EU Commissioner for Information Society apparently seeks the removal of Amendment 138, a key Telecom Package amendment to protect citizens' rights to access content on the Internet
According to an unconfirmed report by La Quadrature du Net, Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and self-styled champion of lower telecoms costs, has reacted swiftly to the Telecoms Package vote result. Less than two days afterwards, she is demanding the withdrawal of a key amendment carried in the vote on Wednesday.
The report says that she has announced that she would require, on behalf of the European Commission, the withdrawal of Amendment 138. This was the amendment proposed by French MEP Guy Bono, which states that no restrictions on access to Internet content may be made which infringe on users' fundamental rights. It also says that in the case where someone wants to do that, they must first apply to a court. It effectively puts a barrier in the way of the French government's plans for graduated response, and La Quadrature suggests that Mrs Reding's motive may be to protect the French government's plans.
We would respectfully remind Mrs Reding of a speech she gave only last year, on 9th July 2007, to the International Federation of Journalists, on the subject of freedom of expression. "Freedom of expression and freedom of information are not luxuries to be indulged in only at the end of social development. They are the starting point for the development of a free and democratic society".