The “three strikes” idea is used in a number of things. But in late amendments to an EU telecoms package to be voted on by the European Parliament, it might also apply to illegal file sharers.
The proposal is that those who been warned three times for illegal file sharing could see themselves banned from the Net, according to the BBC. Privacy groups claim that what was intended as a simple telecoms package, aimed at harmonizing services across the EU, has been hijacked by the anti-piracy lobby.
Banning file sharers isn’t the only drastic proposal. Also on the table is a measure that allows governments to decide what programs can be “lawfully” allowed. Unsurprisingly, privacy groups are fighting the measures.
In a statement, Christophe Espern, co-founder of French rights group La Quadrature du Net, said:
"[The amendments] pave the way for the monitoring and filtering of the internet by private companies, exceptional courts and Orwellian technical measures," while Benjamin Henrion, Foundation for a Free Internet Infrastructure representative in Brussels noted:
"Tomorrow, popular software applications like Skype or even Firefox might be declared illegal in Europe if they are not certified by an administrative authority. This is compromising the whole open development of the internet as we know it today."
Although some Memember of the European Parliament are claiming that the intention of the measures are nothing like the privacy advocates claim, it’s worth noting that back in April the European Parliament threw out a proposal to band illegal file sharers from the Net.
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