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Freedom of speech

"Voluntary enforcement" vs legal restrictions - what rules apply?

11 December, 2012
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Sometimes, watching the Commission make up its mind on a controversial topic is like watching a sports match. One of these topics is the question of whether it is legal for governments to encourage internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict fundamental rights “voluntarily” or whether they would need a legal basis. The European Home Affairs Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström is certain... that they do, that they don't and that they might... possibly.

Russia: Pussy Riot's videos declared illegal on the Internet

5 December, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Russland: Pussy Riot Videos aus dem Netz verbannt


A Moscow-based court has ruled on 29 November 2012 that four videos of the already famous dissident punk band Pussy Riot are extremist and therefore should be banned on the Russian Internet. The court said that all the Russian websites that do not comply with this obligation could pay a fine of up to approx. 2500 Euro (100 000 roubles).

International coalition calls for withdrawal of Dutch hacking plans

5 December, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Niederlande: Internationale Koalition fordert Rücknahme der Hacking-P...


An international coalition of more than 40 civil rights organizations and security experts have expressed their “grave concerns” about a Dutch proposal to break into foreign computers and search and delete data.

European domain names under siege

5 December, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Europäische Domainnamen unter Druck


On 26 November 2012, 132 or 133 domain names were seized by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (ICE) in collaboration with the Europol and national law enforcement authorities.

ENDitorial: Silly censorship week: And the winner is...

21 November, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: ENDitorial: Woche der dümmsten Zensurmaßnahme


Over the past few years it has become more and more frequent that private companies get to decide what is "appropriate" or "inappropriate" online and what sort of Internet content we are allowed to access.

Our rights to privacy and freedom of expression are increasingly put into the hands of arbitrary decisions of private intermediaries.

Portuguese blog taken down by Google for unknown reasons

21 November, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Google schaltet aus unerklärlichen Gründen portugiesischen Blog ab


On 14 November 2012, the blog of the group Precários Inflexíveis, whose purpose is to expose the working conditions of freelance workers without permanent contracts, was deleted by Google, during the day of the general strike in the country.

Those who tried to find information about the protest and actions of the group, were greeted with the message “This blog is in violation of Blogger's Terms of Service and is open to authors only”.

Abandoning safe harbours: Hungarian online freedoms at risk

21 November, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Ungarn: Die Freiheit des Internets steht auf dem Spiel


Restrictions on freedom of expression and on access to information would be two repercussions of recently drafted changes to Hungary’s Criminal Code. The law would allow the government to “block” and potentially delete online material if hosting providers fail to respond to notice-and-take-down procedures.

While Internet service providers would not be liable for user content, they would be obliged to “block” websites placed on the National Media and Telecommunication Authority’s blacklist following a court order.

CleanIT looking for the question that it was seeking an answer to

21 November, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: CleanIT oder Wie war noch mal die Frage?


Few people know that CleanIT was born from another failed project – the European Commission-led “dialogue on illegal online content”.

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