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Council of the European Union is planning to support Internet Surveillance

by Harikrishna Mekala

According to the dripped document, the document proposes two options for any of the two most controversial proposals: the so-called “link tax” or ancillary copyright and the upload filter. Regarding the upload filter, the text offers two options:

  • Option A says the Commission’s original proposal of having in the room an upload filter which will be below the control of platforms and other organizations that are hosting online content. Although it shifts mentions to “content recognition technologies”, in fact, there is no way to “limit the availability” another phrase which remains in the text of specific content without considering all the content first.
  • Option B is, at best, a more advanced version of Option A. In fact, it looks so extreme that it essentially makes the first option look like a fair compromise. This may, of course, be the “diplomatic” approach. In this extreme option, the text strikes again the liability regime of the e-commerce Directive which, bizarrely, would not be canceled, leaving us with two different pieces of EU law but adds a “clarification” of what creates a “communication to the public”. This clearly establishes that platforms and its customers would be responsible for the copyright infringing content uploaded by its users.

The projects in this leak highlight a very serious roadmap for the EU Member States, if they were to follow the Presidency’s lead. The results of these flawed proposals can only be prevented if civil society and EU citizens constantly raise their voices upon having a censorship machine in the EU. We will be using our call tool at savethememe.net before each of the key rights in the European Parliament. Make adoption of the tool, and call your legislators to stop the censorship machine.

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