States think we're stupid: Internet censorship around Europe since ACTA

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States think we're stupid: Internet censorship around Europe since ACTA
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Internet censorship around EU since ACTA
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In 2012, we won against ACTA. But did we, really? We criticized ACTA for its corporate censorship provisions. After the overwhelming vote in the EU Parliament, there was hope that the populist reliance on companies to regulate the digital world would be killed once and for good. Since then however, countries have been pushing for more “cooperation with industry” in the absence of human rights safeguards.
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so if this is a kind
of the yes so I welcome to
Internet censorship said uh around Europe since Oct . and today we gonna look at act like measures that were introduced in many European countries ever since the trade agreement was rejected in 2012 and my name is Justin he's Joe we're both working for a European digital rights at which is an umbrella organization 433 civil rights groups of from all across Europe and all members of for example but that's the freedom in the Netherlands Goldman rights
group in the UK and in Germany we have many members among them datatype collage italic at their chefs and and also the CCC the customs look up and yes so we're based in Brussels where we're advocating
for digital rights and
earlier so we're working on many topics of from net neutrality to data protection and copyright but today we're going to talk about a growing trend that's almost as difficult to get rid of as a massive surveillance
so that I don't know how many of you were involved in digital rights
issues that bucket 2012 for if you were living under a rock at the time and to tear about actor
and there was a whole range of negative measures for it increased their copyrights increase copyright enforcement in the proposed agreement 1 of the ones that was of most concern to us at the time was in Article 27 of the agreement which stated that every party shall endeavor to promote cooperative efforts within the business community to effectively address
trademark and copyright or related rights infringement this was going to be done protecting the fundamental principles of privacy and freedom of communication small problem there is no such thing in law as a fundamental principle of of these things and the have but effect for the community from around Europe very active went on to the streets and in the run-up to the elections that happened last year which were slowly coming up to the horizon uh we and you persuaded the European Parliament
to rejects the agreements and the result was an overwhelming victory for us in stopping this particular proposal the but the
question is did we what did we really when the core the answer is yes but the question is uh did the people that wanted this privatize law-enforcement stop and the answer is no so the fair process provisions in actor actually work originated in the OECD which continue to push this approach after the actor diffuse and the Council of Europe most surprisingly is
currently working on a net neutrality uh recommendation which is actually an anti net neutrality regulations which includes the provision of on the so-called self regulatory enforcement by internet intermediaries and the European Commission that will launch in the also assessable all stakeholder dialogs with a view to implementing a copyright through voluntary measures the the problem ultimately there were faced with is that our political leaders believe in fairies unicorns and rainbows because Internet
companies are magic the there
amazing you see all you have to do to fix all of the world's problems it is to put pressure on Internet companies and when you do this they are going to find exactly the right strategies for dealing with public policy problems this strategy is going to be so perfect that it's going to work tomorrow or it's going to work next month it's going to work next year and it's going to work in 5 years because the Unicorn companies can do this amazing and the strangest thing is not alone can be find these durable solutions according to our political leaders but the same solutions can be used to solve completely different problems they will find solutions that work for dealing with terrorism for dealing with child abuse for dealing with copyright enforcement all at the
same time because that's how great they are not only last but these private companies
that compete with each other are going to come up with strategies that are good for us and not good for them they're not going to come up with enforcement strategies that are going to give them to competitive and benefits and a candidate at that competitive benefits for their own business because that's how good they are they're going to come up with solutions that respect our fundamental rights of privacy of our freedom of communication they're going to give us a a fair trial and everything's
going to be fine and so it's no wonder our political leaders enjoy promotion this policy so energetically so yes so know so actually what
happened since 2012 was that many governments seem to think that these cooperative efforts out or in
other words voluntary measures by companies by the magic solutions for all sorts of problems so in France uh so let's do a quick tour of
Europe and then we will have to our final destination in Brussels so in Italy and France and measures are on the verge of legality and the Italian government started to sense of 1st the next in order to block of access to gambling websites and then it started blocking access to websites in order to be seen as being something against child filmography and now the 2 Italian telecommunications
regulator and basically decides on an ad-hoc basis what is being blocked or not and fronts Internet censorship includes a 3 strikes system so users can have their Internet access suspended for alleged copyright infringement but from the other country also filters there let's try tomography and what sets that are suspected to promote terrorism racial violence or hatred and in Ireland for the last 3 years there is a voluntary three-strikes system that has been in place so put in place by the Irish former
monopoly yeah com and uh the Irish High Court recently ruled that other Internet providers should also introduced 3 strikes and because the terms of service of the Internet
companies say we can disconnect you if we feel like it so the court said well we're going to order you to feel like it so uh now there is a a state the law based the 3 strikes systems even though there isn't a law in place to require 3 strikes and if anyone who likes to learn about should really really and competent judges then I warmly recommend the rulings of there's High Court surrounding 3 strikes they really are here recently bad and
in the UK uh the kids got an interesting approach the government doesn't like itself it doesn't consider itself competent so when issues are of major social significance like uh protecting children online they don't believe that there are competent enough to pass a law that makes sense so they have a voluntary blocking systems for uh child-abuse material and because they believe that private companies holy and uh perfect they have this blocking systems with
ice and the the review process without any process to check if it's if it's useful or relevant or counterproductive or anything of the kind when it comes to less serious things the government does trust itself and is prepared to pass laws uh and and when they get into the area of uh really trivial issues like uh dealing with content that's not actually illegal and not actually accused of being illegal there also persuaded uh able to persuade Internet providers to block content and so an additional in addition to the voluntary blocking of job these websites the mandatory blocking of uh uh copyright infringing websites you also have a default blocking of content that might possibly be harmful to somebody uh this uh ridiculous system has led to approximately 11 per cent of the top 100 thousand websites in on Alexa being blocked by at least uh uh 1
Internet provider in UK and up to 20 % according to these stricter versions of those blocking filters amusingly but it doesn't seem to matter 1 of the websites that was blocked was the key to faults uh website which is of a is a blog which is dedicated to supporting the party that is in power in the United Kingdom at the minute even that didn't help persuade the government that what they're doing is stupid the yeah so that was
our little tour of Europe and so
let's have a look what the EU in Brussels is doing right now um yesterday the EU commission normal specifically DT-Connect those led
by a winter and H. acting on and published its is hosting a market strategy and I think the hashtag on Twitter as D S M and this paper and the review of the responsibilities of online companies for taking actions against alleged illegal content on the Internet uh
firstly it wants to analyze how I please take down or can take down material and secondly it wants to introduce new repressive copyright measures but let's see was short the goal detour 1st so in a 2000 the European uh Union for European Commission at the time of and adopted the e-commerce directive which is broadly modeled on the US legislation but has horizontal effect which means that it covers all types of illegal activity and this ensures that Internet providers should not be made liable for contents uh of which there not aware uh we run into some difficulties in understanding in the in European courts squat aware actually means uh but we start from a position that enter providers are protected from liability and because they're protected they can do their jobs and they don't they're not incentivized to uh to block orderlies content and recently last year you love seeing that the European court uh adopted its ruling on the Google Spain case and however a month before there
was a more interesting case in many ways and in Austria the keynote talk you case and and the European court made a very interesting ruling and it's it's sad that it it is possible under European law to place a non-specific injunction on
an Internet access provider to take action against a specific online resource what this means in practice is that a the Austrian court is allowed to say to you PC the defendant in the case and does it needs to take reasonable measures to limit access to keynote doc TO and this is going to in the world of unicorns and happy things is going to find the perfect balance that's respect everybody's rights because there are or there should be a rules in place in order to ensure that Internet companies also respect the fundamental rights of the citizens and in this way they're being squeezed from both sides and find a happy medium running through the middle and if
only things without simple i'm gonna
skip the next 3 slides even though they're funny but I think we're running slightly out of time otherwise um so uh yeah let's go back to the conditions the Digital Single Market strategy so in this strategy instead of providing the same guys that the European Court of
Justice requested the Commission now simply read brands the access approach so we can expect a more repressive copyright enforcement and the the introduction of an approach that's called follow the money so rights holders have basically been lobbying for this measure for several years now
and I think that in doing so in Germany at least since the 2011 and so-called industry dialogs and the idea is basically that rights holders can send letters or notifications directly to of financial service providers or advertisers to request that it is a revenue stream is being cut off to a certain websites and and on
the European level this is not likely to be included in the Digital Single Market strategy and also in the upcoming copyright reform and uh
so even Google of posts about people in 2012 in the US which also included this follow the money approach the European policy team is now fully behind this thing so the company apparently does not think that's lost or a court orders unnecessary and sent it promotes the idea that companies should do more in order to go after alleged copyright infringement and yes and some
Swedish VPN providers could find out in 2013 what this what this means in practice so in this
example here from the provider had no long axis to uh his or her as a desire and Martha cut services and now if we check
again the architects as you can see that these coalitions mentioned by well yeah I pretty close to
the cooperative measures and saluted similarly in the Digital Single Market uh drafts we
had a for instance follow the money approaches which have been put in place uh no the amount being that's happening in Brussels and in the European Parliament
in particular is such last there is no single concept of quot followed the money is and yet the culture committee of the European Parliament adopted a text offering its full support for the follow the money approach the European Parliament now are the European Parliament's culture committed any race now supports in a an enforcement measure which does not actually exist in any form up on a European level so they really think it's a good thing and so the follow the money approach again falls into the concept of cooperative right measures within the business community the other thing to remember on on follow the money is that the
DUS payment providers have a deal with the price has to cut off on a global level uh call organizations accused of infringing on pure the White House also has an
arrangement with the advertising networks to cut off services globally uh on the basis of active accusations of infringing pure so essentially what Europe is doing is watching the US and the US companies enforcing copyright in the global level and going we think it's a good idea to and when in fact it actually got no control over it anyway and isn't prepared to enforce or ask uh enforce citizens rights
in Europe or ask for it to be enforced um
similarly the Digital Single Market uh looks to require Internet intermediaries to exhort exercise greater responsibility greater than what we don't know uh and did due diligence what that means we don't know in a way in the way they manage their system networks works and and systems is duty of care the meaning of which we don't know we know what that it is privatize
law-enforcement but if we don't know exactly what it means what we do know is that it is exactly in line with the concept that there should be cooperation
among the business community to enforce the copyright and we also know that is used in the obvious and clear contradiction to Article 52 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union which says that restrictions on freedom of communication must be provided for by law if so and
the European Commission as the planning to put these measures that we've just been talking about into the copyright reform which is being launched in autumn of 2015 of this
year and also the analysis of the role of eyes he's in combating illegal content on the Internet is uh starting this year if so this means that basically the fights that's now and Germany is key that Germany is key because this person year no no sorry that I'm ments of Christ this commission idea is responsible
for the Digital Economy and Society and yeah so this is a bit worrying because some instances taking of office interpreting our has compared the proponents of net neutrality to the Taliban he has a uh said that he wanted to launch a new launch of a new Data Retention Directive even though it doesn't fall and all
under his competency so that
the and we'll start with this now and the other reason why Germany is T is because this
parliamentarians here everything gap part is in charge of the dusty in the European Parliament so and what we will before and a we can win again and you can help us win
by the following the news on it we don't work by of course following us on Twitter and shame on anybody in this room is not already following us on Twitter and you can uh blog trees posts rehashed translation uh what we're doing shared the information and in your notes works uh less you're parliamentarians know what you think of the idea of of rainbows apple pie and those wonderful uh internet companies regulating your freedom of communication on the Internet to
and of course if you can't do any of that we are prepared to accept donations you heard me right be
the and yeah if you want access to the other contracting uptake with going to tweets later slides later I would like to understand it better be behavior of let's say also of the people in the Commission and the Parliament on meaning become nasty I would say it sounds like there's been paid off the from less nasty it sounds like they don't know what you're talking about so could you please explain a bit how it comes to be such chaos has
a I I wouldn't like to accuse
anybody of corruption and I'm more happy to accuse people of the competence and a lot of the international discussions as we saw an actor and as we see in the OECD are being driven by by the United States and from the United States perspective all of this is strategically and politically uh sensible if the major international payment providers are Americans and the search engines are Americans and the advertising measurements are
American it's quite a nice idea to have them implementing American law on a global basis it's quite nice that you choose is imposing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in Europe and elsewhere in the world and it's also quite useful domestically because the US can't pass laws that restrict freedom of communication because their
1st Amendment rights to prevent this from happening so if you're at a US politician and if you want to push tough uh copyright legislation and
enforcement then domestically it makes sense and internationally it makes sense and that the US is very very good at at communicating its message
and that the US companies are very good at communicating the message that and we also come back to this problem here I
mean and we entry is still the only Europe a Europe wide organization based in Brussels and we're trying to talk to a lot of parliamentarians but we only 6 people in the industry lobbyists have approximately 30 thousand people in brussels
so of guys they have more time and resources to go and to everybody convince them of the but the the the the shorter than the shorter
version uh is that uh the for want of something better to do and it's this is this an
episode of the simpsons all human wisdom resides in the sense somewhere uh is not of the simpsons where he becomes the chromosomes and becomes responsible for of rubbish disposal in Springfield and slogan is why can't someone else to it and if it's good enough for Homer Simpson then down and it's good enough for greater could interpreting the this thing to the
great work to do and also somebody intersect is not 1 of stress that without the tree Iine good and evil know how we could we many battle on the European scale as a lot stress how important do want to do and also the questions I heard there's this new way of possibility to become 83 support the content more about the thank length
of I have yet so this is the thing that we launched just this
week and if you go on and you don't lots less supported you can uh and choose to contribute to our work on a regular basis and become
an official supporter the
and constantly also think you only had 6 people working on such a big issue here in the in
I think I like perhaps why isn't working here what is this and we as as Kirsten amply demonstrates we do our absolute level best to give ourselves as much resources as possible and that so far at that level best has allowed us to grow to the size of wherein we're at 6 years ago there
wasn't even in every office in Brussels 6 years ago in 2009 there was no digital rights focused NGO working in Brussels we had the you European consumers Bureau devoting some of their time and that was it and so we've come a long way in 6 years but our our our growth curves is unfortunately smaller than the growth curve of the work that the Commission is throwing edges OK so if you have your
questions of the around and who are the warm it's a need and then we get to the next time Thank you