Friday, November 6, 2009

EU agrees on Internet, telecoms user rights; Sydney Morning Herald, 11/6/09

Sydney Morning Herald; EU agrees on Internet, telecoms user rights:

"The European parliament and EU nations have agreed new rules to improve the rights to European mobile phone and Internet users, and offer more protection against illegal Internet porn and copyright abuse.

EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding announced the compromise deal, reached late Thursday, after European governments agreed to EU parliament demands to balance a crackdown on illegal downloaders with broader rights for Internet users.

Following a "strong request" from the parliament, and after lengthy negotiations, the future rules state that any national measures regarding restrictions to access to Internet services and applications must be "appropriate, proportionate and necessary within a democratic society."
Reding welcomed the deal as "good news for Europe's citizens."...

Under the draft bill, authorities would no longer be able to cut off Internet services to users without providing evidence of illegal downloading or other activity.

The draft law will also boost privacy and consumer rights, make it easier for customers to switch telecoms providers and increase competition for Internet and phone services.

An earlier bill had been rejected by the parliament amid uproar over a draft French anti-piracy law which had suggested that Internet connections of users of peer-to-peer services could be cut without the prior intervention of judicial authorities.

The revised deal stresses that "citizens in the EU are entitled to a prior fair and impartial procedure, including the right to be heard, and they have a right to an effective and timely judicial review.""

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