The European Union has tabled a far-reaching counter-terrorism measures that among others proposes Internet filtering and virtual policing. Just like many other people, I fear it would limit our internet freedoms through voluntary but binding agreements with network providers.The EU union propose measures obliging internet companies to include anti-terrorism conditions in their acceptable use policies, and to set up hotlines with law enforcement agencies to report such activities. The project seek to develop a framework of general principles and best practices with the private sector, using non-legislative guidelines or gentlemen’s agreements. The measures would be implemented within six months to two years after an organization committed to the recommendations and best practices document. Use of unusual and rare languages online would be banned if the recommendations are adopted, as these can’t readily be understood by law enforcement surveillance agents.
I do not support the plans where Internet companies under the CleanIT program would be obligated to store communications containing terrorist perceived content, even when it has been removed from their platform, in order to supply the information to law enforcement agencies like police and Intelligence services.I feel that openness, privacy and security are the three sides of a triangle that should be balanced properly. Legislative amendments in individual member countries were also sought by the project, including an expansion to law enforcement investigative powers and extensive reviews of legal frameworks by governments.Such amendments should be implemented individually not collectively as has been suggested because I feel different states have different challenges. When I saw the document,It was marked “not for publication” and shared only a on a “need-to-know basis”, the document was unfinished, with points such as the structure of an internet filtering system left open for discussion which to me suggests there was no quorum.
It is clear that the initiative appeared to be led by the Netherlands’ National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security, with support from UK, Belgium, Spain, Germnay,Denmark, Hungary, Austria and Romania. Although the project sought to involve private sector companies, no such organizations had partnered with Project proponents at the time of the documents leaking. Other actions required included the implementing a virtual reporting button in a web browser or operating system,social media patrolling,greater sharing of information between ISPs,automated terrorist activities detection systems, extensive logging and content blocking or filtering, with subscribers forced to use their real names online.Is this the end of internet privacy in EU countries?Only time will tell.Read more on http://www.edri.org/files/cleanIT_sept2012.pdf