Article 13, the EU's Orwellian law that will censor and limit the Internet's freedom of speech and expression in the name of “copyright material” has been approved by the European Parliament today, again.
The law would require FB, Goggle, Twitter and all other social medias and websites to install systems, or "upload filters", that will censor, delete and remove any material which is deemed to have “copyright issues”, this of course refers to internet memes, but also videos, gifs etc... etc...
The law was initialy voted on by the European parliament on septemer 12, 2018, was approved again today in a final vote with 348 votes in favor and 274 against.
"In a stunning rejection of the will five million online petitioners, and over 100,000 protestors this weekend, the European Parliament has abandoned common-sense and the advice of academics, technologists, and UN human rights experts, and approved the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive in its entirety,"said rights group "the Electronic Frontier Foundation" in a blog post today.
Earlier in June 2018, an open letter signed by 70 of the biggest names of the internet, including the creator of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, and the Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, argued that article 13 would take
“an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users”.
Cryptographer and security specialist Bruce Schneier, one of the letter's signatories had this to say about it:
"Article 13 effectively deputizes social media and other Internet companies as copyright police, forcing them to implement a highly invasive surveillance infrastructure across their entire service offerings. Aside from the harm from the provisions of Article 13, this infrastructure can be easily repurposed by government and corporations – and further entrenches ubiquitous surveillance into the fabric of the Internet."
Introducing the legislative drive in 2016, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said he wanted "journalists, publishers and authors to be paid fairly for their work".
The European Commission says that the copyright protections would apply to that work "whether it is made in studios or living rooms, whether it is disseminated offline or online, whether it is published via a copying machine or commercially hyperlinked on the web."
The results of article 13 could change the web forever by opening a backdoor for large corporations, governments and politcal bodies like the EU to start censoring online material that they don't like or approve by using the justification that they're "breaking copyright laws".
A short satirical video explains what the EU is about to do.
Before the text can be adopted in European law it must next be approved by the Council of the European Union. It's still possible that the directive may not be passed by the Council, but that would involve at least one key country changing its mind. A vote is expected to take place on April 9.
Even then, EU member states have a further two years to implement the directive into their own laws
The proposed law will still have to be approved by the representatives from the EU’s 28 European governments before becoming law. This would be literally the internet's last line of defence.
Looks like the nation state is still the last and best option for regular people to protect their freedom and rights against tyranny and censorship employed by authoritarian, transnational, uncountable political entities like the EU.
(The article was updated on 26 March ,2019)