And the British bulldog persists with the ‘wikipedia amendments' to bring in a conditional Internet.
The French government is said to be ‘fighting like a lion' to kill the controversial Amendment 138 for user safeguards in the Telecoms Package. It is taking its fight to heart of the Council of Ministers, where the British government is also pushing its position for an Internet where access and use is conditional on the operator's terms.
Amendment 138 is the controversial amendment which seeks to protect users rights in respect of 3-strikes sanctions, and would make it difficult for France to legally bring in its Hadopi law. It has effectively stopped the EU from bringing in a 3-strikes policy, which had been on the cards for a separate ‘Creative Content Online' initiative.
There is also a strange perversion of the other user safeguard amendment - known as amendment 166 (article 32a) in the Universal Services directive - that has appeared in one of the latest documents.
The UK government's ‘wikipedia amendments' have been tabled by several MEPs in the Universal
Services directive (Harbour report). They are so-called because one of them has been created out of text cut and pasted straight out of the wikipedia, as reported previously on iptegrity.com. This is a serious matter, because it indicates a lack of knowledge on the part of those writing the amendments, as well as questions that need to be asked of those who knowlingly tabled the amendments.
The UK amendments strike out text that gives users rights to access and distribute content, services and applications, and replace it with text that says users will be informed of the conditions of the service, and conditions of use of the web services and applications.
AT&T's anti-net neutrality amendments have also been tabled by several MEPs. The AT&T amendments are an attempt to remove regulatory controls on telecoms companies who install next-generation traffic management systems.
Traffic management systems are capable of ‘going where existing bandwidth systems cannot reach'. They are like the heavy artillery - tank or Panzer - division, against the bandwidth management maintenance unit. Traffic management systems will mean that content on the Internet can be prioritised, slowed down, blocked or discriminated against, according to rules set by the network operator.
Under these two sets of amendments, users stand to lose out on the free and open access that they currently enjoy, with the potential for damaging economic consequences.
I hope to be able to publish more detailed analysis shortly. It will appear in the new section ‘Filtering the Package'.
For the full story of French politics in the Telecoms Package, see my book The Copyright Enforcement Enigma: Internet politics and the Telecoms Package