Good news everyone! The discussion on the Telecomms Package at the European Parliament has produced a good result against “three-strikes and you’re out” policies, as some of the measures that would involve cutting internet connection have been sent back to the negotiating table.I have not been keeping up with the minutiae of the procedure, but both Lilian Edwards and Monica Horten have, and they provide some in-depth coverage.
I am particularly interested by the fact that some in the Parliament seem to get that in this day an age internet access is an important right, and cutting it via an administrative decision violates all of the principles of due process of law. Therefore, an amendment has been included into the package which, according to an official memo explaining the proceedings, will:
“The new telecoms rules recognise explicitly that internet access is part of fundamental rights such as the freedom of expression and the freedom to access information. The rules therefore provide that any measures taken regarding access to or use of services and applications through electronic communications networks must respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens, including in relation to privacy, freedom of expression and access to information and education, as well as due process. The new rules also clarify that the final word on this important matter of internet access must be with a judicial authority.”
Good sense has prevailed, and a court order will be needed to cut-off someone’s internet connection.