Spain passed its Intellectual Property Law, with its hotly debated, so-called Google tax that allows for fines on aggregators that show snippets of content without paying for it. Critics of the law argue that in addition to the confusion of including private copy in the law, the wording on what constitutes as piracy is "vague" and "weak," failing to offer a clear-cut definition to rule against sites that violate property rights. Additionally, Spain is altering its penal code to move more forcefully against copyright violation by closing down sites that link to illegal content.
On 11 July 2014, the Spanish Council of Ministers adopted the Bill on the Protection of Citizens’ Security. The Government’s proposal has been strongly criticised. Restrictions to the freedoms of assembly and expression in protests received a lot of attention in the media, but EDRi says some provisions of the bill have barely been discussed. Measures which have been overlooked in the media include Article 25, which would oblige cybercafés and similar establishments to keep records of their clients’ IDs because these establishments “exercise activities which are relevant for citizens’ security”.
The House of Lords adopted a report on the Google/Spain case. EDRi says the report made it very clear that the nonsense around the term “the right to be forgotten” is indeed simply that… nonsense. However, EDRi observed that sadly, none of the facts of the case mattered in the way of a good story.
In December 2014, the Spanish Congress passed the Citizens’ Security bill by 181 votes to 141. Now, the bill will be discussed in the Senate until the end of March 2015.
Not only does the proposed bill introduce several restrictions to the freedoms of assembly and expression in protests, but it also lays down measures that would severely undermine digital rights.
In the context of the undergoing Spanish Criminal Code reform, PSOE and PE, two major political parties in Spain, agreed on a law proposal on terrorism which include provisions about the Internet. This happened despite critics saying that the section on terrorism should be left out of the Criminal Code reform.