Feeds

Brussels data watchdog cries foul over secret copyright talks

Hustinx left out in the cold

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.