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EU Commissioner: We Cannot Allow ISP Disconnects

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the do-the-isps-know-that dept.

Censorship 106

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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106 comments

So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (5, Interesting)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745481)

Democracy for all....expect accused pirates?

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (4, Funny)

Barabul (1853988) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745501)

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

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (1)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745551)


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

Almost, but rather.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39745527)

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.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (5, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745531)

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.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745569)

I'm moving to Somalia then...

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (3, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (4, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746703)

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.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39750283)

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.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (0)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39747063)

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 are (privately, of course).

I'm far more worried about the police of this country than the military, but lucky for us, a large-scale police assault would be international news within moments of it occurring due to the fact that everyone and their sister has a camera phone capable of recording and uploading video to Youtube in seconds. This hopefully serves to temper any hot-headed ideas that come out of that particular part of the Executive Branch.

While they may have more guns, as of now, they still need human beings to pull the triggers, and every action like this is just fewer and fewer people they can count on to do that.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 2 years ago | (#39747303)

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 guns and bigger guns (tanks are leveling Homs) so they are losing badly. They would be much better off if they could, like Libya, get NATO on their side (more guns and bigger guns) or they were able to get the UN to exert enough effective political pressure (difficult).
Their guns are not winning and your guns give you a false sense of security... they are worthless and will only get you killed.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39749167)

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.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (2)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#39750951)

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 orders, for now... but as soon as those orders involve us turning against the American populace (i.e. our friends and families) the lines between "we" and "they" become much more blurry.

But the one thing 'they' will never have is numbers. Sheer unstoppable numbers. The US Military has just under 1.5 million active members combined between all 4 branches, with another 1.5 million in reserve. Total US population is well over 300 million. If only 1% of all civilians decide to rebel, they'd have the military outnumbered 2:1 *BEFORE* accounting for any military members who throw down arms and refuse to attack their own families. If 2% or even just 5% of the civilian populace took up arms for a revolution... that puts the ratio at 10:1 in favor of "we."

.

They might have bigger guns, and better training... but more guns they certainly do not have.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39753203)

Foreign troops will be used in depopulating to remove the disloyal.

1. NDAA
2. FEMA camps
3. 750 million hollow point bullets ordered by DHS.
4. Prepositioned infectious agents as part of a false flag operation.

Re:FTFY (0)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745583)

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

That would be the null set, right? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39745745)

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

Re:That would be the null set, right? (1)

the_bard17 (626642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746253)

Disregard. Posting to remove accidental and incorrect mod.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39745941)

Good thing I live in the US then. We've been struggling for democracy for decades now.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745543)

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.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (2)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746413)

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.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (2)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746919)

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.....

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746769)

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.)

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745767)

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

Mussolini defined that as fascism.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39750381)

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.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (1)

doesnothingwell (945891) | more than 2 years ago | (#39751299)

If your credit score is good enough you get interwebs, the FBI and Disney will have final say. They will also regulate the content.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (5, Insightful)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745993)

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!

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39749143)

FUCK YEAH!

That's not what summery says (2)

jopsen (885607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39747631)

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 censorship is okay in the EU.
Just because she didn't discuss a subject you apparently care more about, doesn't imply she has taken a stand on that subject! My guess she might very likely be against censorship in any way shape or form.
- People who quote FSF typically are :)

If you want to be paranoid, at least be happy that the "digital aganda" is going to focus on stopping internet censorship in countries where it's a serious problem. She could also have announced that she wanted to fight piracy, patents or kill baby seals, but she DIDN'T.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745713)

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.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745883)

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".

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746363)

>>>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.

She didn't say anything about 3 strikes.... (1)

jopsen (885607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39747809)

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 that doesn't make sense in the EU, because there's no legally enforced internet disconnects in the EU.

All this is just a carefully crafted headline, with a summary that disappoints because you'd hoped for something else, which gets you thinking and talking about 3 strike laws. Totally unrelated...
So let's acknowledge that this a positive story, and give credit for deciding to fight internet censorship.

Re:She didn't say anything about 3 strikes.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39752429)

about laws that will never be

I agree with most of your post, but... "laws that will never be"? If things like the DMCA and HADOPI can pass, why not three strikes? No, in fact, HADOPI implements three strikes in France (I believe so). Or did you mean "laws that will never be on a EU level"? Because I still think that's too much. We must be ever vigilant. Never trust that your leaders can't be corrupt.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (2)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745801)

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.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39746573)

If you want Democracy, head to Libya. The UN is "spreading democracy" over there. Otherwise, careful what you ask for.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (2)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#39747281)

> 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.

Re:So when it comes to 3 strikes.... (1)

Meneth (872868) | more than 2 years ago | (#39748785)

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.

No disconnects* (3, Funny)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:No disconnects* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39745697)

*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.

You missed the important part of the statement: "And I am committed to ensuring "No Disconnect" in countries that struggle for democracy." The whole thing doesn't apply to countries that have already surrendered their rights to Big Money.

The struggle for democracy (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39745513)

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

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

FRA, here you are, ECHELON and freedom fries (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39745523)

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 Arab countries is law in Europe.

Breivik was right.

Re:FRA, here you are, ECHELON and freedom fries (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745603)

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.

Re:FRA, here you are, ECHELON and freedom fries (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745777)

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.

So, the only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39745539)

The only thing I have to do now is convince my country is struggling for democracy if I ever run into problems.

And this being belgium, it will not be hard to convince them my government is having trouble.

Re:So, the only (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745769)

You have one again in the meantime?

I envied you guys when you didn't. At least no new stupid laws could be passed, it must have been heaven.

She's right (5, Interesting)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745613)

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 (3, Interesting)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:She's right (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745953)

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?

Re:She's right (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746207)

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.

Re:She's right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39747081)

She, not he. She's also not an elected politician, so she wouldn't need to get votes.

Re:She's right (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 2 years ago | (#39747153)

which "he" ? you surely aren't referring to the steely neelie...

Re:She's right (1)

OliWarner (1529079) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745929)

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 peace and quality of life for people. They have to balance freedom against the ability for people to break the law (yes, inciting violence, conspiracy, etc are all against the law here) and during the riots thousands of people were being put in direct danger from these twatscroungers' want of anarchy. Stopping their ability to do that may have limited the damage.

Naturally I'm completely against trying to stop people protesting or organising their peaceful protests online but I don't think it's as black and white as you're making out. I think there might be plausible situations where certain blackouts might be the better evil.

However, copyright infringement is not one of those situations.

Meanwhile the police were sending flowers to old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39746269)

Meanwhile the police were sending flowers to old ladies and helping crippled orphans across the road..?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Ian_Tomlinson

Re:Meanwhile the police were sending flowers to ol (1)

OliWarner (1529079) | more than 2 years ago | (#39747293)

You're not even talking about the same event! Ian Tomlinson died two years before the 2011 London riots at an EU Summit protest. The police there messed up. Way too much violence. The officer who contributed to his heath is facing manslaughter charges (goes to court in June) and the entire method of protest management (kettling, here) has been given serious scrutiny.

But what does this have to do with what we're talking about? Please try to stay on topic!

Re:She's right (1)

hot soldering iron (800102) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746965)

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 and is adaptable to varying transmission methods and speeds would be awesome.

The only way to shut that down would be to cut every line, and use military grade radio jamming systems. Unless they're using line-of-sight laser comms...

Re:She's right (1)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39752541)

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?

Re:She's right (1)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39752551)

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.

UK govt did NOT want to "shut down Facebook" (1)

evilandi (2800) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745981)

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 weren't talking about turning off 3G for a whole city).

The suggestion was discounted for a variety of reasons, one of which was that the most likely riot areas (high streets / downtown shopping precincts) were saturated in free WiFi hotspots so blocking GPRS/UTMS would probably not be effective. The Internet treats censorship as damage, and all that.

Do bear in mind that England is one of, if not the absolute, world's oldest democracy, with democratic rights dating back 800 years. British women had the vote two years earlier than those in the USA.

The policy was suggested by democratically elected representatives, not by faceless bureaucrats or dictators. The suggestion was discussed by other democratically elected representatives, and rejected by the consensus of those democratically elected representatives.

Democracy would therefore seem to be working very well here.

Re:UK govt did NOT want to "shut down Facebook" (1)

lwriemen (763666) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746907)

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.

Re:She's right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39751353)

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.

Silly government then, shut down facebook? If rioters, looters or terrorists are stupid enough to coordinate their actions using facebook, the government should happily pick the low-hanging fruit. Infiltrating facebook/twitter is easy.

Overthrowing a government is fine ... (5, Funny)

DanZee (2422648) | more than 2 years ago | (#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!

Re:Overthrowing a government is fine ... (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745679)

Apparently, using the Internet to overthrow a government is allowed

Only if it's a Western-unfriendly government. Try even protesting around a G8/G20 meeting and see how much cell reception you get.

Re:Overthrowing a government is fine ... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745751)

Does overthrowing the government cut into the profit of companies? All that changes for them is the ass of the puppet to shove their arm into.

Re:Overthrowing a government is fine ... (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745839)

Yes, you have always been allowed to question your government (in America since John Adams' Sedition Act), but not allowed to steal stuff from the local store. Granted, the penalty is stiff in your example, but the concept has been the same for centuries.

Re:Overthrowing a government is fine ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39747475)

Of course, the concept that copying data is 'stealing' is just as completely wrong now as it was centuries ago.

Re:Overthrowing a government is fine ... (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745871)

You are confusing Europe with America.

Re:Overthrowing a government is fine ... (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746653)

Only if one manages to successfully overthrow said government. Otherwise you might get much worse than 10 years and a $250k fine. Like execution.

FTFY (3, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745657)

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.

Re:FTFY (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 2 years ago | (#39747195)

right. maybe we should make her commissioner for competition

Free Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39745725)

So one could argue any disconnect in the US would be unconstitutional as it would limit free speech.

Re:Free Speech (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746493)

A good solution would be to recognise enforced disconnection (not just move-to-a-new-ISP disconnection) as form of punishment akin to a jail sentence. Infringing of rights by nature and intention, and available to the government to enforce the law... but only for criminal offences, and only after the accused is found guilty by a fair trial with right of appeal. Nothing less.

Erh.... (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#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...

Re:Erh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39745893)

preserving democracy and freedom in general is a constant struggle, this bill (and many others) prove that even in so called democratic countries, attempts are being made to undermine the freedom and democracy. Wherever this law is applicable it would become it's own execption and invalidate itself.

Re:Erh.... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746499)

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. ;)

Typical socialist agenda (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745937)

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 this sincere, decent, but naive person proposed that the EU start floating balloons on the borders of any nation that did cut off its Internet links, with a long-range WiFi-type Internet router on each, and parachute in little tiny baby adapters for laptops etc, and even a few microcell gizmos to let the smartphones keepp keeping on, well, they they will find out just how tolerant these oppressors are.

But let's not get bogged down in taking action. Much better to lament the sad state of freedom in this world.

Re:Typical socialist agenda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39748079)

Socialist? Hah. Pay some attention to Canada and the States. Whatever's going on co-opts whatever government it can without any regards to a position on a political spectrum.

Re:Typical socialist agenda (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#39748255)

True, but in this case it wasn't a U.S. or Canadian official blathering on.

No disconnect.... (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745963)

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.

Struggling for Democracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39746151)

As in most of the EU and USA? We're struggling to keep from going back to feudalism, when your liege lord can arbitrarily take your possessions, home, livelihood, and cut you off from communication. Except instead of a king or whoever, you have RIAA, MPAA, wall street, bankers and government taking away your right to own the things you pay for and have free speech.
You watch any of these shows where they have "People of Royal Blood" and "the commoners", like Game of Thrones, Robin Hood, Downton Abby even... (I almost rage quit Game of Thrones twice because of the Lanisters, but even the Starks aren't much better in their attitudes toward the people who serve them.) You see that these Royals are worse parasites on the system than any lazy welfare case that just uses food stamp money for booze while their kids starve. (Not everyone on welfare is lazy, many are victims of the greedy Royals we have in our society)

Circular definition (2)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746203)

Countries that have an internet disconnect are by definition struggling with democracy.

Neelie Kroes (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746255)

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).

Re:Neelie Kroes - who is that guy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39751077)

I can't decide which one is funnier, this or the parent.

Democracy? (1)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746333)

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 believe that we no longer live in a democracy, if we ever had.

Her words remind me of the saying "Do as I say not as I do."

Re:Democracy? (1)

briniel (916290) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746973)

Ah democracy, where 51% screw the other 49% correct? For example you take 1000 people and convince 500 they are crips and 500 they are bloods (or dems/republicans whatever). The population is now divided. Time to conquer. So 10 of those people begin switching between sides, always being part of the majority and thus always "winning". Chances are those 10 people are the ones who pushed and/or implemented democracy in the first place. Those 10 then become the 1% aka elites. And 99% of us end up worse off. Democracy? No thanks.

Re:Democracy? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39749429)

Democracy? No thanks.

And your better idea is?

Re:Democracy? (1)

briniel (916290) | more than 2 years ago | (#39750143)

I'm quite fine with the constitutional republic of the United States that I reside in. Not perfect, but works. In fact it even allows a democratic party to exist within it. "A government of laws, and not of men" - John Adams

Re:Democracy? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39750583)

I'm quite fine with the constitutional republic of the United States that I reside in. Not perfect, but works

It works in that the same 10 people that would control your hypthetical 1000 man democracy control this constitutional republic.

"A government of laws, and not of men" - John Adams

The same 10 people decide what the laws are.

Re:Democracy? (1)

briniel (916290) | more than 2 years ago | (#39750845)

Ok say those same10 do control it and decide to pass additional laws. If the laws they pass do not fit within the framework of the law of the land they are declared unconstitutional and thrown out. Democracy does not have that additional check.

Re:Democracy? (2)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39752601)

I'm quite fine with the constitutional republic of the United States that I reside in.

Except that the two party system here is broken, and while the people shouldn't have absolute power, they don't have enough.

Give me something more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39746461)

Why is it that we can travel to the moon, but we can't come up with a better way to govern ourselves? Democracy/Despotism, surely there are some other ways to govern ourselves?
  I'm tired of this shit. Please, please come up with something better before I die.

In Italy (eu founder) freedom is impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39746501)

Please consider that "decreto Pisanu" (former interior minister decree) since 2005 mandates an id record to be kept for at least 5 years for every human using the net and phones in Italy. This comprise no anon wifi in all the country, id must be shown when you buy a telephone sim or you sign up for adsl
It is also legal to manipulate the neutrality of the net in order to shut down sites (the pirate bay is shut down from Italy) or differentiate between services (vodafone here CAN stop free voip legally) or to unilateraly change terms of contract in a pejorative way for the customer.
So what's all the noise about foreign nations with such disregard (or mislead) of internal democracy agenda?
Why to make us talk about other ones privacy instead of ourselves?

Semantics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39746953)

"in countries that struggle for democracy"

Does this suggest that he doesn't support countries already "democratic"?

Despotic governments .... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746991)

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

NSA's secret AT&T closets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39747387)

Don't forget the NSA's secret AT&T monitoring closets.
The US government is quick to call out other governments for the same actions the US government is also doing in secret. Then they claim child porn or terrorism as the magic blanket justification. If you are not OK with your personal freedoms being stripped and big brother monitoring everything you do and you try to stand up for your rights. The government claims that is proof you must be a child pornographer and terrorist. To be a good citizen you must be a good little sheep and fall in line with what ever the government wants. After all they know whats best and need to perpetuate the global security theater with fear and paranoia mongering to maintain funding. If a demonstration is looking to peaceful or an inconvenient challenge to the government they just plant a few agitators to start trouble. That provides an excuse discredit the demonstrators and justifies sending in the storm troopers to bust heads.

After all if you have nothing to hide you should not mind having every aspect of you life scrutinized monitored and recorded. That is why in Illinois it illegal to photograph or video tape a police officer. The police never have anything to hide except when they do. If it has to be agents the law record the police in Illinois they must have to hide everything they do.

Now they are going to mandate big brother tracking boxes in all passenger vehicles.

Huh? (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39747437)

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 off large swaths of the population in order to (attempt to) shut-down uprisings and riots, I did have to wonder if there's really anything wrong with banning people or, preferably, forcing them onto a slow-speed internet, if they commit crimes on the internet (though such bans should be short-lived, since I don't think anyone should have a lifetime ban). Similarly, we deny the second amendment (the right to bear arms, which is a "fundamental freedom") to convicted felons, as well. The idea that cutting off whole sections society from parts of the internet (which we all agree is bad) is similar to kicking off individual people for repeated infractions of the law seems like a very questionable leap in my mind.

I realize, of course, that pirates won't like my comment because they'd like to ensure that no penalty against them is ever permitted.

Democracy for all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39748719)

...that way it makes it easier when the EU sues countries and companies for billions of Euros in order to fund the union...

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