Wise Up Journal

MEP Kathy Sinnott attacks anti-privacy amendments in “Telecom package”

[Please lobby your MEPs on the IMCO and ITRE Committees and pass on.]

Kathy Sinnott, Irish MEP for Munster is opposed to a series of amendments this week in Strasbourg to the European Telecommunications Directive designed to give the EU control over citizen’s internet usage. The proposed amendments could force internet service providers to turn over information on customers and monitor their internet usage. It could also force software makers to include spyware in their products to allow not only governments but also corporations to monitor citizen’s activities whether or not they are suspected of unlawful behaviour.

Kathy Sinnott MEP said “I am a great proponent of net neutrality. The reason the internet is what it is today, is that no-one owns it and no company or government has as yet taken control over it. These amendments being pressed by some MEP’s seek to move Europe closer to the Chinese internet model where usage is monitored and where an individual goes online can be curtailed. This will give vast control over our lives to governments and in some cases corporations. I believe that law enforcement agencies should be allowed to pursue specific targets (eg. child pornography, terrorism) but monitoring the entire populace is not the way to go about it. These intrusions into our privacy would be unacceptable and I will be urging my colleagues to vote down all such amendments on July 7th.”

If these amendments pass they will come before the European Parliament for debate and vote in September or October 09. If you are interested in being updated please let Kathy Sinnott know. Please lobby your MEPs on the IMCO and ITRE Committees and pass on (Email list).

Kathy is Democracy co president of the Independence/Democracy Group in the European Parliament.

For further information, questions or comments, please contact Kathy on:

Brussels office: +32 228 47692
Email: kathy.sinnott@europarl.europa.eu
Website: www.kathysinnott.ie

Related article:

– A committee of the EU Parliament about to vote for “compulsory spyware” –

Translated by Jota

In the EU Parliament they’re about to vote for an outrageous proposal.

On Monday 7-7, 19h in Strasbourg, the Internal Market and Consumer protection committee (IMCO) will meet up.In the order of the day, we have the Telecommunications packet.The amendments baptized as “torpedo amendments” by the Asociacion de Internautas and La Quadrature du Net will be voted.It’s another attack on net freedom and neutrality, in a new attempt to avoid the so-called “illegal” downloads, which we call “sharing”.

The torpedo amendments, proposed by the British Malcolm Harbour (Conservative Party, European Popular Party) are the following:

– Amendment H1: would allow governments to establish restrictions to avoid “illicit content” in Internet.The main one would be acting on the “quality of service”, or otherwise stated, to reduce the speed of P2P, thus dodging internet neutrality.

– Amendment H2: aims to establish cooperation mechanisms between internet providers and producers of content.In other words, it would open the door for societies of authors to determine to internet providers which content is licit and which illicit.

– Amendment H3: inspired in Sarkozy’s “Digital Guillotine”, would force internet providers to control and warn users via e-mail, whenever they would download illicit content.

Moreover, in another Committee, that of Justice and Civil Liberties (LIBE), another two amendments have been approved already, at the proposal of the British conservative Syed Kamall, which allow for installation and forced execution of software in PCs to detect copyright infractions.In plain English: it opens the door for spyware being installed in your computer, which would check whether you download songs.

La Quadrature du Net wrote a detailed report (in English)


Of what these amendments imply. They understand that these amendments are a threat to the open architecture of Internet, as well as to the fundamental rights and liberties of users.

The alarm beacons are alight.The Asociacion de Internautas posted a release in their website saying: “European Internet users could be prevented from illicit activities by means of compulsory spyware, for the sake of security.”


Thus the right to use free software is attacked (will there be spyware adapted to Linux?), and so is net neutrality (reducing the speed of P2P sites on purpose is violating net neutrality).The release, entitled “MEPs want to torpedo freedom in Internet”, is a translation of the text written by the French activists of La Quadrature du Net.In spite of the seriousness of the matter, these news receive few votes in the Spanish and French versions of Diggit.

The move of the conservative MEPs has been smart.They have presented complementary amendments in two different committees, thus making a global perception of the matter difficult.Furthermore, they have sold them as a tool to attack child pornography, thus trying to convince the largest number of MEPs possible, which might not realise they are voting against P2P.

It is necessary to reach the MEPs, though there is not much time. The vote will take place in the IMCO Committee on Monday July 7, at 7pm.However, the deadline is 4pm, when the parliamentary groups gather to decide their vote.

The dirty trick does not end here. On Monday it is the Committee who votes, but it must be the full EU Parliament session which will corroborate this vote, and this won’t happen until September.What we have to do now is to try to reject these amendments, to make ourselves heard for them to know we are not off-guard.

On Monday 7, when the MEPs open their mail, they have to have as many protests as possible on the table.

The following URL contains a call to action (in Spanish)


Click here for a complete E-mail list of all members of IMCO.

Here are some of them:

zuzana.roithova@europarl.europa.eu; alexandergraf.lambsdorff@europarl.europa.eu; cristiansilviu.busoi@europarl.europa.eu; mogens.camre@europarl.europa.eu; charlotte.cederschiold@europarl.europa.eu; desislav.chukolov@europarl.europa.eu; gabriela.cretu@europarl.europa.eu ; cetatenieuropeni@gmail.com ; mia.devits@europarl.europa.eu ; janelly.fourtou@europarl.europa.eu; evelyne.gebhardt@europarl.europa.eu ; marti.grauisegu@europarl.europa.eu; anna.hedh@europarl.europa.eu ; edit.herczog@europarl.europa.eu ; ilianamalinova.iotova@europarl.europa.eu ; pierre.jonckheer@europarl.europa.eu ; kurt.lechner@europarl.europa.eu ; riitta.aarrevuo@brutto.inet.fi ; llehtinen@europarl.eu.int ; toine.manders@europarl.europa.eu; llehtinen@europarl.europa.eu ; nickolay.mladenov@europarl.europa.eu ; catherine.neris@europarl.europa.eu ; bill.newtondunn@europarl.europa.eu ; zita.plestinska-assistant@europarl.europa.eu ; guido.podesta@europarl.europa.eu ; karin.riisjorgensen@europarl.europa.eu ; heide.ruehle@europarl.europa.eu ; heide.ruehle@gmx.de ; leopoldjozef.rutowicz@europarl.europa.eu ; christel.schaldemose@europarl.europa.eu ; andreas.schwab@europarl.europa.eu ; post@andreas-schwab.de ; marianne.thyssen@europarl.europa.eu ; bernadette.vergnaud@europarl.europa.eu ; b.weiler.mdep@t-online.de ; marian.zlotea@europarl.europa.eu