Feeds

Brussels data watchdog cries foul over secret copyright talks

Hustinx left out in the cold

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.