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Freedom of speech

French intelligence wants Wikipedia to delete online content

10 April, 2013
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Französischer Geheimdienst verlangt Löschung eines Wikipedia-Artikel...


The Wikimedia Foundation was asked on 4 March 2013, by French spy agency Direction Centrale du Renseignement Intérieur (DCRI), to remove its article in French “Station hertzienne militaire de Pierre sur Haute” (the military station of Pierre sur Haute) considered by the agency to contain classified military information the publication of which violated the French Penal Code.

According to a judicial source quoted by AFP, the request for the deletion of the article was due to the fact that

Is Facebook applying censorship?

27 March, 2013
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Betreibt Facebook Zensur?


On 18 March 2013, the German radio presenter Jürgen Domian accused Facebook of censorship after some of his posts in which he had made some remarks about the new Pope, were deleted without warning by the social network.

Domian said he believed Facebook had taken down the posts after receiving complaints from Catholic users. "Clearly fanatical supporters of the (Catholic) church kicked up such a fuss with Facebook that they buckled," he wrote.

No intermediary liability for bloggers

27 March, 2013
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Blogger haften nicht für Kommentare Dritter


Bloggers should not be considered liable for third-party comments on their posts in cases when they have not specifically intervened in the content at issue, as doing so would strongly affect freedom of expression.

This is the clear position of the EDRi-member Article 19 that comes in relation to a case now pending with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in which a Polish municipal councillor was sued because there had been allegedly defamatory comments to one of his posts, addressed to the mayor of the town, during the electoral campaig

ENDitorial: Porn, Parliament, Posturing, Politics and Privatised Policing

13 March, 2013
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: ENDitorial: Porno, Parlament, Gepose, Politik und privatisierte Rechts...


There was a lot of noise surrounding the proposed “porn ban” that was voted on this week (on 12 March 2013) in the European Parliament. The draft Resolution, adopted by the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM), called for the Commission to take action to implement the measures indicated in the 1997 Parliament resolution on advertising, in particular with regard to the ban on pornography that it proposed.

Hadopi wants to turn to privatised enforcement measures

13 March, 2013
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Hadopi für eine Privatisierung der Rechtsdurchsetzung


The French anti-piracy authority Hadopi has produced a new report on how to fight illegal streaming and downloading of copyrighted material.

This is probably an attempt of ensuring its future as, since its installation in 2009, the authority has not yet proven its efficiency with the so-called three-strikes system, in terms of revenues to the culture industry, and has already cost France tens of millions of euros.

“Some Internet sites, streaming services and direct download sites are specialized in the massive exploitati

Ukrainian online editor beaten up for critical articles

13 March, 2013
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Ukraine: Online-Redakteur wegen kritischer Artikel angegriffen


On 5 March 2013, Taras Chornoivan, chief editor for the Ukrainian news website Tarasova Pravd, ended up in hospital with serious injuries after having been attacked and beaten by three unidentified men.

According to Chornoivan’s declarations, the attack was probably due to the series of articles published by Tarasova Pravda website accusing Aleksandr Dombrovskiy, a former governor, of vote rigging in the last parliamentary elections.

UK court: Google liable for comments posted on its Blogger platform

27 February, 2013
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The Court of Appeal of England and Wales decided on 14 February 2013 that Google could be considered liable for comments posted on its Blogger platform unless it reacts promptly to a complaint.

Reversing a previous ruling in March 2012 of the High Court which considered that Google, in its platform provider role, should not be treated as a publisher, the Appeal Court ruled that the company could be liable for the content published on its blogging platform if it allowed content (in this case comments on a specific blog hosted at Blogger) to remain after having received complaints that the respective content was defamatory.

Simplistic draft EP “Written Declaration” on online child abuse

27 February, 2013
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Efforts led by British Conservative Parliamentarian Emma McClarkin are under way to solve the problem of online child abuse, in a manner that would have been more appropriate in 2005.

She has circulated a draft “Written Declaration” to her colleagues. Such a “Written Declaration” becomes a European Parliament Resolution if it attracts the signatures of half of all Members of the European Parliament.

The text she is proposing (not yet published) starts by pointing out that child abuse is an abhorrent crime, before pointing oddly to the “universal belief” that it is a criminal act to traffic such content.

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