Dutch Gov't Speaks Out Against Exporting Internet Filters; Then Introduces National Internet Filter

from the you've-got-to-be-kidding dept

On the same day that Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Verhagen announced efforts to prevent the export of internet filters to repressive regimes, State Secretary of Justice and Security Teeven announced the introduction of the national blacklisting of websites. The press conference expressly 'filtered out' critical Dutch civil rights organization Bits of Freedom and consumer rights organization Consumentenbond.

The Minister of Economic Affairs stated Monday that companies should support internet freedom and that the danger of exporting filters to repressive regimes is that they can be used to withhold information from civilians. A good start of the day for Dutch cyberactivists, breathing a sigh of relief to see that the government actually seems to understand what they’re talking about.

However, later the very same day the State Secretary of Justice and Security announced a 'download ban' making the unauthorized downloading of copyrighted material illegal. Although it was stated that the privacy of internet users who only download limited amounts of copyrighted material from unauthorized sources is protected, the actual definition of 'limited' has not been given.

Whereas a previous parliamentary commission told the entertainment industry that they should innovate before any such ban would be introduced, this government decision turns it around, saying they'll make it illegal first in order to stimulate motivation.

Of course there are a lot of parties who have criticized these plans. Holland's biggest consumer rights organization, Consumentenbond, has claimed that the law doesn't protect users from getting sued for downloading. In the past they have argued for an internet levy and making both uploading as well as downloading legal.

Dutch civil rights organization Bits of Freedom argues that the state secretary's plans are aimed at repressing individual internet users, since it is already possible to prosecute platforms that spread files commercially. Both Bits of Freedom, as well as the Consumentenbond, were subsequently banned from the state secretary's press conference (or filtered, if you will).

Some bloggers even warn that the system of blacklisting websites and adequate enforcement of other parts of this proposal are only possible through total government control of the national web traffic.

Instead of forcing copyright monopolies to adjust to the realities of recent technological developments, the government has opted to try to protect them, while at the same time extending their own power and control over society and the internet. Instead of spending these resources to stimulate innovation, they'll now be spent to limit freedoms and put a further strain on the justice system.

Meanwhile nothing will change. The traditional concept of copyrights is dated and has to be altered drastically. We're only just entering an age where anyone can make a copy of nearly any type of information or culture at basically zero cost and effort. Legislature or no legislature, the giants of copyrights will crumble. Technological progress is relentless. Which is why it's even more sad that laws like these are introduced.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 2:28pm

    They never learn and we suffer.

    Simply put DA's (dumb a$$) need to be voted out. In anyway possible!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    *facepalm*

    This is one of the few times that I believe the left hand needs to smack the hell out of the right hand and tell it to pay attention.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    Re: *facepalm*

    Never happens. Long ago the world governments cut off their left hands...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 4:57pm

    They continue to do this because the populace sits by.
    They fret and complain but take little real action.
    In the UK those being thrown under the bus take to the streets and demonstrate.
    They are demonized by the media, and have their rights further violated by the police all in the name of "safety" and "security", by which they mean keeping the average person in the dark about how screwed they get simply to benefit those with money.

    Until people wake up and stop voting for the guy who spends the most money, protip - those with the huge war chests to get elected have already been purchased by those who you expect them to stand up to, and until you hold them accountable you will get more of the same.

    You can "sign" all the virtual petitions, join the x sucks facebook groups, tweet about how unfair it is, and that all means nothing. Until you force them to notice you, and get the media to take you seriously you will get no real change.

    Repressive Governments around the world are trying to keep their populace unaware of what happened in Egypt and spread, because they fear if the people find a voice and are heard they are doomed.

    The downside is so many people in "free" countries have not noticed the slow introduction of repression into their lives.

    We need to slow down the internet, we need to protect business models, IP is our best asset, take your shoes off, allow us to feel you up, ignore the clicking on the line of us recording you, ignore those people who seem to always get picked for the "random" cavity searches (they are enemies of freedom!).

    Your officials are supposed to represent you, it is time to get their attention and remind them that the people come before the corps. You need to write a real letter on paper, you need to find them in person, you need to demonstrate and make yourself heard. They can dismiss anything done online as just a few people, it is hard to ignore 1000 people sitting in their office asking why this corporation is more important that the peoples rights.

    On the upside all of this stupidity will just push the evolution of tech ahead further, keeping just out of their reach.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 2:41am

    Re:

    "Your officials are supposed to represent you, it is time to get their attention and remind them that the people come before the corps. You need to write a real letter on paper, you need to find them in person, you need to demonstrate and make yourself heard. They can dismiss anything done online as just a few people, it is hard to ignore 1000 people sitting in their office asking why this corporation is more important that the peoples rights."

    You need to realize that the officials don't represent us and never have been and never will, they actually represent the wealthy i.e. the corporations which is called Capitalism.

    Our only solution is a revolution from the lower classes (us) to overthrow the bourgeoisie and thus we can control the means of production.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 4:41am

    Unfortunately, that didn't work in the pas either. Even China is getting more capitalistic by the day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Chris Maresca (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 10:36am

    I think you mean innovation not motivation

    "Whereas a previous parliamentary commission told the entertainment industry that they should innovate before any such ban would be introduced, this government decision turns it around, saying they'll make it illegal first in order to stimulate motivation."

    The source talks about blocking access to stimulation innovation - the title is "Copyright must be stimulant for creativity and innovation" (auteursrecht moet stimulans zijn voor creativiteit en innovatie)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This