Back-room dealings in the European Parliament have resulted in a "three strikes" rule being included in a new telecoms bill — the rule would force ISPs to kick people who've been thrice accused of copyright infringement off the Internet.
If this bill passes, then Europeans' access to the network that delivers freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, access to medicine, family, civic engagement, banking, government services, and the whole sweep of human online endeavor would last only so long as they avoided three unsubstantiated accusations of downloading music or video or software without permission.
Worse still, the bill is set to be voted upon on July 7 — that's this Monday.
The Open Rights Group has instructions for contacting your MEP. If you live in the EU and you care about your future as a citizen of the information society, call right away and make sure your MEP knows that this matters to you.
"One week before a key vote in the reform of European law on electronic communications ("Telecom Package"), La Quadrature du Net (Squaring the Net) denounces a series of amendments aimed at closing the open architecture of the Internet for more control and surveillance of users..
…this set of amendments creates the unprecedented mechanism known as graduated response in European law; judicial authority and law courts are vacated in favour of private actors and "technical measures" of surveillance and filtering. According to rules set forth by administrative authorities and rights holders, intermediaries will be forced to cooperate in monitoring and filtering their subscribers, or they will be exposed to administrative sanctions"