk not only the structure of the Internet, but of the whole telecoms market.
If the government were to mandate a privately-funded body to handle adult content blocking it would be ‘a species of censoring... without any obligation of prior judicial approval’
A report on the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) - a UK-based Hotline to report the most serious cases of child abuse on the Internet – by the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken (now Lord) MacDonald, has a lot to say about the difficulties of a take-down regime for adult content, suggesting that the IWF drop such content from its remit. In the broader discussions around Internet content blocking, his rationale is interesting. He concludes that there would be serious risks to free speech rights "if" a privately-funded bodywere to be given Internet take-down powers over 'sensitive' content. As Iptegrity readers will know, guarantees of fundamental rights under EU law mean that a court ruling is required before governments can
It was thought to have died, but this week week it was given a new lease of life. This is the Notice and Action directive which will regulate take-down requests to Google, FaceBook and other online content platforms, and which is now set to come back onto the EU policy agenda. This was revealed on Tuesday in the European Parliament by Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier, who is responsible for the dossier.
Eight years after the EU first began working on music online, the European Parliament this morning adopted a new directive to regulate music collecting societies. MEPs came to a political agreement that the transparency and administration of collecting societies should be regulated in order to improve the flow of money to artists. They also recognised that cross-border licencing had to be addressed in order to enable pan-European online music services.
Blink and you’d miss it, but there is a tiny little Bill on Intellectual Property being discussed in the UK Parliament this week. The Bill has nothing to do with copyright or the enforcement of it (only patents and design rights) but guess what? There are calls for Internet copyright enforcement to be included in it. Could they, and should they, slip in measures like criminal penalties and increased intermediary liability, into the IP Bill mid-process, without having done the relevant consultations and contrary to EU policy?
***Updated Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th January. See below.***
City of London police domain seizures on behalf of copyright industry claimants are coming under scrutiny following an adjudication obtained by a Canadian domain registrar. EasyDNS, based in Ontario, Canada, filed a complaint regarding a transfer from another registrar, of domains that were under a seizure order. The decision obtained under the Internet governance rules, stipulated that there should be a court ruling. It provides much food for thought in terms of the legality of take-down notices.
Usually I would expect to feel pleased when a prediction I made comes true. But this time, I feel rather sad and it’s why I’ve struggled to write anything as a new year posting. I’ve been following the content filtering agenda since 2008 and saw it coming. One of the reasons why I write Iptegrity is to inform the debate because filtering is the one thing that I believe above all is a threat to free speech and a most dangerous step to take.