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Freedom of speech

Belarusian journalist detained for showing subway security flaws

1 August, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Weißrussland: Journalist wegen Berichts über Sicherheitsmängel in d...


Several Belarusian journalists have been lately arrested for having shown flows in the security system of Belarus. The latest arrest, on 25 July 2012, was that of Vital Ruhayn on charges of hooliganism and obscene language in public.

ENDitorial: EP and EDPS hit back against lawless “child protection” measures

18 July, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: ENDitorial: „Kinderschutz“-Maßnahmen ohne gesetzliche Grundlage ...


In the EDRi-gram 10.12, we reported on projects of the European Commission to coerce industry into the introduction of “voluntary” upload filters.

Banking blockade on Wikileaks broken by the Icelandic court

18 July, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Island: Gericht bringt Finanzblockade gegen WikiLeaks zu Fall


An Icelandic court has made a step towards unblocking funds towards WikiLeaks by recently ruling that Valitor, the local agent for Visa, broke the contract when it stopped accepting donations for the website a year ago.

The ban was the result of a blocking campaign started in December 2010 against WikiLeaks through Visa, Mastercard, Western Union, Bank of America and PayPal following the US State Department cable leaks in 2010, revealing U.S. war crimes and statecraft.

French Supreme Court: Important rulings for intermediary liability

18 July, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Frankreich: Wichtige Entscheidungen in Sachen Providerhaftung


On 12 July 2012 the French Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) issued four important and somewhat contradictory rulings regarding the role of online service providers in policing online copyright infringements.

In the first case, SNEP vs. Google France, the Court's decision could lead the search engine to censor its autocomplete feature which automatically suggests commonly-used terms associated with the queries submitted by users.

Russian bill creates blacklist of websites

18 July, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Russland: Gesetz zur Einführung von Internet-Sperrlisten


At the beginning of July 2012, Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, approved in third reading a draft law titled “On the Protection of Children From Information Harmful to Their Health and Development”, allowing the Russian authorities to create a blacklist with websites deemed to contain “pornography or extremist ideas, or promoting suicide or use of drugs.”

The draft law that is meant to amend the present Law of Information raises concerns of filtering and censorship.

UK government wants an automatic filtering of adult sites

4 July, 2012
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This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Britische Regierung plant automatisierte Netzfilter für Erwachsenenan...


The UK officials intend to force Internet users to filter out pornography websites starting with the setting out of their accounts.

"I want to fully explore every option that might help make children safer - including whether internet filters should be switched on as the default, so that adult content is blocked unless you decide otherwise," Prime Minister David Cameron said.

In April 2012, an independent Parliamentary inquiry into online child safety included a recommendation t

Marielle Gallo MEP condemns the "soft-terrorism" of the anti-ACTA campaign

27 June, 2012
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This interview was translated and republished with the kind permission of PCinpact. We have added our comments on some of the misinformation in Ms Gallo's statements. See notes 1-6 at the end of the article.

Marielle Gallo, who is a member of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament in Brussels, proposed a draft Opinion that was in favour of ACTA.

Commission and industry attacks on Parliament hit a new low

25 June, 2012
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For the past few months, the European Commission and industry lobbyists have tried to pressure the European Parliament into abdicating responsibility for ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Instead, the Parliament has given the proposal an inordinate amount of attention, with five different committees devoting huge amounts of time and resources to the proposal. Five different committees looked at the proposal from a development, industry, civil liberties, legal and international trade perspective.

One by one, each of the Committees analysed ACTA, with an ever-dwindling degree of support for the proposal.

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