A top EU official wants internet and telecommunication companies to hand over encryption keys to police and spy agencies as part of a wider crackdown on terrorism.
The EU’s counter-terrorism co-ordinator Gilles de Kerchove, in a document leaked by London-based civil liberties group Statewatch, says the European Commission should come up with rules that require the firms to help national governments snoop on possible suspects.
A leaked European Parliament document exposes some of the most bizarre suggestions yet in the debates around the proposed new copyright rules in Europe. The proposal for the Copyright Directive is currently being debated in various European Parliament Committees. The leaked document shows that conservative, socialist and Green Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) have agreed to “compromise amendment”* that would ban legal uses of legally acquired copyrighted material. They would also require the implementation of upload filter, which would remove uploads identified as copyrighted material – memes for example. The vote takes place on 11 July.
On 14 September, Politico published a leaked draft of the European Commission’s Communication “Tackling Illegal Content Online”. The Communication contains “guidelines” to tackle illegal content, while remaining coy in key areas. It is expected to be officially published on 27 September.
A Council of the European Union document leaked by Statewatch on 30 August reveals that during the summer months, that Estonia (current EU Presidency) has been pushing the other Member States to strengthen indiscriminate internet surveillance, and to follow in the footsteps of China regarding online censorship. Standing firmly behind its belief that filtering the uploads is the way to go, the Presidency has worked hard in order to make the proposal for the new copyright Directive even more harmful than the Commission’s original proposal, and pushing it further into the realms of illegality.
Copyright discussions continue in the European institutions. On one hand, Axel Voss, the German conservative (EPP/CDU) Parliamentarian in charge of the dossier in the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs is on some sort of a stand-by while the German government forms. On the other hand, the EU Council, composed of the relevant ministers in charge of the copyright Directive proposal, is speeding up. The two worst proposals in it are the upload filter (“censorship machine”) in Article 13 and the ancillary copyright in Article 11.
In the latest documents leaked from the Council meetings there is a new definition of a type of online service, “online content sharing service provider” which would be the one affected by the censorship machine proposal (Article 13).