There is still time to email / fax your Member of the European Parliament e.g. via WriteToThem.com, ahead of tomorrow's vote on some dubious amendments to some forthcoming European Union telecommunications and internet legislation.
See The Open Rights Group for details: ask your MEPs to vote for Telecom package amendments 133 and 138
La Quadrature du Net has a wiki with the Telecom Plenary Package Amendments in question.
Our letter to the several London MEPs:
FOR THE ATTENTION OF:
Gerard Batten MEP
Claude Moraes MEP
Syed Kamall MEP
Mary Honeyball MEP
Robert Evans MEP
Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP
Jean Lambert MEP
John Bowis OBE MEP
Charles Tannock MEP
Tuesday 23 September 2008
Dear Charles Tannock, John Bowis OBE, Robert Evans, Gerard Batten, Claude Moraes, Mary Honeyball, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Syed Kamall and Jean Lambert,
As my MEPs for London, I am sure you are getting a few emails regarding the plenary vote tomorrow Wednesday 24th September 2008, on the Telecoms Package Framework Directive (Trautmann report).
To say that this is difficult for the general public to engage in the political process on this matter, would be an understatement of the bureaucratic complexity of this legislation and amendments !
Nevertheless, having carefully read the proposals online, I urge you to prevent any legislation or amendments from being passed which could, in the future, be used to promote or mandate the idea of any sort of "Great Firewall of Europe", for censoring internet and telecommunications content, in a similar manner to that already practised by repressive
regimes such as the Chinese Communist or Burmese ones etc.
This would have massive implications for both individual fundamental human rights and liberties within the European Union, as well as a devastating effect on the lucrative commercial business of hosting corporate and other business data centres within the European Union.
These data centres will be moved "offshore", outside of the European Union, just like the operations and tax revenues of global companies are, when there is excessive bureaucratic red tape and over regulation and state snooping.
Where corporate data centres go, then so do corporate headquarters, together with their tax revenues and their staff jobs.
Therefore, please support at least Amendment 133:
"Member States shall ensure that no technology may be mandated by competent authorities which would facilitate surveillance of internet users, such as technologies that mirror or monitor the user´s actions and/or interfere with operations of the user's network activity for the benefit of a third party (known as "filtering")."
Amendment 138 is also worthy of support,
This mandates *Judicial oversight*, rather than the wholly inadequate system of Annual Reports by Commissioners or Quangos, with few or zero powers to prosecute offenders, or the equally tainted scheme of Politicians (i.e. the Home Secretary) acting in a judicial role, which is why the UK Data Protection Act and Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act are so ineffective in protecting the interests of individuals and small businesses from overzealous bureaucrats and large corporate or government data abusers.
"applying the principle that no restriction may be imposed on the rights and freedoms of end-users, notably in accordance with Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on freedom of expression and information, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities, except where dictated by force majeure or by the requirements of preserving network integrity and security, and subject to national provisions of criminal law imposed for reasons of public policy, public security or public morality."
We will be watching closely, how all of the United Kingdom's Members of the European Parliament vote on this issue.