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Manders (VVD) pushes for online repression in EU

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DOSSIER: Platformen

As we write this, the European Parliament is discussing a report on copyright enforcement, the so-called Gallo-report. Although we expected the liberal group in the European Parliament (the ALDE-group) to defend our online freedoms, as they did in the past, events now are taking a shocking turn for the worse. Toine Manders of the Dutch liberals – the VVD – introduced a repressive alternative resolution, representing the position of the entire ALDE-group. Other ALDE-members should, however, distance themselves from Manders’ resolution and embrace a neutral resolution, or alternatively reject all versions of the resolution.

In the initial draft of the Gallo report, the parliament would call for stricter enforcement, criminalizing millions of internet users while not leading to a sustainable solution of the filesharing-conflict. This was received with fierce criticism and a neutral text was proposed by members of the socialist group (S&D) and the Greens. The ALDE-group just tabled an alternative resolution, presented as a compromise, which is however almost as repressive as the initial Gallo-report.

This resolution was drafted under the lead of its “shadow rapporteur”, Toine Manders, who unfortunately takes a completely one-sided view of the copyright-conflict, only pushing for more repression and restricting fundamental freedoms. One of the effects of Manders’ resolution would be to further push internet providers to act as private police for enforcement against users, cutting of users’ internet connection and inspecting their internet traffic.

The report will be voted on Wednesday, September 22nd in the European Parliament. Members of the ALDE-group, such as Marietje Schaake and Sophie in ‘t Veld of the Dutch liberal party D66, have in the past defended our online freedoms vigorously and in all likelihood did so during the negotiations over the ALDE-position as well. But this is a very disappointing result. All ALDE-members should distance themselves from Manders’ repressive resolution. The parliament should embrace the neutral resolution or reject all versions of the resolution.

  1. Bill Crompton

    They (The VVD) call themselves “liberal” but they are liberal in the 19th century Dutch sense, that is to say, not liberal at all in the Anglo-Saxon definition of the word. They are a right-wing party with a Conservative manifesto and their idea of “liberal” is that business should be allowed to develop without too much government interference. Their idea of interfering with “the market” is to give it as many tax benefits as possible and allow companies to make as much profit as they (reasonably) can.

    That you are disappointed in Manders indicates that: a) you are somewhat naive, b) you didn’t do your homework or c) both of the above.

    Incidentally, one thing is clear from Manders’ position is: d) he knows sweet fuck all about how the interweb works, thank FSM…

  2. c0ntrol

    I Agree with Bill here, this is not the first time VVD has shown itself to be hostile to liberal values. In may this year, Fred Teeven of the VVD proposed to monitor internet traffic in order to allow copyright enforcement (link in Dutch here: http://lsdimension.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/vvd-monitor-internetverkeer-ter-handhaving-downloadverbod/). They will try again soon and we must be ready to refute it once it comes.

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