As it is always at the last moment that we get to hear about the flood of new laws from our masters in the EU in which they slip through some innocent looking but ultimately totalitarian laws and regulations. In this case we have a new Telecoms Packet being voted on today:
"The current fragmentation hinders investment and is detrimental to consumers and operators," says the EU document laying out the proposals.
What? We’ve gone from SFA to the Internet and WWW (yes, they are different) in less than 20 years without the help of single politicians, despite Al Gore’s erroneous claims, without their help, and now they want in on the act and the outcome is likely to be more wasted money. But this isn’t the problem, no, behind this innocent looking ideal is something quite sinister [my emphasis]:
Among the amendments are calls to enact a Europe-wide "three strikes" law. This would see users banned from the web if they fail to heed three warnings that they are suspected of putting copyrighted works on file-sharing networks.
Note that – suspected – not proven guilty, not even charged, just that some bureaucrat somewhere thinks you might be file sharing. It is very easy to suspect someone of file sharing, you just ask an ISP for a list of their top 10% highest users by data transfer and point the finger at them. You’d be surprised how much data people transfer nowadays, 100’s of gigabytes per month is not unusual.
So now we have the evil empire banning people from the web on the grounds that they transfer more data than everyone else and there is nothing they can do about it. No charge, no habeas corpus, no presumption of innocence, just bureaucratic sanction.
But that’s not the end. Having given themselves the power to ban people from the web they will control those who they permit to use it:
In addition it bestows powers on governments to decide which programs can be "lawfully" used on the internet.
Yes, the PC inspectors will be out in force making sure you have only approved software and that it hasn’t been modified. No doubt at some point they will pick up powers that give them unrestricted access to your premises to make sure, probably by bringing it under Revenue and Customs jurisdiction.
Why are they doing this? Apart from their inherent need to control every aspect of our lives and the way we think:
But, say digital rights campaigners, anti-piracy lobbyists have hijacked the telecoms laws and tabled amendments that turn dry proposals on industry reform into an assault on the freedom of net users.
The great alignment of vested interests and politicians strikes again and, as always, it’s never in our interest that they collude. I wonder how many boondoggles it took to get the legislation changed.
And how much will this cost? Why should they care, it isn’t their money after all.
H/T Devils Kitchen who makes the very salient point:
And, the key thing to remember is that, if this is passed, you can throw out every, single British government from now to kingdom come and this EU law will still apply.If any Europhile can show how this is in my best interests or even needed I will make a £100 donation to their favourite, non-political, charity.