Feeds

Brussels data watchdog cries foul over secret copyright talks

Hustinx left out in the cold

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

The man charged with protecting EU citizens' personal data and privacy has protested at being frozen out of secret negotiations to tighten international copyright law online.

Peter Hustinx, the European Data Protection Supervisor, spoke out after a draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) leaked on Friday. It showed plans to make ISPs liable under civil law for the content of traffic.

The secrecy surrounding the talks between Western governments has prompted an outcry from digital rights lobbyists, who claim an entertainment industry stitch-up. The UK government recently declined to release more details to Parliament.

Hustinx today said ACTA could mean "three strikes" or "graduated response" policies - where ISPs restrict internet access to those accused of infringing copyright by filesharing - are imposed. ISPs could also be compelled to monitor their customers' internet use for illegal filesharing, he claimed.

"Whereas intellectual property is important to society and must be protected, it should not be placed above individuals' fundamental rights to privacy and data protection," Hustinx said.

The European Commission is negotiating ACTA on behalf of the EU, including the UK. Hustinx office said he "regrets" that he was not consulted by officials on the content of the proposed agreement.

"A right balance between protection of intellectual property rights and the right to privacy and data protection should be ensured," he said.

He called for any data transfers mandated by ACTA - for example between ISPs and regulators - to be subject to binding privacy safeguards. He said constant monitoring of internet use would be too intrusive.

"It is also particularly crucial that data protection requirements are taken into account from the very beginning of the negotiations so as not later on having to find alternative privacy compliant solutions."

The EDPS' full official opinion on the leaked draft of ACTA is here (pdf).

In the UK the Digital Economy Bill, which implements the type of graduated response regime cited by Hustinx, is proceeding through Parliament. It envisages copyright infringement will be detected by targeted monitoring of peer-to-peer networks. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?