Freedom of speech
On 28 November 2013, Google received an ex-parte interim order from an Irish court to block the publication of a photo image of convicted solicitor Thomas Byrne which appears as a search result alongside the profile of Irish Senator Thomas Byrne, a solicitor himself.
Google considers it cannot be held liable for what comes up in its search results, as it only creates a snapshot of content that is elsewhere on the internet and this so-called “caching defence” is covered by the EU’s e-commerce directive law, allowing ISPs to not be held liable for being a mere conduit for information.
However, Google is no longer a mere provider of search results reflecting the content of websites elsewhere on the internet as it currently offers a range of products and services that brin
The UK government continues its endeavours to censor the Internet and has succeeded in convincing search engines to filter search term results “associated” with child abuse images within its child abuse policy, despite the lack of proof of any efficiency of such measures, the rinks to abuses and the dangers to the citizens’ democratic rights.
The Russian security authorities are taking new measures to expand their surveillance of the Internet by requiring ISPs to store all traffic temporarily and make it available to the Federal Security Service (FSB).
According to an article published by newspaper Kommersant, Vympelkom, the owner of the mobile network Beeline, made a complaint to the Ministry of Communications about the new decree made public on the 21 October 2013, developed by the Ministry together with the FSB, which will require ISPs to monitor all Internet traffic, including IP addresses, telephone numbers, and usernames.
The decree, which is to come into force in July 2014, also requires that ISPs store the traffic for 12 hours after collection and grant the security services exclusive access to the data.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled on 10 October 2013 in the case Delfi AS vs.
On 2 October 2013, EDRi signed a joint letter together with other civil society groups and organisations (CCIA, EDIMa, EuroISPA, EEA and EMOTA) asking the competent EU institutions to act on the amendments to the draft Regulations on Market Surveillance and Product Safety that could have far-reaching consequences affecting online commerce and Internet intermediaries freedom.
The letter asks not to extend the scope of the Regulation to cover intellectual property, as that would undermine legal certainty and put an excessive burden on businesses, particularly SMEs.
Also, the text points to a number of amendments that would undermine the principle of technology neutrality and would specifically burden e-commerce by singling out ‘online’ trade and seeking to impose far-reac
On 10 October 2013, the winner of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought will be announced by the Conference of Presidents, as chosen by members of three committees of the European Parliament (AFET, DEVE and DROI).
The Prize, bearing the name of the 1975 Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov, has been awarded every year since 1988 to individuals and organisations for efforts in defending human rights and freedom of expression.
Edward Snowden, the former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower, has been nominated and shortlisted for the award, for his exposure of the vast state sponsored surveillance programme, known as PRISM, affecting millions of people around the world, including foreign presidents, companies and even EU institutions.
Eric Snowden, the whistleblower behind the revelations regarding the electronic surveillance made by NSA, GCHQ and other intelligent services, has been nominated for the 2013 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the Greens/EFA group and GUE/NGL group.
The seven nominees for the 2013 Sakharov Prize were presented at a joint meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Development committees and the Human Rights Subcommittee on 16 September 2013.
Russia has operated since 2012 a national blacklist of sites that allegedly do not comply with the law. The website blacklist currently includes hundreds of websites, from those promoting drug taking and suicide to those offering child pornography, but also sites that infringe the anti-piracy law. All these websites are to be blocked at the ISP level. Moreover, the legislation allows the blocking of sites that only link to infringing content if they do not take action within 72 hours of a complaint.
On 19 September 2013, telecoms watchdog Roskomnadzor said that Facebook has been provisionally put on a list of banned Internet sites and asked to remove controversial content within three days.