Last-minute amendments added into an otherwise comprehensive telecom bill would create a copyright infringement law requiring ISP's in the European Union to refuse internet access to any user who is accused of copyright infringement 3 times. Notice I said accused, not convicted. read more.

The law would remove judcial power and human peer review from the process, instead letting electronic filtering and surveilance devices make the decision as to whether or not someone is violating copyright law, and then taking measures to effectively ban that person from being able to use the internet.

Not only do I find the last-minute "backdoor" actions which led to the proposed law being tacked onto an otherwise sensible telecom bill shady and reprehensible, I am severely bothered by the lack of due process it supports. I also find it rather disturbing that the music, movie, and software industries effectively have the power to regulate and supervise the knowledge to which human beings are allowed access.

For me, the internet represents the modern realization of the ideals set forth during The Enlightenment. Unmitigated access to almost the totality of the world's knowledge-- for better or worse-- was the dream of all those who in the 18th century grew sick of the repression and restriction of knowledge perpetrated by the church and state, and gave birth to a movement fueled by knowledge, logic, and philosophy that would eventually lead to the French and American revolutions.

To think that access to that knowledge could be cut off at the mere accusation of actions which are undesirable to the music, movie, or software industries-- that access to englightenment could be blocked by greed and an interest in protecting some bloated corporate entity's bottom line-- is utterly repugnant.

The actions of the European Parliament have left the citizens of the EU very little time to respond to the proposed bill. The amendments were added less than a week ago, and if not for the outspoken objections of a few MEPs, would never even have been brought to light until it was too late.

The bill will be put to a vote this Monday, July 7th.
If you are a citizen of the EU, sites like Open Rights Group are urging you to become educated about this issue, and to contact your MEPs before this Monday to let him or her know that you are opposed to these disturbing last-minute additions to the "Telecom Package".
The site also tells you how to find and contact your MEPs, and gives advice on points to argue in your letters and phone calls.

I hope, not only for the sake of the EU but for the rest of the world's proponents of open rights, that the package is not allowed to pass in its current form. Enacting such a law would violate every ideal of freedom of knowledge and access to truth that so many of our countries have mortally struggled to protect.

source via boingboing