European Elections Guest Article

EU governments want to introduce electronic communications censorship

Germany, Great Britain and several other EU governments want to have Internet connections, e-mails and whatsapp messages filtered for illegal content. In search for “child pornography” and “terrorist content”, Internet providers, e-mail providers and messaging service providers are to be allowed to filter their customers’ use of the Internet and all messages sent. The confidentiality of telecommunications provided for in the proposed ePrivacy Regulation is to be lifted in this respect. National laws could make communications censorship mandatory.

Patrick Breyer, activist and the German Pirate Party’s lead candidate for the EU elections, warns: “Mass censorship of Internet access and private communications violates the fundamental right to respect for our private and family life and our correspondence. This right must not be placed in the hands of intransparent and error-prone algorithms designed by private corporations. I call upon the telecommunications industry to speak out strongly against this trust-eroding proposal and join the civil society in stopping this plan.”

In view of usual encryption technology Breyer decries the censorship plans as ineffective. They are being promoted particularly by the British government in the context of negotiations on the proposed ePrivacy regulation. A Council working group is to deal with the matter on Thursday.

Agenda

Author: Patrick Breyer, leader of the German Pirates’ candidate list for the EP elections

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