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EU Commissioner: We Cannot Allow ISP Disconnects 106

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-the-isps-know-that dept.
Fluffeh writes "The EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, has been making some interesting comments about privacy, copyright and many aspects of the digital age. Going so far as to quote the Free Software Foundation and Yochai Benkler, she says: 'Openness is also complex because sometimes it's unclear what it means. ... In the Arab Spring, many brave activists successfully used the open Internet to coordinate peaceful protests. In response, despotic governments sought to control or close down Internet access; and also used ICT tools as a tool of surveillance and repression. We cannot allow democratic voices to be silenced in that way. And I am committed to ensuring "No Disconnect" in countries that struggle for democracy. We must help such activists get around arbitrary disruptions to their basic freedoms.'"
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EU Commissioner: We Cannot Allow ISP Disconnects

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  • by zarthrag (650912) on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:17AM (#39745481)
    Democracy for all....expect accused pirates?
    • by Barabul (1853988) on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:19AM (#39745501)

      They expect it too, except when they don't.

      • by Loughla (2531696)

        NO ONE ACCEPTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION
        Wait, that's still not right. Stupid English language, and you're stupid malaprops and homonyms.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Democracy and internet for all... except if you download something in a "developed" country, whatever that may mean. Lately I feel a good revolution might do us "westerners" some good.

    • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@gmail. c o m> on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:22AM (#39745531) Journal

      No no, she said no disconnects for countries struggling for democracy. Once a country has something that resembles democracy you knock those fuckin' pirates right off the Internet.

      • I'm moving to Somalia then...
        • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Friday April 20, 2012 @10:08AM (#39745979)

          It's ridiculous that things are getting so extreme that pretty soon the only way to escape these burgeoning corporate-controlled police states is to eschew first-world life completely.

          Is it possible to live in a first-world manner without the government watching every fucking move you make and violating civil liberties left and right 'for the common good'? Or was that always a pipe dream?

          I'm seriously asking myself questions like these every single day, because I don't see how we're going to pull ourselves out of this nightmare. Civil liberties get violated, which leads to civil unrest, which leads to more civil liberties being violated, which leads to more civil unrest...when does it all end? When a bunch of protesters end up on slabs in the morgue? When the only people allowed to communicate on the internet are those with state approval?

          It's funny, growing up, I'd always been one of those people that were against the widespread proliferation of guns in the U.S., but believe me, my opinion has changed in recent years. Those privately owned guns are really the only thing preventing the government from steamrolling right over the people of this country, and now I realize the wisdom of that right and how it enables the people to be a real check on the power of their government when the shit hits the fan.

          I'm no Kacynski-esque government-fearing anarchist by any stretch, but this kind of nonsense makes me understand their fears in a way I never could before.

          • by mspohr (589790) on Friday April 20, 2012 @10:18AM (#39746113)

            They have a lot more guns than you.
            and bigger guns.
            If you have a gun, it just gives them an excuse to kill you right now.

            • by 517714 (762276)
              The same could be said for Britain and the American colonies, the US and Vietnam, or the USSR and Afghanistan. The crucial element is the will to prevail.
              • The same could be said for Britain and the American colonies, the US and Vietnam, or the USSR and Afghanistan. The crucial element is the will to prevail.

                Looking at your examples, having someone with equally big guns supply some of them to you helps, too.

            • True...but I'm betting very few of the people manning those guns would use them against U.S. citizens.

              Organizations such as Oath Keepers [wikipedia.org] give me hope that, if it came down to it, the people of this country would remain free through the help of those soldiers. I'm betting the vast majority of our active duty armed services, at least among the enlisted men that would man the front lines, are more Bradley Manning than G.I. Joe these days. Those members of my extended family still actively serving certainly a

              • by mspohr (589790)

                How incredibly naive. "The will to prevail" is a nice thought but doesn't really count for much.
                There have been a few successful wars of liberation and these have been successful because the victors were able to amass more guns (US from France) and/or the political calculus changed for the occupier (US, Vietnam and Afghanistan).
                The people of Homs, Syria are a good case in point. They have lots of guns and public support and YouTube and members of the military are defecting but the military still has more

                • by Alex Belits (437) *

                  wars of liberation

                  Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!

                  BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

                  B W A H A H A H A H A H A H A H A H A ! ! !

                  No, seriously. A human that can read, still believes that crap.

            • by jxander (2605655)

              Actually, "they" don't have more guns. Especially when you define exactly who "they" are.

              Are they corporate fat cats? CEOs, corrupt politicians, hedge fund babies, etc? Because they are citizens with the exact same rights to guns as I do (if, perhaps, more capital with which to stockpile)

              Are they the US military? As a member of that little club, I don't feel very "they." And I can assure you that disillusionment with the status quo isn't something upon which civilians have a monopoly. We follow orde

              • by rtb61 (674572)

                'They' are quite simply psychopaths, now through the use of science readily and infallibly detectable. What real change then simply keep them from positions of power, control and influence. It really is that simple, now getting there will be difficult, as psychopaths will lie, cheat, steal and kill to keep and gain the ego and lust driven positions of power. They absolutely will not go down peacefully, they have killed millions upon millions to get where they are now and they will kill to stay there. They

      • Once a country has something that resembles democracy you crush those fuckin' pirates right off the Internet with the iron fist of righteousness, so that no one else dares to threaten your position of power and control

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Because if you're summarily going to disconnect someone for what someone SAYS someone did, then you don't have democracy anyway.

    • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:23AM (#39745543) Homepage Journal

      Seriously.. has democracy been redefined to mean "corporate state"?

      What would happen if a "democracy" decides to ignore patents for the good of the people like some of the AIDS ravaged countries have done? Are they no longer a democracy?

      The worst thing about living in the 21st century is the 1984-like twisting of words by governments to mean anything the heck they want them to me.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:32AM (#39745641)

        Seriously.. has democracy been redefined to mean "corporate state"?

        Have you seen the laws that the UK has passed about the London olympics [guardian.co.uk] at the behest of the IOC? Criminalizing "unauthorized association" with the games? That's right, actually making it a criminal offense that the police will try to track down. All to protect the "sponsors", who pay about $800 million of the multi-billion-dollar price tag.

        The modern Olympics are a cesspool of corruption hiding under the auspices of Sport.

        • The whole point of Sport is to stupefy the population. Ever heard the term "Bread and Circuses"?

          When you get right down to it, the "Sport" industry is more harmful than illicit drugs. I've seen people high on drugs build lots of useful and productive things. I've never seen people hooked up to their television do anything but waste oxygen.

          Same thing goes for video games.

          • The whole point of Sport is to stupefy the population. Ever heard the term "Bread and Circuses"?

            F1 in Bahrain? It seems to be having the opposite effect on the local population.....

        • by Baloroth (2370816)
          A poor place to hide, since most sports recently are already cesspools of corruption. If anything, it is sports corruption the Olympics (or rather the Olympics are merely a manifestation of the corporitization already present in sports.)
      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>Seriously.. has democracy been redefined to mean "corporate state"?

        Mussolini defined that as fascism.

        • Mussolini used a definition [wikipedia.org] of "corporation" that does not bear much if any relation to the modern meaning of that term in English.

        • If your credit score is good enough you get interwebs, the FBI and Disney will have final say. They will also regulate the content.
      • by Paracelcus (151056) on Friday April 20, 2012 @10:09AM (#39745993) Journal

        It's OK to shut down access to the outside world if you are a bastion of "freedom" and "democracy" just like it's OK to torture, to imprison without trial, and kill without judicial oversight!

        USA, USA, USA!

      • Seriously, it wasn't that long ago I heard Danish politicians promise that disconnect from the internet wasn't on the table, during their recent discussions of how to reduce internet piracy. AFAIK the politician argued that internet was essential for doing business and communicating with both public and private sector.

        I know Danish politicians doesn't rule the EU, but chill. Just, because someone says they'll fight internet censorship in countries where people are oppressed, doesn't mean they think censor
    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Like the U.S. the EU guy is just talking about *other* countries preserving freedom, not the ISPs at home where its a-okay to have a "3 strike and you're banned" policy. Typical: Do as we say, not how we act.

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        the EU guy?

        could you troll more?

        IT's a woman named Neelie Kroes. This is not a "do as we say not as we act" this is a "I am directly involved in policies, and this is my statement".

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          >>>the EU guy?
          >>>could you troll more?

          If you are offended by such trivial things, then you need to develop a tougher skin. I certainly meant no offense, anymore than when I see a female friend and say, "Hey dude... what's up?" Take a chill pill.

      • Where does she says that ISP disconnection and censorship in the EU is okay? She doesn't!
        In fact I don't see much support for it, and I certainly don't see it related to this discussion.

        It's just a little scary how people would rather do paranoid rants about laws that will never be, because a politician doesn't disputes such laws at every possible chance she gets!
        Note: She did NOT talk pro internet disconnects.
        In fact she said that the digital agenda is to stop internet disconnects, and naturally tha
    • by J'raxis (248192)

      And I am committed to ensuring "No Disconnect" in countries that struggle for democracy.

      Note the qualification the politician used. In a democracy, it's perfectly okay to censor people apparently. After all, the government "represents the people," right? So anything they do, however despotic, is acceptable.

    • by LingNoi (1066278)

      > And I am committed to ensuring "No Disconnect" in countries that struggle for democracy.

      Sweden is already a democracy, this is only for countries that struggle with it.

      • by Meneth (872868)
        But we do struggle with it. Everyone I've talked to agrees that the system is dysfunctional. No one has a workable idea on what to do about it.
  • by Ferzerp (83619) on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:19AM (#39745497)

    *Unless you commit copyright infringement. Then we will cut off your internet and make sure that you are so in debt that you can't support yourself ever again.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:20AM (#39745513)

    I am committed to ensuring "No Disconnect" in countries that struggle for democracy.

    But not, I suppose, in those that have stopped struggling.

  • In the Arab Spring, many brave activists successfully used the open Internet to coordinate peaceful protests. In response, despotic governments sought to control or close down Internet access; and also used ICT tools as a tool of surveillance and repression

    And in EU, there is a directive that makes it mandatory to save 2 years of mobile phone calls, email, google searches, HTTP access logs and GPS position of the phone at the start/end times for answered and unanswered phone calls.

    What EU says is "bad" in A

    • Damn right brother. Email me if you want to join the resistance - don't use the one above, that's not secure. Send it to contact at fbi dot gov.

      • Thanks, and I got an instant reply. But you really want to come over here just to meet me? I mean, we could have communicated over the... hold on a moment, someone's at the door.

  • She's right (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Compaqt (1758360) on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:29AM (#39745613) Homepage

    Europe and the US can't lecture 3rd world countries (and China) about democracy, openness, and freedom when they're cutting out all three.

    What was really funny was the way the UK govt. wanted to shut down Facebook and Twitter because they thought that contributed to the recent riots. What's even more funny is how Iran's state news services called it an uprising, and not riots. Britain just lost all moral right to lecture anybody after that. (Of course, Iran had its own riots/uprising propelled by social media. Same thing.)

    • Re:She's right (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Jawnn (445279) on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:37AM (#39745683)
      No, it isn't "funny", but let's stick to the point. The EU, or at least Commissioner Kroes, has gone on record with the position that openness is of paramount importance when it comes to the legal use of the Internet as a medium of communication. This is a step in the right direction, A big one. Yes, there are lots of things we can split hairs over; "What is the definition of 'legal' in the U.K.? In Germany? Syria?", but a widely respected policy like this should prevent draconian knee-jerk bullshit like shutting down social media sites just because a group of miscreants use them for illegal purposes.
      • by 0123456 (636235)

        Meanwhile the British government are pushing laws to record everything everyone does on the Internet at the behest of the EU.

        Who cares what the EU SAY, when they DO the opposite?

      • Unless he's lieing. If you were unaware, he's a politician. He can stand at a podium and quote smart people all day long to get votes... but when it comes to collecting his bribes, kickbacks, and campaign contributions, is he willing to lose his office and live like an middle class person to stand up for what he believes? I doubt it.

        We'll not have real democracies in this world until Organized groups, like corporations, lose their citizenship.
      • by Thing 1 (178996)

        [...] but a widely respected policy like this should prevent draconian knee-jerk bullshit like shutting down social media sites just because a group of miscreants use them for illegal purposes.

        Yeah, let's shut down the oxygen because some criminals are using it to breathe with. Let's cut off our noses, damned face!

    • The London riots example is not great here. There was a relatively small protest followed by a shower of complete asshats (with no political agenda on show) essentially just trying to burn down London, and steal whatever they could. These morons *were* using social networking sites to organise that violence and that's what the police wanted to stem. That's how a lot of them have been prosecuted for it.

      A good government can't always approach things from a freedom standpoint. They are there to maintain a peac

      • I would like to applaud your application of logic, and a good situation analysis (that I happen to agree with).
        I'm afraid that the only viable method to prevent governmental shutdown of the internet is a loose, ad-hoc, "dark net" that can allow http, sftp, and email traffic. A "pirate box" application on a netbook or tablet would be a great start. Something along the lines of TOR, Bittorrent with magnet links, or Packet Amateur Radio, that works with a distributed DNS system as a self-healing mesh network a

      • I think there might be plausible situations where certain blackouts might be the better evil.

        That sounds like an awfully slippery slope there, especially considering the government is the one making the rules. But then again, I don't really know what you meant by that. Shutting down entire websites because some people are abusing them?

        • They are there to maintain a peace and quality of life for people.

          Difficult if they don't even guarantee freedom, which is closely tied to the latter and possibly the former.

    • Compaqt: "the UK govt. wanted to shut down Facebook and Twitter"

      We did? Nope.

      The suggestion was that all mobile internet access should be turned off *only* for the TX towers covering a riot zone, in order to prevent rioters encouraging more people to join the riot. If the Riot Act has been read then everyone outdoors in the area has to leave by law, therefore there would be nobody legally present to use their cellphone in the street anyway (metropolitain cell towers cover a couple of blocks, at best; we wer

      • by lwriemen (763666)

        Do bear in mind that England is one of, if not the absolute, world's oldest democracy, with democratic rights dating back 800 years.

        It's a pretty shoddy definition of democracy, where only a small percentage of the population gets to vote. I think you better shorten your time span by about 600 years.

  • by DanZee (2422648) on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:29AM (#39745615)
    Apparently, using the Internet to overthrow a government is allowed, but downloading a MP3 file will get you 10 years and a $250,000 fine!
  • FTFY (Score:4, Funny)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:35AM (#39745657) Journal

    The soon to be former EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, has been making some interesting comments about privacy, copyright and many aspects of the digital age.

  • Erh.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:44AM (#39745733)

    Yeah, yeah, nice that you vow you won't accept a disconnect policy in countries that struggle to get a democracy.

    How about countries that are allegedly already democratic? Like, say, Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland...

    • by Kjella (173770)

      How about countries that are allegedly already democratic? Like, say, Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland...

      It's okay if both wolves agree to oppress the sheep, as long as it was put to a democratic vote. ;)

  • 1. Tell the misbehavers that they "can't do that", whatetver it is, and proceed to explain how beneficial it is to 'behave'.

    2. Threaten to reprimand these misbehavers.

    3. Lament your inability to actually change their behavior.

    Seriously, if the EU thinks that less-than-tolerant nations need to be compelled to leave their Internet connections up so that the revolutionaries in and out of that nation can use it to overthrow these nations' incumbent powers, well, let me know how that works out for ya.

    Now, if thi

  • BUT, but, only for countries who struggle for democracies. And if you happen to already have democracy, then i am sorry, but the rule becomes: YES, DISCONNECT.
  • by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Friday April 20, 2012 @10:25AM (#39746203) Journal
    Countries that have an internet disconnect are by definition struggling with democracy.
  • who is this marxist? how dare he stand for the rights of the people that elected him to office?
    had this been america, we'd whip out the palm grease and start fueling vacation jets until this chicanery was put to rest.
    thank goodness we've annexed most of europe under the FBI world police some time ago, or this yahoo would truly be a threat to freedom(c).
  • There is more to a democracy than the right to vote, such as the right to understand what we are voting for. We are not allowed to see or discuss most aspects of our government (ACTA). Most contracts are awarded behind closed doors. Politicians can say whatever they please and are not bound by their words. Laws are hidden with in ambiguous statements which curtail the freedom of expression such as "think of the children". Every year we move further away from the definition of democracy and I strongly believ

  • ... are one thing. But all bow before the omnipotent MPAA!

  • by brit74 (831798)
    I actually couldn't help but wonder what the commissioner would think about convicted hackers being forced off the internet (like Kevin Mitnick) based on the fear that they could wreak havoc. Similarly, Kevin Trudeau was blocked from promoting certain products on TV (which could be considered a part of one's fundamental freedom of speech) because of his numerous false claims about products he was selling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Trudeau). While I agree with internet freedom and I oppose kicking

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