(Englische Übersetzung. Original ist hier: Mitmachen: Die Netzsperren-Pläne in der EU stoppen)
The debate on Internet filters reaches the hot phase now on EU level, as discussions begin in the EU parliament. It is now urgently necessary to make ourselves heard. We cannot lean back now and complain later.
On September 28th/29th, the committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will consult on “Combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography”. The hearing is split into different sessions. The list of invited experts hints at the general tendency: It doesn’t look good at all!
For example, strong supporters of Internet filtering laws, like Julia von Weiler (Innocence in danger) and Sigrid Valentin (German Federal criminal police, BKA) are invited. It looks like the vast majority of the experts will argue in favor of Internet filters.
Last year, there was a great movement within net-communities to stop Internet-filters in germany. Some of these attempts were successful: We stopped the law. Now we have to look closely and be careful that filters don’t become effective via the european level without much public interest or resistance.
Debates on EU-level are difficult. Not many are interested in them, and delegates are far away in Brussels or Strasburg. However, it is still possible to fight in order to protect our digital rights. We can do this with our computers without having to travel to Brussels. Among others, the following activities are important:
We need publicity again
Many EU-politicians and -journalists have heard little or nothing about the national filtering-debates (for example „Zensursula“ in Germany) or have already forgot about them. We need publicness for this debate, if only to give them the feeling that there ARE critical voices. The German debate only became interesting once mainstream-media addressed the criticism that came from blogs. It would be nice if we would once again have more articles about this matter in blogs and mainstream media.
We have to contact delegates. Just because parties are against Internet filters on national level doesn’t mean their EU-delegates share that opinion. We have to start all over again. Fortunately, we can advertise our position by referencing their parties‘ positions. It would also be helpful if party-members could contact and inform their delegate. The majority of conservatives will probably vote in favor of filters. This does not mean we should ignore conservatives, though! Conservatives occupy the majority of the parliament! This task is just a bit more difficult.
Send statements to delegates
Besides statements of individuals, statements of organizations regarding the debate can also be quite effective. Remember: Usually, only organizations who are in favor of filters feel the urge to comment. If you are with the boy scouts, a trades union, or some other association: See if you can write a short (or long) statement on the matter of filtering laws!
Or take a look at the cleanternet-Video:
Join and help! The Internet needs you.
If you want to attend the hearing, you have to register your name address, and date of birth at email@example.com. I’m not sure if there will be a live-stream, but expect so.