Block the block
The European Commission has proposed EU-wide mandatory Internet blocking.
It has made this proposal without paying for any external research. The Commission has not produced any of the statistics provided to it by EU Internet hotlines that would indicate that blocking has any useful purpose.
Asked for the evidence on which the Commission based its proposal, the Commission described current positive trends and explained that “they do give an indication that, to a certain extent and at least partly, this may follow also from action taken, including action to block access to websites in some countries.”
The Council of Ministers aims to have finished its first reading ("Common Position") on the dossier in December 2010. Currently, only German and Romania are opposed.
In the Parliament, only a limited and simplistic working document has been produced by the MEP in charge, Roberta Angelilli.
The timetable in the Parliament is:
Presentation of draft report: 10 January Deadline for amendments: 20 January "Orientation vote": 3 February.
The orientation vote will assess where there are clear majorities in the Committee for specific amendments and where further work is needed to find appropriate compromises.
The Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament will prepare the draft position of the institution, which is subsequently put to a vote of the whole parliament.
While it is possible to have amendments tabled and adopted in the vote of the whole parliament, this is significantly more difficult than achieving an adequate result at the Committee stage.
Therefore, at this stage of the process, all efforts need to be focussed on Members of the Civil Liberties Committee.
- Experience from countries that already have blocking is that it is not used as part of a comprehensive package of measures against child abuse sites. It is used instead of a proper package of measures.
- Blocking warns the criminals behind the sites that their activities have been identified. How can there be a comprehensive strategy against the criminals when they are warned in advance by the blocking system?