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February 18 2014

February 14 2014

February 12 2014

EU Parliament Civil Liberties Committee Paves the Way for Real Net Neutrality

Brussels, 12 February 2014 — Today, the “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) committee of the European Parliament adopted its opinion report on the European single market for electronic communications. Key amendments were adopted which, if included in the final text, would guarantee that network neutrality becomes an enforceable rule across all of the European Union. La Quadrature du Net warns against attempts in the Industry committee (ITRE), the lead committee on this dossier, to adopt watered-down amendments that would allow telecommunication operators to distribute specialised services in a way that would radically undermine freedom of communication and innovation on the Internet.

Thanks to amendments tabled by the Greens, S&D and ALDE groups, solid formulations of key articles 2(15)1 and 232 and their related recitals, as well as provisions on specialised services and those that ensure enforcement of Net neutrality are now included in the report of the Civil Liberties (LIBE) committee. The PPE rapporteur, Salvador Sedó i Alabart (ES - EPP), himself supported some useful provisions. La Quadrature du Net thanks all Members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) who contributed to this vote.

The text adopted must now become the reference for the remaining of the legislative process, especially for the ITRE committee which will make the final recommendations to the rest of the Parliament on this dossier. However, severe concerns remain regarding the outcome of the vote in the ITRE committee. The lead rapporteur, Mrs. Pilar del Castillo Vera (ES - EPP), is proposing compromise amendments that are scandalously open to abuse by telecommunication operators. What is more, these amendments totally ignore the substance of the better amendments tabled by other ITRE MEPs – including members of her own political group3. Lastly, they are in marked contradiction with the important amendments approved in the LIBE committee today, that would ensure that the regulation protects fundamental rights.

It is worrying that at this stage, even the shadow rapporteurs of political groups that support the good amendments, are extremely timid in their opposition to the rapporteur's position. Supporting del Castillo's compromise amendments means ignoring the interests and rights of European citizens and giving a blank check for telecom operators to engage in illegitimate discrimination in Internet communications. All shadow rapporteurs in the ITRE committee – Jens Rohde (DK - ALDE), Catherine Trautmann (FR - S&D), Amelia Andersdotter (SE - Greens/EFA), Giles Chichester (UK - ECR) – must therefore make their position public, so that they can be held accountable for the final ITRE report, which will be voted on 24 February. If they, or other members of their groups, refuse to listen to recommendations by MEPs of their own group in the LIBE committee, and adopt the weak or even anti-Net neutrality compromise amendments, European citizens will hold them accountable, especially in the upcoming European elections.

“European citizens must tell the members of the Industry committee that the only deserving approach is to reject Mrs. Pilar del Castillo Vera's so-called ''compromise amendments'' and that they should adopt the same amendments to articles 2(15) and 23 as in the LIBE committee. To preserve the Internet's contribution to innovation and freedom of communication, European law should clearly ban telecom operators from marketing specialised services that are functionally equivalent to online services delivered on the Internet, thereby bypassing Net neutrality” declares Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.

“Every vote will count on February 24th, when the Industry committee adopts its final report on the proposed regulation. We call on all of its members to reject the position of the rapporteur Pilar Del Castillo Vera and vote for the key amendments adopted by the Civil Liberties committee, which can ensure that fundamental rights as well as competition and innovation are protected on the open Internet”, concludes Miriam Artino, legal and policy analyst at La Quadrature du Net.

Every European citizen can act to influence the evolution of Net neutrality by calling on their MEPs to establish solid protections of the free Internet. To get on board, please visit the campaign website savetheinternet.eu.

Act now!

  • 1. Article 2(15): “"specialised service" means an electronic communications service or any other service that provides the capability to access specific content, applications or services, or a combination thereof, and whose technical characteristics are controlled from end-to-end or provides the capability to send or receive data to or from a determined number of parties or endpoints; and that is not marketed or widely used as a substitute for internet access service;”
  • 2. Article 23, on “Freedom to provide and avail of open internet access, and reasonable traffic management”
  • 3. See: http://edri.org/bad-leadership-kill-open-internet-europe/

February 06 2014

EU Parliament Will Soon Vote on the Fate of Net Neutrality in Europe

Paris, 6 February 2014 — In the coming days, committees of the European Parliament will decide the fate of Net neutrality in Europe. Ahead of European elections, our representatives cannot miss this opportunity to truly defend EU citizens' rights, protect communications online and thus guarantee freedom of expression and information throughout Europe.

In early September, the EU Commission adopted its anti-Net neutrality Regulation. The legislative process in the EU Parliament will soon take a crucial step, as the Industry (ITRE) committee – the leading committee responsible for this file – will vote on the final report on 24 February. In the meantime, next Wednesday, 12 February, the Civil Liberties (LIBE) committee will adopt its opinion report which will feed back into the debate in the ITRE committee. After these last two votes the fate of Net neutrality in Europe will almost be sealed. The next and final step of the parliamentary procedure being the vote in the EU Parliament plenary, currently scheduled for early April.

Unfortunately, the current political climate makes it hard to predict any outcome. On one hand, MEPs in support of Net neutrality propose to beef up this principle:

  • ensuring that traffic prioritisation will not result in anti-competitive deals between service providers and telecom operators
  • providing elements to enforce Net neutrality at the national and European levels.

On the other hand, other MEPs – in particular Pilar del Castillo Vera (ES - EPP), lead rapporteur on this dossier, and Jens Rohde (DN - ALDE), shadow rapporteur for the ALDE group – seek to spare the telecom lobbies and remain evasive on these important issues.

The main hope for the protection of the open Internet lies now with the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) since their shadow rapporteur, Catherine Trautmmann (FR - S&D) – contrary to the EPP and ALDE rapporteurs – has already driven her group towards the formulation of good proposals1. However, these proposals still leave serious voids and need to be improved. In particular, it is mandatory to avoid any anti-competitive practices – due to the introduction of specialised services – and clarify that no service already available on the Internet could be reproduced as a specialised service in a closed network. Speaking of which, it is encouraging to notice that some socialist MEPs, such as Françoise Castex (FR - S&D), have already tabled strong amendments in this respect. Moreover, Dimitrios Droutsas (GR - S&D) – in view of the LIBE opinion – has recently tabled amendments2 geared to eliminate those risks and thus reinforce his group's position. However, for these amendments to be useful, it is mandatory that the Socialist rapporteur defend them in the ITRE committee. Will Catherine Trautmann take up the challenge to seriously fight against anti-Net neutrality provisions and finally, respond to the concerns expressed by citizen advocacy groups?

“Neither the EU Commission nor the EU Parliament rapporteur Pilar Del Castillo have clearly formulated their stand on Net neutrality. For dubious reasons, they refuse to even address proposals made by citizen groups from all across Europe. As crucial votes on Net neutrality get closer, a broad citizen mobilisation can ensure that MEPs are held accountable for what they vote for, especially in light of upcoming European elections”, concludes Félix Tréguer, cofounder of the association La Quadrature du Net.

For more information, please read our last analysis here.

Every European citizen can act to influence the evolution of Net neutrality by calling on their MEPs to establish solid protections of the free Internet. To get on board, please visit the campaign website savetheinternet.eu.

Act now!

  • 1. She co-authored amendments on the creation of an enforcement mechanism to ensure a genuine Net neutrality (AD 678); the introduction of the freedom to connect any device to the network (AD 585); the insertion of a functional separation of specialised services from the open Internet (AD 360).
  • 2. AD LIBE 34, 54, 95

January 15 2014

Next Week in Amman: 4th Arab Bloggers Meeting #AB14

AB14 banner

Next week, bloggers, techies, activists and entrepreneurs from throughout the Middle East and North Africa will come together in Amman, Jordan for the 4th Arab Bloggers Meeting, led by Global Voices and Heinrich Böll and hosted by Amman-based media platform, 7iber.com. We are thrilled to be organizing this event once again!

Over the course of three closed-workshop days, we will discuss and learn about MENA region community-based projects that are advancing civic engagement online, and work together to build collaborative knowledge around advocacy, digital security, and policy issues.

We'll be lucky to have friends and colleagues with us from many leading advocacy groups and platforms —  SMEX, Al-Monitor, EFFTactical Technology Collective, and Free Press Unlimited, just to name a few. On our final day, we will discuss current political trends and challenges in a live, public forum with leading activists and thinkers from the region and around the world. All this and much more information about the meeting can be found on the AB14 website, in both English and Arabic.

As many of our readers know, the Arab Bloggers meeting has served as a critical space and platform for our broader community since its first iteration in Beirut in 2008. The meeting brought together influential voices from across the region, playing an important role in helping digital activists build a network of solidarity with each other prior to the Arab uprisings.

Today, three years after the ousting of Ben Ali in Tunisia, the challenges faced by digital activists and bloggers in the Middle East and North Africa have shifted substantially. While in some countries the Internet and speech rights are considerably more free, others face continued and significant surveillance, censorship, and significant threats of violence or imprisonment. Uncertainty about the future and political polarization have made attempted transitions to democracy difficult and often times painful, especially for those of us, netizens, who supported and helped drive it.

There are many questions about the role of netizens themselves in a post- “Arab Spring” MENA — these have given way to frustration and uncertainty about what to do next. We believe there’s a need, today more than ever, for a meeting of this kind.

We wish we could invite all of our friends to join us next week, but limitations on space and funding force us to keep the meeting small — this also has the advantage of giving us plenty of time and space for one-on-one conversations and work in small groups. The good news is that meeting facilitators will do everything they can to make the meeting readable, watchable, and tweetable for friends and followers who aren't with us in Amman!

Please watch the official meeting website — arabloggers.org — and follow hashtag #ab14 on Twitter for updates, reports and insights from Amman. More to come very soon!

EU Parliament Committee on "Civil Liberties" Must Address Free Expression in Anti-Net Neutrality Proposal

Paris, 15 January 2014 — A few weeks before a crucial vote on the future European Regulation on the Single Market of telecommunication in Civil Liberties (LIBE) committee, La Quadrature du Net just sent the following email to all the Member of this committee, inviting them to propose strong amendments in favor of fundamental rights to the lead committee on this dossier, the Industry (ITRE) committee.

Citizens interested in taking part in the EU-wide campaign in favor of Net neutrality and freedoms online should visit the website savetheinternet.eu, and contact their representatives to urge them to protect this fundamental principle.

Dear Member of the LIBE committee,

The proposal of the European Commission 2013(627) final on the European Single Market for electronic communications will be voted next month in ITRE, the responsible committee of the file.

At this stage, five committees – LIBE included – are working on draft opinion.

On December 10th, Mr. Salvador Sedò i Alarbart, the rapporteur appointed in LIBE committee, presented his draft opinion.

La Quadrature du Net welcomes the amendment proposed by Mr. Sedò i Alarbart since they generally protect rights to privacy and personal data, as well as the confidentiality of communication, essential prerequisites for the development of an open Internet respectful of fundamental rights. However, these undeniable improvements – needing though some adjustments as explained in the document linked below – are not sufficient to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of the European citizens on Internet.

In particular, no amendment has been tabled on specialised services, which represent the most important loophole of the Regulation and endanger freedom of expression as well as innovation online.

On January the 16th you will be called to table amendments on Mr. Sedò i Alabart opinion. As a member of the LIBE committee you owe the duty and the responsibility to defend the rights and freedoms of the European citizens, as a whole.

To that purpose La Quadrature du Net suggests that you:

We trust that you will remain committed to protecting the Internet commons from the harmful business logics, and remain at your entire disposal for any clarification you may need.

Sincerely,

La Quadrature du Net

January 14 2014

SaveTheInternet.eu: Act Now For Net Neutrality!

Paris, 14 January 2014 — A few weeks before crucial steps on the future European Regulation on the Single Market of telecommunication, a coalition of European organisations released the following joint press calling citizens to make their voices heard and to urge their MEPs to protect Net neutrality.

Net neutrality campaign – SaveTheInternet.eu

A broad coalition of civil Liberties NGOs launched SaveTheInternet.eu, a campaign to protect Net neutrality in upcoming EU legislation. A recent proposal from the European Commission will restrict freedom of speech on the Internet, increase prices and stifle online innovation unless urgent action is taken. Citizens should contact parliamentarians in the European Parliament's Industry Committee and urge them to defend the open Internet.

After four years during which no action was taken to protect the open Internet, the Commission's new proposals would achieve the opposite result. The Regulation would allow Internet companies to arbitrarily interfere with Internet traffic, prioritising the services of cash rich online companies to the detriment of innovation and free speech. Some of the worst Net neutrality violations we have seen in Europe over the last years will become legal through loopholes in the proposed rules on so-called “specialised services”. What is more, the Commission's text would allow "voluntary" ad hoc policing and surveillance activities for Internet access providers - in clear breach of the European Union's own legal obligations.

There is unanimous criticism from NGOs on this Draft Regulation. Civil society groups are furious that the proposal does not reflect the balance of views presented to the Commission in the consultations held on the subject. Groups are also critical of the fact that the measure is now being rushed through the legislative process. Of biggest concern is the fact that big telecoms operators are being offered the chance to impose old, inefficient, expensive and outdated telephony business models on the currently efficient and cost-effective internet.

Citizens now need to weigh in this crucial debate for the future of the Internet. The Regulation is now in the hands of the European Parliament, who has a golden opportunity to correct the text's dangerous loopholes and introduce necessary safeguards to protect the open and neutral Internet.

Time is running out. The European Parliament's Industry Committee will adopt amendments to the draft Regulation on February 27th. In the next six weeks each and every European who cares about the Internet should contact members of the European Parliament to make their voices heard.

SaveTheInternet.eu is the website that offers all the tools and information one needs to do just that. It provides all necessary information about the Regulation, the process and the arguments against it. Through SaveTheInternet.eu, every citizen can then call their MEPs free of charge or send them an e-mail to urge them to amend the text and bring strong legal protections to fundamental rights and innovation on the Internet.

This campaign is carried out by:

December 23 2013

December 19 2013

Final Adoption of Generalised Surveillance in France: a Disturbing Political Drift

Paris, 19 December 2013 — The French President promulgated [fr] the 2014-2019 Defense Bill last night. Adoption of article 20 (former article 13) opening the door to generalised surveillance of communications and the failure to request its constitutional challenge demonstrate the deep crisis of a political system which does not hesitate anymore to massively compromise fundamental rights. La Quadrature du Net thanks all those who contributed to oppose this article. It calls for the continuation of the fight against surveillance of our communications on the Internet, by any means: before Parliament or judges, through technology and usage choices.

The French 2014-2019 Defense Bill1 has been officially published last night in the Journal Officiel. Its article 20 (former article 13) opens the way to generalised surveillance of online information and communications, notably through live capturing of data from hosting services and Internet service providers and for purposes going way beyond the mere national security.

The adoption of this article – with its ambiguous wording and misleading place in a Defense Bill meant to schedule the military budget – and the faillure to obtain its constitutional review reflect the deep crisis democratic representation is going through, failling to protect citizens fundamental rights. This Bill has been unanimously adopted by François Hollande's left wing party – Parliament's majority group –, despite wide inner divisions on article 20 and a previous opposition on similar but temporary and less harmful texts in 2006 and 2008. The right wing, ecologists and the far-left voted against the Bill in both chambers.

However, once the Bill was adopted, despite the strong citizen mobilization and numerous warnings by various organizations, political divisions and group discipline prevented the collection of the 60 signatures required to call upon the Conseil Constitutionnel (French constitutional court) to review any new law. A strict party discipline from the left-wing majority party (PS), sectarianism from the right-wing party (UMP) refusing to sign together with green and far-left groups, and an aggressive campaign by the leader of the right-wing group against its MPs signing the request, will be remembered as symbols of the drift toward a post-democratic system.

Many other steps will enable citizens to continue the fight against the development of a generalised surveillance, which has become a tool for political powers unable to act for the common good. In legal terms, the future publication of the Decree by the Conseil d'État (Highest administrative court) and announced French laws on intelligence and freedoms online will provide new opportunities for discussion, decision, and challenge. But it is on the political and usage fronts that our rights and freedoms will be determined.

“With the others associations of defense of human rights and freedoms who have acted on this issue, we will campaign restlessly against surveillance and these violations of the separation of powers. We call for a strong affirmation of the role of the judiciary, of the right to privacy and of the individuals freedoms in the upcoming laws, and any form of challenge” concludes Jérémie Zimmermann, cofounder and spokesperson of La Quadrature du Net.

“A balance of rights can only be restored if citizens strongly demonstrate that there is no democracy or human beings free to express themselves in a surveillance State, and if everyone, in their choices of services, tools and usage, reclaims what we abandoned to centralized operators” concludes Phillipe Aigrain, cofounder of La Quadrature du Net.

December 13 2013

Net Neutrality's Fate in Europe in the Hands of a Few MEPs?

Paris, 14 December 2013 — A few days before the deadline for Members of the European Parliament to table amendments on the anti-Net neutrality Kroes' proposal, within the ITRE committee, La Quadrature du Net sent them out its own proposal of amendments. From now and until December 17th, citizens must contact their representatives and urge them to alter Neelie Kroes' proposal and ensure that European citizens can definitely benefit from a genuine and unconditional Net neutrality.

Support La Quadrature du Net!

Last Monday, Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP - Spain), rapporteur for the proposal of the Commission on the European Single Market for electronic communications, introduced her draft report before the members of the “Industry” (ITRE) committee. Until December 17th, Members of the European Parliament will be in capacity to table amendments and could concretely defend the freedoms of the European citizens and protect their electronic communications. Supposed to give the main orientations on the issue, the draft of the rapporteur will be ostensibly the basis for discussions within the ITRE committee and, consequently, within the whole EU Parliament, once the report will be voted in plenary sitting.

Since del Castillo's report proposes the very same heavily criticized1 anti-Net neutrality provisions contained in Neelie Kroes' proposal, the contribution of every single Member of the European Parliament by the end-date of December 17th, is increasingly necessary and strongly recommended. By now, the future of Net Neutrality in the European Union largely depends on the vote of the ITRE committee and the amendments its members will adopt next year, on February 27th: good amendments2 can lead to an EU-wide meaningful protection of Net neutrality. On the contrary, adopting industry-oriented amendments, will basically destroy this essential principle and deeply undermine altogether freedom of communication on the Internet, privacy, but also competition and innovation in digital economy.

Some MEPs appear to have heard the numerous criticisms expressed against Kroes' loopholes, as Catherine Trautmann (S&D - France) or Marietje Schaake (ALDE - Netherlands). Since they publicly announced3 their opposition to Kroes' proposal, they have the ethical obligation to prevent the adoption of its most dangerous provisions.

Until December 17th, citizens must act and urge their MEPs to table positive amendments, and to not just follow the insufficient suggestions made by the rapporteur. In particular, they must better specify the nature and the characteristics of specialised services and provide enforcement mechanisms so as to achieve a meaningful protection of Net neutrality, as suggested by La Quadrature du Net's proposal of amendments.

“Neelie Kroes and Del Castillo Vera's current proposals could jeopardize for decades the essential principle of Net neutrality. But if we can convince MEPs to table and adopt positive amendments fixing the main loopholes of the draft regulation, this could lead to a substantial progress of our freedom online as well as innovation in digital economy environment. For all those reasons, citizens must act now and urge MEPs to ensure a real and unconditional Net neutrality!” concluded Miriam Artino, in charge of legal and political analysis for La Quadrature du Net.

Act now!

As a citizen platform, La Quadrature du Net provides the PiPhone, a web tool allowing to call Members of the ITRE Committee free of charge:

Act now!

  • 1. As an example, the European Data Protection Supervisor stated in a press release published on November 15th that the Neelie Kroes' proposal devoids “of substance" the Net neutrality principle "because of the almost unlimited right of providers to manage Internet traffic”. Citizen organisations also widely criticized the proposal.
  • 2. Protecting the electronic communication of the European citizens means to guarantee a very solid Net neutrality principle. To that purpose it is highly necessary to clearly define what is a specialised services; provide enforcement mechanisms and strictly frame what is a reasonable traffic management practices.
  • 3. At the annual conference of the European Competitive Telecommunication Association, which took place in Brussels on December 3rd, Catherine Trautmann said she wants to improve the definition of specialised services and obligate the Internet access providers to develop their activities within their networks. Marietje Schaake also strongly criticized Kroes' proposal.
    Sources: https://www.laquadrature.net/fr/contexte-le-debat-sur-la-neutralite-du-n... [fr] - http://www.vieuws.eu/ict/net-neutrality-european-commission-proposal-may-stifle-innovation-argues-marietje-schaake-mep/

December 11 2013

Huge Threats to Fundamental Freedoms and Rights Consolidated in the French Parliament

Paris, 10 December 2013 — Despite the strong citizen mobilisation and the numerous reactions [fr] voiced against it, the French Senate just voted in second reading the controversial 2014-2019 Defense Bill and its dangerous terms without any changes. This vote closes parliamentary debate on this text: the French Constitutional Council alone can now alter the application of these measures infringing the basic rights of citizens. La Quadrature du Net strongly calls the members of the French Parliament to formally place the matter before the Constitutional Council for a decision on the conformity of this law to the French Constitution.

Support La Quadrature du Net!

By voting the 2014-2019 Defense Bill without any changes, the French Senators just closed parliamentary debates on the subject. Despite numerous warnings expressed by citizen organisations1 as well as public agencies2, the text adopted today will:

  • Authorise live capturing of data and documents (“that on request may be captured and transmitted in real time by operators and agents mentioned” [our translation]) by hosting services and service providers.
  • Allow the harvesting and capturing of “data and documents treated or stored by their networks or services” (our translation) and not solely the connection data.
  • Extend the list of public offices that may request surveillance, to include, for instance, the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
  • Extend the reasons for which surveillance may be requested to include information related to “the scientific and economic potential of France” and the prevention of “organised crime and delinquency” (our translations).

At this stage of the procedure, only the French Constitutional Council can stop the application of these measures opening the way to generalised surveillance of online information and communications. But this higher authority needs to be referred to by either 60 MPs, the Prime Minister or the President. La Quadrature du Net strongly calls on representatives of both chambers to hear appeals from citizens and to table a request for a constitutional review as soon as possible.

“In the context of Snowden's revelations on massive and generalised citizen surveillance, it is shocking to see the French Parliament adopt a text that enshrines the state of emergency and allows total abuse of citizen's privacy. Representatives must hear the call of civil society and activate recourse to the Constitutional Council” concludes Phillipe Aigrain, cofounder of La Quadrature du Net.

December 05 2013

Net Neutrality: EU Parliament Must Amend Kroes' Dangerous Proposal

Paris, 5 December 2013 – On Monday 9th December, the rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP - Spain) will present to the “Industry” (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament her draft report on Neelie Kroes' proposal for a Regulation on the Telecom Package. Citizens must urge MEPs to amend this report in order to accurately define what qualifies as 'specialised services' with 'enhanced' quality of service, and ensure that the Regulation will guarantee a genuine and unconditional Net neutrality principle.

Neelie Kroes and a kitten

The proposal for a Regulation on the Telecom Package, issued by Neelie Kroes on September 11th despite vivid criticisms from both outside1 and inside the Commission2, pretends to defend the Net neutrality principle by stating in its article 23.5 that “providers of Internet access services shall not restrict the freedoms [of communication] by blocking, slowing down, degrading or discriminating against specific content, applications or services3.

Ironically, the proposal actually breaches this principle right before introducing it, allowing in its article 23.2 the provision of “specialised service [...] with an enhanced quality of service" – that is to say services offering prioritization. Although it might be acceptable to prioritize services on private networks as long as they do not unfairly compete with existing Internet services4, the proposal goes further and reuses this concept to extend it to the Internet as a whole. The Commission thereby aims to give control over such form of discrimination to Internet access providers and big content providers, allowing them to “enter into agreements with each other to transmit the related data volumes [...] with a defined quality of service or dedicated capacity5. Here, prioritization on the Internet would affect billions of communications, people and companies, and would only relies on commercial agreements between dominant actors of the digital economy. In the meantime, smaller new entrants and innovative players would not be able to enter into the same deals and would de facto be deprioritized. Freedom of communication on the Internet's end-to-end architecture would also be severely undermined.



Del Castillo Vera
Del Castillo Vera

The draft report which will be presented on Monday, December 9th by Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP - Spain) – rapporteur in ITRE, the Committee responsible – will propose the very same provisions, specifying even more clearly that “ the general quality of Internet access” may de facto lawfully be impaired on the basis of “the technology deployed, in order to ensure the delivery of the enhanced quality service6.

Citizens must urge MEPs to amend the draft regulation, in particular to better specify the nature and the characteristics of specialised services:

  • clarifying that a specialised service shall run within closed communications networks, e.g. separately from the Internet access service (according to the definition provided by telecom regulatory authorities);
  • and guaranteeing that any service functionally identical to services available over the public Internet cannot qualify for enhanced quality of service (so as to ensure the principle of Net neutrality is not bypassed through the development of specialized services).

MEPs must also better define Net neutrality (article 23.1) to cover the freedom to connect any hardware to the network (in particular servers so as to promote self-hosting which can play a key role in empowering citizens in relation to their Internet communications), and also set out effective enforcement procedures and sanctions against those who violate the crucial principle of Net neutrality.

“Neelie Kroes and the text's rapporteur at the EU Parliament are trying to legitimate prioritizations in favor of dominant Internet companies through an outrageous reversal of the concept of 'specialised services'. Discrimination of Internet services would severely undermine the decentralized architecture that has made the Internet work so well for the past decades. We cannot let telecom operators decide what information we can access and how we can access it without renouncing to the Internet's empowerment and potential for creativity and innovation. Citizens must contact their MEPs and urge them to properly define 'specialised services' so as to ensure that they take place on closed networks and do not unfairly compete with existing Internet services” concluded Félix Tréguer, cofounder of the association La Quadrature du Net.

Act now!

As a citizen platform, La Quadrature du Net provides the PiPhone, a web tool allowing to call Members of the ITRE Committee free of charge:

Act now!

  • 1. As an example, the European Data Protection Supervisor stated in a press release published on November 15th that the Neelie Kroes' proposal devoids “of substance" the Net neutrality principle "because of the almost unlimited right of providers to manage Internet traffic”. Citizen organisations also widely criticized the proposal.
  • 2. A leaked criticism of a draft by EU Commissioner Viviane Redding's services says for example “such limited possibilities of accessing Internet content and services of their choice would run counter to the stated objectives of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights”: http://www.edri.org/NN-negativeopinions
  • 3. Proposal for a Regulation on the single market for electronic communications, Article 23.5: “Within the limits of any contractually agreed data volumes or speeds for Internet access services, providers of Internet access services shall not restrict the freedoms provided for in paragraph 1 by blocking, slowing down, degrading or discriminating against specific content, applications or services, or specific classes thereof, except in cases where it is necessary to apply reasonable traffic management measures. Reasonable traffic management measures shall be transparent, non-discriminatory, proportionate and necessary to:
    a) implement a legislative provision or a court order, or prevent or impede serious crimes;
    b) preserve the integrity and security of the network, services provided via this network, and the end-users' terminals;
    c) prevent the transmission of unsolicited communications to end-users who have given their prior consent to such restrictive measures;
    d) minimise the effects of temporary or exceptional network congestion provided that equivalent types of traffic are treated equally.
  • 4. As for the priorization of existing Internet services, La Quadrature du Net takes the view that after the adoption of the Regulation, a reflection should be launched to consider the possibility of allowing priorization of Internet communications, as long as three main conditions are met:

  • that such Quality of Service be application-agnostic (applied indiscriminately to different online services or applications);
  • that such Quality of Service be under the full control of the user so as to preserve the key architectural features of the Internet;
  • that the best-effort Internet be protected from degradation caused by the development of guaranteed QoS, for instance by ensuring a “sufficient quality of service” for the best-effort traffic delivery model (a notion already in use in some EU countries).

  • 5. Proposal for a Regulation on the single market for electronic communications, Article 25.2:
    2. End-users shall also be free to agree with either providers of electronic communications to the public or with providers of content, applications and services on the provision of specialised services with an enhanced quality of service.
    In order to enable the provision of specialised services to end-users, providers of content, applications and services and providers of electronic communications to the public shall be free to enter into agreements with each other to transmit the related data volumes or traffic as specialised services with a defined quality of service or dedicated capacity. The provision of specialised services shall not impair in a recurring or continuous manner the general quality of Internet access services.
  • 6. Pilar del Castillo draft report on the proposal, amendment 103: “End-users shall also be free to agree with either providers of electronic communications to the public or with providers of content, applications and services on the provision of specialised services with an enhanced quality of service. Where such agreements are concluded with the provider of Internet access, that provider shall ensure that the enhanced quality service does not impair the general quality of Internet access, except as may be necessary taking into account the state of the art and technology deployed, in order to ensure the delivery of the enhanced quality service.” (added text is indicated in bold)
  • December 04 2013

    A Move Towards Generalised Internet Surveillance in France?

    Paris, 3 December 2013 — Yesterday the 2014-2019 defense bill passed first reading in the French National Assembly. It marks a strong shift towards total online surveillance. If passed, the bill will not only allow live monitoring of everyone's personal and private data but also do so without judicial oversight, as the surveillance will be enabled through administrative request. The bill also turns permanent measures that were only temporary.

    How is it possible that after only a few months of Edward Snowden's revelations the French government proposes a bill so detrimental to our fundamental rights? Article 13 of the bill organises the generalisation of live surveillance of "information and documents processed and stored in the networks", which potentially concerns the data of all citizens. Such surveillance requests can be issued by a wide variety of departments, including the departments of Internal Security and Defense, but also the department of Economy and Finance. The inclusion of such departments exceeds what is required to meet the stated aim of protecting the citizen against incidents of an exceptional seriousness. Indeed, the proposed bill permits these departments to authorise live surveillance of all citizens with the sole stated aim to “prevent […] crime” or the particularly vague “safeguard of essential components of scientific and economic potential of France”.

    Data collection will not only be done directly via companies providing Internet access (ISPs and telecommunication operators) but also via web hosting operators and online service providers. Despite the gravity and magnitude of this collection, no measure significantly limits their volume. The data collection could be done by installing devices that capture signals and data directly at the operators and hosting companies. The definition of these operators and companies, taken from 2004 Loi pour la confiance dans l'économie numérique (“Act for Trust in the Digital Economy”), cause concerns that the scope of application will be very wide.

    “Considering the recently uncovered evidence of massive and generalised spying on citizens, the maneuvers of the President and of the government deceive no one. This bill sets up a generalised surveillance regime and risks to destroy once and for all the limited trust between citizens and agencies responsible for security. A vague reference to the needs of the security agencies does not justify such serious infringements to our basic liberty. La Quadrature du Net calls on parliamentarians to reject this infringement to basic rights during the second reading of the text” concludes Philippe Aigrain, cofounder of La Quadrature du Net.

    November 19 2013

    Will the EU Parliament Enable Discrimination Online or Uncompromising Net Neutrality?

    Paris, 19 November 2013 – The rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP - Spain) has concluded her draft report on Neelie Kroes' proposal for a Regulation on the Telecom Package. Despite numerous criticisms1 made against the unacceptable anti-Net neutrality provisions in the proposal, del Castillo Vera has chosen not to correct them. Before it is too late, citizens must contact the rapporteur and Members of the ITRE committee, and urge them to ensure the European Parliament guarantees a genuine and unconditional Net neutrality principle.

    Neelie Kroes
    Neelie Kroes

    Neelie Kroes' draft telecom legislation, pretending to defend the Net neutrality principle, actually creates huge loopholes as the text explicitly allows undue commercial discrimination by way of prioritization2. Following its difficult adoption by the European Commission3, the proposal is now in the hands of the EU Parliament, in particular the “Industry” (ITRE) committee and its rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP - Spain), who was appointed on October 10th. Despite criticisms, and especially the strong position taken by the EU privacy watchdog, the rapporteur is playing Neelie Kroes' game of faux Net neutrality instead of correcting the text's dangerous flaws. While her draft report propose to remove the nonsensical provision creating a dangerous legal framework for priorisation called for by big telcos4, she refuses to offer a true protection of Net neutrality against all forms of discrimination5.

    Furthermore, in spite of the complexity and the importance of the dossier, the rapporteur accepted to prepare her draft report in only one month, submitting to a rushed timetable6 completely unusual and dangerous for a legislative act pretending to achieve the European Telecoms Single Market7. Such a timetable – along with the parody of a public consultation the rapporteur opened for a few days – will result in the lack of in-depth examination of the amendments MEPs will table by December 17th and could lead to a disastrous final text.

    Del Castillo Vera
    Del Castillo Vera

    The rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera, by controlling such a procedure and further negotiating compromise amendments on the whole text, bears an immense responsibility. Either she will help enforcing Neelie Kroes' Anti-Net neutrality proposal amounting to allow discrimination of our communications, or she will play a major role in upholding a true Net neutrality protecting our freedoms online if she decides to bring meaningful protections against the abusive restrictions and discrimination of our communications by telecom operators.

    Under such circumstances, it is necessary for EU citizens to take part in this debate in order to avoid a rushed adoption of Neelie Kroes' anti-Net neutrality provisions. Citizens must contact Members of the ITRE committee, and urge them to include in the final report an uncompromising8 vision of Net neutrality, free from all form of discriminations, and protected by effective enforcement procedures and sanctions against those who violate this crucial principle.

    “If the EU Parliament lets Neelie Kroes' text go through without amending its Net neutrality provisions, the only beneficiaries will be the dominant telecom operators, at the expense of freedom of communication online and innovation in the digital economy. From now and until the final vote in plenary sitting, a few months before the European elections, citizens must contact Members of the ITRE committee and all concerned Members of the European Parliament9 and urge them to guarantee a true and unconditional Net neutrality, only way to guarantee our freedom of communication online.” concluded Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for the citizen organisation La Quadrature du Net.

    Act now!

    As a citizen platform, La Quadrature du Net provides the PiPhone, a web tool allowing to call Members of the ITRE Committee free of charge:

    Act now !

    • 1. As an example, the European Data Protection Supervisor stated in a press release published on November 15th that the Neelie Kroes' proposal devoids “of substance" the Net neutrality principle "because of the almost unlimited right of providers to manage Internet traffic”. Citizen organisations also widely criticized the proposal.
    • 2. Article 23.2: "End-users shall also be free to agree with either providers of electronic communications to the public or with providers of content, applications and services on the provision of specialised services with an enhanced quality of service."
      An “enhanced quality of service” means a prioritization: a traffic management practice that, contrary to the traditional "best-effort" model, jeopardizes the equal treatment of all data circulating on Internet. It means that all that , what is not prioritized is being in practice de-prioritized.
    • 3. A leaked criticism of a draft by EU Commissioner Viviane Redding's services says for example “such limited possibilities of accessing Internet content and services of their choice would run counter to the stated objectives of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.”: http://www.edri.org/NN-negativeopinions
    • 4. The Amendment 100 provides for the deletion of Chapter 3 – section 2, including the Article 19 on “Assured service quality” (ASQ).
    • 5. As an example, its Amendment 103 proposes to add new loopholes to the Net Neutrality principle: “End-users shall also be free to agree with either providers of electronic communications to the public or with providers of content, applications and services on the provision of specialised services with an enhanced quality of service. Where such agreements are concluded with the provider of internet access, that provider shall ensure that the enhanced quality service does not impair the general quality of internet access, except as may be necessary taking into account the state of the art and technology deployed, in order to ensure the delivery of the enhanced quality service.” (the text in bold was added to the initial text by the rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera).
      End-users should be able to choose whether they want to communicate through defined QoS (by activating/desactivating the use of defined QoS at will), and which service or application providers they use through such QoS.
    • 6. Tentative timetable:
      • Public Hearings in the IMCO and ITRE committees - 27-28 November 2013
      • Presentation of the Castillo Vera Draft Report on ITRE committee - 9 December 2013
      • Deadline amendments for ITRE Report - 17 December 2013
      • Opinion Committee votes - Mid-January 2014
      • Consideration of amendments - 22-23 January 2014
      • Committee of the Region's plenary sitting: vote of its opinion - End of January 2014
      • ITRE committee vote - 27 February 2014
      • Final vote in Plenary Session - 2 April 2014

    • 7. As an example, one year has passed between the introduction of the European Commission's proposal for a Regulation on Data Protection and the draft report of its rapporteur Jan Philipp Albrecht.
    • 8. See for example: https://wiki.netzfreiheit.org/w/Net_neutrality_regulation_amendments and http://networkneutrality.info/sources.html (especially point 8)
    • 9. Shadow-rapporteurs are:

      Committees for opinion are:

    November 13 2013

    November 11 2013

    TAFTA: Down with Anti-Democratic US-EU Negotiations!

    Paris, 11 November 2013 — While the second negotiation round of the US-EU Trade Agreement, TAFTA (also known as TTIP), has just started, La Quadrature du Net issues a solemn warning to all negotiators against the risk of elaborating policies that would impact hundreds of millions of citizens without any form of democratic legitimacy. La Quadrature du Net calls on citizens to participate to its effort to expose the TAFTA negotiators and their eventual conflicts of interests, while urging individuals with access to negotiation documents to leak them to the public without delay.

    TAFTA logo

    TAFTA will not only affect economy and trade. The EU Commission negotiation mandate already allows the negotiation of a “comprehensive”1 agreement, covering a wide range of fields as varied and significant as agriculture, access to medicines, data protection2, copyright, food safety, or investor-state dispute settlement3. And if the EU Commission considers it necessary, this negotiation mandate could be modified “on any issue”4 to include new fields. In the Internet field, leaked document have already shown that some provisions of TAFTA could have a deep impact on our freedoms online. Recent revelations about massive spying by the US of EU officials also casts a doubt on how such negotiations could in any case be fair and balanced.

    If, after being negotiated outside of any democratic process, TAFTA were to come into force, the agreement provisions would apply for decades and affect hundreds of millions of citizens. Although the issues of the TAFTA negotiations obviously exceed the framework of a trade agreement, elected representatives, once the negotiations are over and the agreement concluded, will have no choice but to approve or reject it as a whole, without any possibility to weigh on its content.

    Worse, the European Commission is constantly trying to reintroduce previously rejected provisions to under-negotiation international trade agreements (for example, entire paragraphs of ACTA, rejected by the European Parliament in July 2012, have been cut and pasted into the Europe-Singapore Trade Agreement). Such democratic bypass only serves some narrow private interests carried in the course of opaque negotiations by a small group of unelected individual who try to avoid at all costs what they see as a detrimental debate. As the civil society organizations have constantly urged, it is time to stop these undemocratic practices and to open a transparent and legitimate debate on these issues.

    Once again, La Quadrature du Net solemnly call on people with access to documents related to TAFTA to communicate them to the public without delay, and to contribute to the opening of a true public debate on every policy aspect supposed to be comprised in this trade agreement.

    “The parody of transparency sets up by the Commission to forget the TAFTA problems won't fool anybody. This new trade agreement, negotiated in total opacity despite evidence that it would affect fundamental freedoms and crucial policy issues, is an offence to democracy. Opaque and designed to circumvent democracy, the US-EU trade agreement will be detrimental to citizens on both sides of the Atlantic.” declares Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for the citizen organisation La Quadrature du Net.

    How to act against TAFTA?

    • Learn more about TAFTA and its dangers, spread the word around you, and contact your elected representatives to make sure they hear your voice.
    • Help us identify the TAFTA negotiators and their eventual conflicts of interests on our wiki.
    • If your are in Paris, on Sunday 24th November, take to the street and join the mobilisation initiated by the citizen organisation “Les Engraineurs” in protest of these undemocratic practices together with the cofounders of La Quadrature du Net.
    • 1. “2. The Agreement shall be ambitious, comprehensive, balanced, and fully consistent with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and obligations.”
    • 2. The legislation under development in the European Parliament on this issue could even be delayed in order not to be in conflict with TAFTA and US interests.
    • 3. This issue is particularly worrying: it could give to foreign compagnies the capacity to sue governments for what they perceive as an "indirect expropriation" of their future profits. For example concerning the so-called "lost-sale" due to sharing between individuals, similar to what ACTA tried to impose.
    • 4. “44. The Commission will, in a spirit of transparency, regularly report to the Trade Policy Committee on the course of the negotiations. The Commission, according to the Treaties, may make recommendations to the Council on possible additional negotiating directive on any issue, with the same procedures for adoption, including voting rules, as for this mandate.”

    October 31 2013

    October 28 2013

    Internet Needs an Uncompromising "Marco Civil" in Brazil!

    Paris, 28 October 2013 — Major organizations from all around the world, defending free speech and freedoms online, signed this open letter initiated by La Quadrature du Net. It encourages for a swift adoption, in Brazil, of an uncompromising "Marco Civil de Internet" that would truly guarantee freedoms online. The vote is scheduled on Tuesday. (Your organization can still sign the letter, after its publication, by sending an email to signature (AT) laquadrature.net)

    Internet Needs an Uncompromising “Marco Civil” in Brazil!

    The “Marco Civil da Internet” is a remarkably progressive legislative text to protect Internet and fundamental rights online in Brazil. It has been drafted through an unprecedented collaborative effort involving citizens. But for the past 3 years, it has remained stuck in Parliament, under heavy pressure by industry – mostly telecom – lobbies.

    Recent revelations of massive illegal spying by the US on citizens worldwide, as well as on companies such as Petrobras, urged the president of Brazil Dilma Rousseff to put “Marco Civil” back on track in Parliament, in an emergency procedure.

    The “Marco Civil”, guaranteeing Net Neutrality, protecting privacy and freedom of publication online, is more necessary than ever. If adopted, this law will be a model of what citizens and their representatives in all countries can do together to enable the development of a free and open Internet and protect freedoms online.

    A corporate takeover of the text such as on the questions of copyright (paragraph 2 of art.15) would amount to empty the text of its meaning.

    Provisions aiming at protecting privacy and preventing surveillance should be added and all measures which risk harming the possibility for citizens to collaborate on an international scale should be removed.

    We encourage Brazilian citizens and Members of the Parliament to work towards adopting swiftly an uncompromising “Marco Civil”, consistent with its initial spirit, free from corporate influence, and that would truly guarantee freedoms online.

    You can count on our support as such a law would be of global importance for the Internet!

    Signatories:

    October 21 2013

    Major Loopholes in Privacy Regulation - EU Parliament Must Stand For Citizens

    Strasbourg, 21 October 2013 — The “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) Committee has just voted its report on Data Protection, led by Jan Philipp Albrecht. Despite some improvements, major loopholes – especially on “legitimate interest” and “pseudonymous” data – and the adoption of the secrete tripartite negotiation mandate (trilogue) could make the final text totally ineffective at protecting citizens. During these forthcoming negotiations, representatives of the Parliament should secure strong safeguards for citizens fundamental right to privacy.

    Jan Philipp Albrecht
    Jan Philipp Albrecht

    By adopting compromise amendments 61 and 202, members of the “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) Committee, responsible for this matter, introduce the risk of making the whole legislation completely ineffective, despite the progress made tonight – explicit consent principle have for example been mantained. The Members of the LIBE Committee also made the very disturbing choice of accepting the secrete tripartite negotiations requested by the rapporteur Jan Philipp Albrecht. The text will now be modified behind closed doors, between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council (ministers from the Member States) . The latter could use untransparent negotiations to annihilate all the positive provisions of this Regulation, leading to a weak and dangerous final version of this legislation. Beginning the negotiations this way will undermine the European Parliament's position, and reduce the chance of public debate and citizen mobilisation.

    In absence of democratic and transparent debate, the representatives of the European Parliament in these opaque negotiations should make sure that the achievements for strong safeguards for citizens' fundamental right to privacy are protected, even if that means postponing the adoption of the final Regulation. It will be better to have a real protection of European citizen privacy at the end of a long process, than a dangerous weak text before the next European election. The Parliament must seize the occasion of plenary vote to remove the dangerous loopholes opened by today's vote.

    “Even though today's vote marks some advances for the protection of privacy, it introduces major loopholes that could make the whole Regulation ineffective. Moreover, the regrettable choice of the LIBE Committee to enter into secrete tripartite negotiation could also significantly weaken the Regulation. Representatives of the European Parliament will have to weigh in all along the negotiation process to make sure that the fundamental right of European citizen to privacy is fully protected.” concluded Miriam Artino, policy analyst for the citizen organisation La Quadrature du Net.

    • 1. This compromise may turn the “legitimate interest” exception into the main legal basis for processing, depriving citizens of any prior control (such as explicit consent) over how their personal data are processed.
    • 2. This compromise would void any protection against profiling based on “pseudonymous” data. But “pseudonymous” data may still be easily attributed to data subjects through further processing. Thus, any profiling based on such data must stay under data subjects' control.

    Data Protection Regulation: La Quadrature's Voting Recommendations to LIBE

    Paris, 21 October 2013 — Today, and probably Thursday1 in Strasbourg, the “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) committee of the European Parliament will vote on the future of the European Data Protection Regulation. Regarding this important issue, La Quadrature du Net just sent a letter to the members of the LIBE committee urging them to refuse the secrete tripartite negotiations, and giving its voting recommendations. Until the vote, La Quadrature du Net invites all citizens to make their voice heard, and to also contact their representatives.

    The “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) committee vote on the European Data Protection Regulation is planned today at 18.30, and could continue Thursday at 12.00. This vote is a very important stage of the legislative procedure as it could be the last public one before the vote of the whole European Parliament in plenary sitting.

    The Lack of Transparency of the Procedure

    It is now certain that the rapporteur Jan Phillipp Albrecht will request a negotiation mandate for a 1st reading agreement2 to the members of the LIBE committee. As a matter of fact, if members of the LIBE committee consent to instruct Mr. Albrecht and his negotiating team3 for the trilogue, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council will continue their discussions behind closed doors, cutting short any chance of public debate.

    If such a mandate is given, European citizens and NGOs would not be able to participate in an open debate on the decisions taken by a restrict group of MEPs on the future of data protection. An open debate is highly necessary because the main decisions on this dossier have been taken – under the pressure of tremendous lobbying operations – before Snowden's disclosures on worldwide mass surveillance.

    LQDN's Compromise Amendments Voting Recommendations

    Beyond the transparency of the procedure issue, some of the “compromise amendments”4, if they were adopted, would introduce legal loopholes on the Regulation, allowing companies to process without limits your data. As a consequence, La Quadrature du Net calls the LIBE members to:

    A lot of other compromise amendments reached by members of the different political groups in LIBE are actually good. For instance those providing that consent must be explicit, that data must be fairly processed or that citizens must keep them under their control; but these good compromise amendments could be almost useless if the compromise amendments made on Article 6 and 20 are adopted.

    Letter to LIBE committee

    Once again, La Quadrature du Net invites all citizens to make their voices heard, and to contact the members of the LIBE committee. The citizen association recommends the use of the PiPhone, which permits to call MEPs easily and for free. However, other ways are described on its wiki, and the contact details of the LIBE MEPs are available here or on the Political Memory, allowing everybody to act in the way that best suits him. Here is the letter that La Quadrature just sent to the members of the LIBE committee:

    Dear member of the LIBE committee,

    Today, you will hold a vote on rapporteur Jan Philipp Albrecht's draft report regarding the future European Data Protection Regulation. In addition to the content of this legislation, you will be required to decide to allow Mr Albrecht to enter into negotiations with the Council in order to agree on a final text behind closed-doors.

    In the context of the recent disclosures made by the whistleblower Edward Snowden about the scale of the surveillance program put in place by government authorities and secret services, the preparation of this Regulation provides you a unique opportunity to put in place legislation to defend European citizens’ rights to privacy and data protection.

    You have the chance to develop a strong legal framework, inspiring good practices by business, guided by clear, predictable legal principles and enforcement, in an environment of trust, for many years. That legal framework – geared to protect the fundamental right to privacy of the European citizens – deserves an open and transparent debate that is equal to the challenge represented by these issues.

    As a consequence, we call on you to refuse the secret tripartite negotiations and urge for transparency and a proper, in-depth public debate.

    In any case, we urge you to reject compromise amendments made on articles 6 and 20.

    COMP Article 6 may turn the “legitimate interest” exception into the main legal basis for processing, depriving citizens of any prior control (such as explicit consent) over the processing of their personal data. Instead, adopting AMs 99 to 102 would let control in the citizens' hands.

    COMP Article 20 would void any protection against profiling based on “pseudonymous” data. But “pseudonymous” data may still be very easily attributed to the real identity of the given data subjects. Thus, any profiling based on such data must stay under data subjects' control. Instead, adopting amendments 158 to 165 & 1593 would provide strong protection for citizens against unfair measures based on profiling.

    A few months before the European elections, we trust that through your vote, you will honour your obligations as an elected representative and relay the many concerns from citizens, academics, NGOs and regulatory bodies, on the fundamental right to privacy.

    Respectfully,
    La Quadrature du Net

    Act now !

    • 1. If the votes are not finished on Monday, 21st October at 22:30 hours, the meeting might be suspended and resumption of works is scheduled for Thursday, 24 October 2013 from 10.00 to 12.00 hours.
    • 2. The rapporteur will ask the members of the LIBE committee – on the basis of Rule 70 of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament – for a mandate to enter in interinstitutional negotiations, which will take the form of tripartite closed-doors meetings between the European Commission, the Council (ministers from the Member States) and the European Parliament (the goal of the negotiations generally being the adoption the legislative act at an early stage of the procedure.
    • 3. Jan Philipp ALBRECHT (Greens/EFA), Sarah LUDFORD (ALDE), Axel VOSS (EPP), Dimitrios DROUTSAS (S&D), Alexander ALVARO (ALDE), Timothy KIRKHOPE (ECR), Cornelia ERNST (GUE/NGL)
    • 4. "Compromise amendments" stand for a package of amendments negotiated between political groups, before the official vote of the draft report in the committee responsible. The aim is to cover and replace the amendments tabled at the given stage of the procedure, in order to compromise on a common text geared to resolve the existing conflicts. If the negotiating team reaches an agreement, MEPs – sitting in the responsible committee – vote only on the compromise amendments, avoiding a long review of those amendments originally tabled. However if variances between political groups cannot be completely smoothened, MEPs can decide, at eleventh hours, not to vote on compromise amendments, but on the original ones.
    • 5. "1. Processing of personal data shall be lawful only if and to the extent that at least one of the following applies:
      [...]
      (f) processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the a controller or in case of disclosure, by the third party to whom the data is disclosed, and which meet the reasonable expectations of the data subject based on his or her relationship with the controller, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child. This shall not apply to processing carried out by public authorities in the performance of their tasks."

      This amendment may turn the “legitimate interest” exception into the main legal basis for processing, depriving citizens of any prior control (such as explicit consent) over how their personal data are processed.

    • 6. "(58a) Profiling based solely on the processing of pseudonymous data should be presumed not to significantly affect the interests, rights or freedoms of the data subject. Where profiling, whether based on a single source of pseudonymous data or on the aggregation of pseudonymous data from different sources, permits the controller to attribute pseudonymous data to a specific data subject, the processed data should no longer be considered to be pseudonymous."
      This recital would void any protection against profiling based on “pseudonymous” data. But “pseudonymous” data may still be easily attached to data subjects through further processing. Thus, any profiling based on such data must stay under data subjects' control.
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