Tuesday, 6 October 2009

FRA, 138, Drowning dogs and heavy British Boots...

It's an interesting week in parliament this week... at least for those with an eye for justice and individual rights and privacy. 

In Sweden the FRA legislation (that means state monitoring of all international traffic (voice, mail, sms, email etc) passing Swedens borders is up for review.  It's already on the statute book.. but all it needs is four MPs from the ruling alliance to vote against, or eight to abstain and the law will be torn up.  The stakes are high...  not least as it will be a hot topic for next year's parliamentary elections if the opposition don't succeed in getting it stopped.

Meanwhile, over at the EU discussions on the Telecom Package and the famous amendment 138 come to a head tomorrow with another meeting between ministers and the parliamentary representatives (Piratpartiets MEP Christian Engström among them).  Much to the disgust of the Green group the parliamentary delegation have already agreed not to press ministers on other areas like net neutrality, but still they still want to see the parliaments proposals implemneted - making judicial review a necessary condition for disconnecting people from the Internet.  'Innocent until proven guilty' doesn't sound like such a controversial position now does it?

I've been impressed by the degree of communication both of the issues and the process and progress in the Swedish blogosphere - not least from pirates HAX, Christian and Rick.  Communication even when the Council of Minister's hide their negotiating position behind a 'Confidential' stamp.

Latest from HAX is a report on how the British have been lobbying Eva-Britt Svensson - a left wing MEP - to support their position on cutting people off from the internet without trial. Apparently, according to the Brits it's all a question of child pornography.  Eva-Britt, feminist, and chairman of the equality working party, doesn't agree....

"..it's instead the possibility for powerful capitalist interests within principally the entertainment industry to drive enforcement work, and through Internet suppliers stop those that are copying music and games on the web through e.g The Pirate Bay and similar search engines.  It's all about putting a stop to consumption of culture by those that can't or don't believe they can afford the prices that the industry decides."

If I can steal a quote...  
"When you want to drown a dog you say it has rabies."
                                                          Jean-Pierre Brard (Parti Communiste Français) 
...from the French parliamentary debate on 'HADOPI 2' when the French justice minister started to talk about child pornography.

Update:  the vote on FRA is in fact next week, weds Oct 14th.

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