MEPs are calling on the European Commission and on the French and British governments, not to adopt the "three strikes and you're out" policies for ISPs. Christofer Fjellner and Michel Rocard, Guy Bono, Helga Trüpel, Francis Wurtz, Christa Prets and Katerina Batzeli moved an amendment to the so-called Bono report, asking for the Commission not to adopt policies for the Internet which are disproportionate and could infringe human and civic rights. They do not want Europe to adopt proposals for filtering and blocking of Internet content and the imposition of sanctions on users such as cutting off Internet access.
The move has no legislative importance but it could be important in positioning European policy on the Internet and ISPs. The so-called "three strikes and you're out" proposal would mean that ISPs would be asked to warn, suspend and cut off users who were alleged to be infringing copyright rules. The proposal was mooted in France, by the "mission Olivennes", and is being considered by the UK government.
The vote was on Wednesday April 9th and the amendment was accepted.
In France, the vote has sparked a political spat between one of the amendment's sponsors, Michel Rocard, and the sponsoring minister, Christine Albanel. Mme Albanel said, in an interview with
Le Monde Informatique, "Le Parlement européen n'a pas une bonne compréhension de ce que nous allons faire et nous allons le leur expliquer." (the European parliament has no understanding of what we are going to do and we are going to explain it to them).
M. Rocard replied in a follow-up article with the same newspaper , that "la coupure éventuelle de l'Internet est une punition collective, principe interdit par tous nos systèmes de droit. La lettre des textes est claire et il n'y a aucun problème sophistiqué de compréhension" (the eventual termination of Internet access is a collective punishment, a principle precluded by all of our legal systems. The meaning of the texts is clear and there is no sophisticated problem of understanding).