EU Tells Internet Archive That Much Of Its Site Is 'Terrorist Content'

from the would-be-funny-if-it-weren't-so-dangerous dept

Update: The Internet Archive has issued a minor correction to its original story, noting that it was not actually Europol who sent the demand, but rather the French Internet Referral Unit using the Europol system, so that it looked like it was coming from Europol. Here is there update:

CORRECTION: This post previously identified the sender of the 550 falsely identified URLs as Europol’s EU Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU). The sender was in fact, the French national Internet Referral Unit, using Europol’s application, which sends the email from an @europol.europa.eu address. The EU IRU has informed us that it is not involved in the national IRUs’ assessment criteria of terrorist content.

None of that changes much else with the details of the original story, which remains below:

We've been trying to explain for the past few months just how absolutely insane the new EU Terrorist Content Regulation will be for the internet. Among many other bad provisions, the big one is that it would require content removal within one hour as long as any "competent authority" within the EU sends a notice of content being designated as "terrorist" content. The law is set for a vote in the EU Parliament just next week.

And as if they were attempting to show just how absolutely insane the law would be for the internet, multiple European agencies (we can debate if they're "competent") decided to send over 500 totally bogus takedown demands to the Internet Archive last week, claiming it was hosting terrorist propaganda content.

In the past week, the Internet Archive has received a series of email notices from Europol’s European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) falsely identifying hundreds of URLs on archive.org as “terrorist propaganda”. At least one of these mistaken URLs was also identified as terrorist content in a separate take down notice from the French government’s L’Office Central de Lutte contre la Criminalité liée aux Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (OCLCTIC).

And just in case you think that maybe the requests are somehow legit, they are so obviously bogus that anyone with a browser would know they are bogus. Included in the list of takedown demands are a bunch of the Archive's "collection pages" including the entire Project Gutenberg page of public domain texts, it's collection of over 15 million freely downloadable texts, the famed Prelinger Archive of public domain films and the Archive's massive Grateful Dead collection. Oh yeah, also a page of CSPAN recordings. So much terrorist content!

And, as the Archive explains, there's simply no way that (1) the site could have complied with the Terrorist Content Regulation had it been law last week when they received the notices, and (2) that they should have blocked all that obviously non-terrorist content.

The Internet Archive has a few staff members that process takedown notices from law enforcement who operate in the Pacific time zone. Most of the falsely identified URLs mentioned here (including the report from the French government) were sent to us in the middle of the night – between midnight and 3am Pacific – and all of the reports were sent outside of the business hours of the Internet Archive.

The one-hour requirement essentially means that we would need to take reported URLs down automatically and do our best to review them after the fact.

It would be bad enough if the mistaken URLs in these examples were for a set of relatively obscure items on our site, but the EU IRU’s lists include some of the most visited pages on archive.org and materials that obviously have high scholarly and research value.

Those are the requests from Europol, who unfortunately likely qualify as a "competent" authority under the law. The Archive also points out the request from both Europol and the French computer crimes unit targeting a page providing commentary on the Quran as being terrorist content. The French agency told the Archive it needed to take down that content within 24 hours or the Archive may get blocked in France.

It's getting tiring to have to keep repeating this: if the law forces censorship on internet platforms, it's going to be abused widely. Lots of perfectly legitimate content is going to get censored. And, as the Europol demands regarding collection pages show, in ways where it's simply impossible to comply absent blocking basically the entire site in the EU.

Thus, we are left to ask – how can the proposed legislation realistically be said to honor freedom of speech if these are the types of reports that are currently coming from EU law enforcement and designated governmental reporting entities? It is not possible for us to process these reports using human review within a very limited timeframe like one hour. Are we to simply take what’s reported as “terrorism” at face value and risk the automatic removal of things like THE primary collection page for all books on archive.org?

One would hope that EU bureaucrats either at the EU Commission who brought forth this proposal, or in the EU Parliament who will vote on it next week, will be required to answer those questions before this monstrosity moves forward.

Filed Under: archives, eu, eu iru, europol, oclctic, terrorist content, terrorist content regulation
Companies: internet archive


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 3:46am

    as long as the whole Internet is censored, with only content approved by certain powerful, rich, famous people and governments, it doesn't matter what else happens. remember, this shit started with the ridiculous 'Right to be forgotten' law introduced a while ago, not to protect the guy who brought the law to fruition but to protect those mentioned above and all the shenanigans they're up to on a daily basis. remember as well that while they are being protected, everyone else has to have their life stories on tap for them!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 4:31am

    Goody

    You want a secret internet? Cause this is how you get a secret internet! Maybe we need one, no stoopid politicians allowed.

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  • icon
    hij (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 4:34am

    The Grateful Deadly

    Glad to see that someone is finally taking action against the Grateful Dead. Anybody who knows a deadhead knows the kind of threat these people pose. Just wait till the rightful authorities find out about La Dia de Muertes. People will start demanding to build a wall around Mexico's intertubz.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 4:37am

    Mike,

    "One would hope that EU bureaucrats either at the EU Commission who brought forth this proposal, or in the EU Parliament who will vote on it next week, will be required to answer those questions before this monstrosity moves forward."

    You must have been either delusional or high on optimism when you wrote you closing paragraph. Time after time we have seen the EU pass crazy laws aimed at the internet. One should just assume this will pass, but good news is that you will have some great material for future articles.

    It does look like there is some silver lining in the law based on this snippet:

    "The French agency told the Archive it needed to take down that content within 24 hours or the Archive may get blocked in France."

    To me that sounds like there is a provision that will allow the offended country/authority the ability to block a given site. As long as there are no penalties that accompany that, then I say let them block, and block and block and block until they have completely cut themselves off from the internet.

    My other proposal would be for the top 10 or so content hosts (Google, internet archive, amazon, etc...) to just completely geoblock the EU for 24 hours. That would for sure get people in the EU to open their eyes and perhaps vote in members that could look at these issues objectively.

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    • identicon
      EUdiotsGalore, 11 Apr 2019 @ 5:05am

      Re:

      This!!!
      A million times, this!!!

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 5:07am

      I say let them block

      That is a fine thing to say when “them” are the “competent authorities” and they are the only ones who would be affected by the block. But that would be far from the case and I would hope you know that.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 10:01am

        Re:

        oh, I absolutely know that. I am sure that there are other fines and penalties that go along with when a 'competent authorities' has to take the drastic measure of blocking. It is just wishful thinking on my part that if you give them enough rope to hang themselves, that they look at the rope and decide that maybe their plan maybe isn't that great.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 10:04am

        Re: in due time

        Don’t worry man.
        If the Chinese can get past the great firewall.
        The Europeans can get past the 2nd Atlantic wall.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Apr 2019 @ 2:57am

          Re: Re: in due time

          "If the Chinese can get past the great firewall.
          The Europeans can get past the 2nd Atlantic wall."

          It's estimated that China has well over 50,000 people employed to make the "great firewall" a reality. And for China, with one single consolidated market to work against and the long-term strategy of ensuring that no chinese citizen would ever want or need to go outside it for entertainment and software...that may work in a fiscal sense.

          Europe otoh won't be able to put up anything that more solid than a DNS block. Certainly nothing that will take longer than 5 minutes to circumvent - or the click of a single button to run a preconfigured client to accomplish the same, for that matter.

          So in the end we are still looking at a reality where the EU, thanks to this legislation and article 13, will end up with every citizen not content to stare at web pages all saying "This content not available in your country" learning to use pirate-style circumvention methods as a default.

          It's almost as if the EU politicians WANT to raise a younger generation where everyone is sufficiently sick and tired of censorship and copyright restrictions to get into the game themselves and flip the table.

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          • icon
            Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 12 Apr 2019 @ 5:01am

            Re: Re: Re: in due time

            I'm doing that already. We've lost confidence in our glorious leaders because they keep on putting idiots in charge of things on the grounds that they do as they're told.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Apr 2019 @ 4:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: in due time

              "I'm doing that already. We've lost confidence in our glorious leaders because they keep on putting idiots in charge of things on the grounds that they do as they're told."

              And unfortunately that boils down to the voting citizenry where some 80-90% really couldn't give a rat's ass if Hitler, Mao and Stalin rose from the dead and usurped the EU leadership as long as the creature comforts of the sheeple were somewhat left untouched.

              Of course, article 11 and 13 threaten to remove vast chunks of the sheeple diet of youtube and social networks, so we may get a rise out of the european citizenry over this.

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 1:36pm

        Re:

        The point is (at least IMO) 1. the people who suffer for this should be in the EU, not people and companies just going about their business in other places around the world and 2. if EU authorities start blocking web sites that won't comply with stupid laws, at some point hopefully EU citizens put enough pressure on them to get these things fixed.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 8:26am

      Re:

      The French agency told the Archive it needed to take down that content within 24 hours or the Archive may get blocked in France.

      I have to wonder why the Internet Archive should give a rat's ass about whether the French can see their site. It's not like they make money off of French visitors. If they don't want to see the archive then fine, block to your heart's content.

      This is like threatening to no longer talk to a neighbor you never speak to anyway. Who cares?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 8:29am

        Re: Re:

        As a follow-up, archive.org should proactively block France and then send back a letter saying "We've already blocked you. Thanks for your reports but don't bother sending any more; We'll only ignore them."

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 12:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: I see double

          Internet archive: hi welcome to the internet archive!
          Later after “compliance”
          Picture books:hi welcome to the internet archive!
          EU: you are the same website!
          Picture books: oh no! We just offer things like an archive you see! For free!
          EU: you have 24 hou-
          Long road book: HI WELCOME TO THE INTERNET ARCHIVE!
          EU:AHHHHH!

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Apr 2019 @ 4:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I see double

            In other words it's the same method the french newspaper publishers used to get around censorship laws a few times in centuries past.

            France has a rather long history of overbearing censorship laws which always, invariably, are circumvented or ignored until they are quietly abolished.

            Ever since Napoleon the back-and-forth between citizen and state has remained like this; The state issues a draconian, ill-conceived law, the citizenry proceeds to ignore it.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2019 @ 5:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I see double

              Ah, bit in this case, they are bypassing the citizenry and making profit seeking platforms responsible for the censorship. That will be much harder to bypass for non-technical people, most of who are clueless about setting up a VPN, and do not know what a hosts file is for. There are people who do not know what a URL is, or what bookmarks are and for. I've watched them type Facebook into Google every time they want to log in to their Facebook account.

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              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Apr 2019 @ 5:47am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I see double

                "Ah, bit in this case, they are bypassing the citizenry and making profit seeking platforms responsible for the censorship."

                That's true, in a sense. If this only concerned the internet archive and other highly important places the common sheep..i mean, citizen, usually doesn't visit often, then this would be a hazard. But...

                "That will be much harder to bypass for non-technical people, most of who are clueless about setting up a VPN, and do not know what a hosts file is for."

                Enough will learn to make access via VPN and through proxies ubiquitous. Recall that this will impact most platforms, including news sites and social networks.

                "'ve watched them type Facebook into Google every time they want to log in to their Facebook account."

                At the end of it there are always those you just can't help. Those people will, if anything, be even more irate about silly laws like this because it will put much of their social life in the hands of tech-savvy friends and relatives.

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      • icon
        Thad (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 11:43am

        Re: Re:

        I have to wonder why the Internet Archive should give a rat's ass about whether the French can see their site.

        Because some people aren't complete assholes who feel the need to punish an entire population for the misguided actions of a few.

        The Internet Archive is an online library. Librarians tend to be big supporters of free access to information.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          What I think he means by French is those “misguided few” who passed these laws not the entire population. But after what happened with article 13 and the complete disregard for everything they Had? You won’t beat people like that fighting fair. They know what they do.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 4:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Just as Americans must suffer the effects of the government they elected so must the French. Once the French public has had enough they can switch up their representation and change these stupid laws. Then archive.org is free to open the gates again.

          Why must someone need to be an "asshole" to see the sense in that?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2019 @ 10:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          There won’t Be an internet archive or half or anything user generated or otherwise on the internet really if this is what you can expect from governments the way things are going. And the government does not Go into libraries in RL “yet anyway” and tell them they are going to remove everything they ask or or else.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 10:11am

      Re:

      Sadly, the citizens of the EU cannot vote in anyone who will think about this in a sane manner, as citizens of the EU are not able to directly elect their lawmakers. The EU Parliament has zero power to introduce legislation; that power lies exclusively with the EU Commission, a body not directly accountable to the people.

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

      • icon
        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 12 Apr 2019 @ 5:02am

        Re: Re:

        We totally can elect our lawmakers; we directly elect our MEPs, at least in Britain and Ireland.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Apr 2019 @ 5:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "We totally can elect our lawmakers; we directly elect our MEPs, at least in Britain and Ireland."

          The MEP's do not make the laws. they only vote yes or no on them.

          Essentially to see how the EU commission and parliament interact I would recommend the old british sitcom "Yes, Prime minister". It's that bad. The commission basically treats the MEP's like ignorant morons whose one and only job is to blindly rubberstamp whatever legislation is placed on the MEP's desk by Higher Learning And Authority (insert Humphrey Appleby here).

          And as we could see in ACTA and the copyright directive - and oh so many more items on the EU's legislative agenda so far- the commission will go to nearly any length to get the MEP's to vote for a proposed piece of legislation. Including lying, obfuscation, withholding information, shifting questions around, introducing the legislation in the wrong forum to be approved...etc.

          Essentially the people's representatives are treated like unwanted trespassers in Brussels, being sidelined from actual authority at every turn.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 1:05pm

      Re:

      You must have been either delusional or high on optimism when you wrote you closing paragraph. Time after time we have seen the EU pass crazy laws aimed at the internet. One should just assume this will pass, but good news is that you will have some great material for future articles.

      Yes and no.

      It would be safe to assume that they will once again ignore any evidence that contradicts what they claim and shows it to be flawed, but it's still important to object, if only to make it known that people have a problem with what's going on in order to make it harder for them to lie and dismiss any criticism in the future by claiming that no-one had a problem with it when it was being discussed.

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  • icon
    Chris-Mouse (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 5:08am

    To the politicians who don't want people to be able to see their past, the Internet Archive IS a terrorist site!

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  • identicon
    Paul, 11 Apr 2019 @ 5:44am

    I believe this is intentional

    EU regulators want the entire internet to be ephemeral, with vast swaths of it ceasing to be solely based upon their whims. Nothing could be more antithetical to that than a permanent archive of the internet.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 6:10am

    Time to Geofence the EU

    Since the EU has proven it can't be trusted to submit valid requests, it has invalidated itself as a competent agency and thus can be ignored. To be safe though they should geofence all of the EU and return no results for anyone not using a VPN to obfuscate their origins.

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  • icon
    Ehud Gavron (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 6:10am

    Censorship and borders

    Borders should continue to exist. If you don't like what's legal in my country (alcohol, etc. for US but not for Dubai) you get to block our "freedom" from your non-freedom, but we don't have to change what we do.

    Europol, Interpol, and other pseudo LEOs (no worries, the US has lots of bogus LEOs making stupid claims of their own and I'm not defending those) have no claim on US territories nor should they ever.

    US websites - keep doing what you're doing.
    EU - if you don't like it, find the off switch and turn it off. Sorry if you can't Instagram your grandkids any longer. And by sorry I don't mean sorry.

    Europol. It's like "Interpol" wasn't funny enough on 1980s VHS tape introductions they had to update it to make it even more scary/stupid.

    E

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  • icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 6:13am

    From a literal standpoint...

    ...they're right.

    Project Gutenberg is simply full of "terrorist" publications. Look at some of the authors - Kipling, Carroll, Byron, all their seditious and racist ideas and ideals, all put up where anyone can read them!

    Bible, Koran, teachings of a hundred other frameworks of ethics...

    Yup, can't be having with that!

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  • identicon
    Bruce C., 11 Apr 2019 @ 6:14am

    Cultural Fascism

    In a world of choices, the internet archive is faced with a lot of bad ones. My recommendation is to either go dark, or let them block you. They'll need to fight this in the media as well as in the courts. So the best option is probably to let the French government block. As a non-profit, IA has a better chance to play the victim card than anything in FANG. Especially with all of the bogus URLs in the demand.

    The underlying problem is that, no matter what you choose, they'll find a way to spin it as "big American company refuses to take action". The fact that they exploited the time zone difference and issued the demand first thing in the business day in France just emphasizes that point. And a lot of French people will believe that, sight unseen.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 10:28am

      Re: Re: call the bluff

      What are they going to do? Make websites turn themselves back on in Europe? Have police go rainbow six on every website owner in Europe who can’t meet the stupid expectations they have?
      I hope they have euros left that are worth something once people go to court.

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      • identicon
        Bruce C., 11 Apr 2019 @ 7:00pm

        Re: Re: Re: call the bluff

        No from my POV, this (and article 13/17) is traditional French cultural protectionism. The French are rightly proud of their culture and history, but ever since the rise of mass media, various power groups been a bit over-the-top about protecting the integrity of French culture from Anglo-American culture creep.

        To be fair, the US has its own cultural chauvinism, which is why we're the ones pushing for hardline copyright rules in trade treaties, and (on another front), why Trump and his supporters try so hard to keep Hispanics out of the country.

        Taken to an extreme, an internet archive for France can only possibly be legitimate if it is hosted in France and publishes all of its material in French (and other EU languages, if the provider so desires).

        My scenario: French gov't block the internet archive (requiring their local ISPs to block requests to the IP address and possibly requiring removal from search engines), some media company in France sets up an 'archive' to replace the banned service and the small percentage of the French electorate who care about the "real" archive use a VPN to bypass the geo-blocking.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Apr 2019 @ 6:00am

          Re: Re: Re: Re: call the bluff

          "The French are rightly proud of their culture and history, but ever since the rise of mass media, various power groups been a bit over-the-top about protecting the integrity of French culture from Anglo-American culture creep. "

          That, combined with the fact that the French have historically always been frontrunners in censorship makes the also traditional overreach of authority something of a staple.

          The traditionally overreaching despotism of french government is usually matched by the equally traditional mindset of the french citizenry which assumes that defying bad legislation is a civic duty in and of itself. As I recall when the french government banned smoking in public areas, tobacco sales and consumption in Paris skyrocketed with the gendármerie reporting that people would wait until the police was in clear view before defiantly lighting up.

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

  • identicon
    Dave Gibson, 11 Apr 2019 @ 6:17am

    European Parliament are democratically elected, not bureucrats

    Given the current political climate, it's important to correct your total misunderstanding of how EU law is made. Laws are passed not by 'bureaucrats' but by the Council of the European Union who are the heads of state (Presidents and Prime Ministers) of the countries and the European Parliament, who you incorrectly identify as 'bureaucrats'.

    The MEPS of the Parliament are elected, just like US Congressmen and British MPs, using a system of proportional representation that is in fact more democratic than the FPTP system used in the UK and the US. If the law-makers are burueacrats, so is Donald Trump and the whole of the US Congress.

    It is correct that the European Commission drafts laws, but this is true of every Western democracy. Do you think US congressmen sit down and write their own laws? No, there are teams of lawyers, advisors and other bureaucrats who draft the laws on their behalf.

    This law seems to be poor, but don't fall into an alt right, ultra-nationalist propaganda campaign to paint EU law-makers as bureaucrats rather than democratically elected politicians because it makes you look like you are political extremists who don't know what you're talking about and thus undermines your entire article, even the parts that are true.

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    • icon
      John Roddy (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 6:37am

      Re: European Parliament are democratically elected, not bureucra

      If they don't want to be called bureaucrats, they can stop acting like bureaucrats.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 8:14am

        Re: Re: European Parliament are democratically elected, not bure

        If it walks like a bureaucrat, and it has its' head up its' ass like a bureaucrat...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 8:55am

      Re: European Parliament are democratically elected, not bureucra

      “Do you think congressmen sit down and write their own laws”

      “Blunt” depends if they need the pay raise or if someone that pays them needs it. They just sometimes disagree on the amount of power. Just like the EU.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Apr 2019 @ 5:12am

      Re: European Parliament are democratically elected, not bureucra

      "...but don't fall into an alt right, ultra-nationalist propaganda campaign to paint EU law-makers as bureaucrats rather than democratically elected politicians..."

      Although what you say is correct in theory, in practice the "democratically elected" in the European parliament have so little power it is ridiculous. This was demonstrated best with the ACTA treaty where the commission and council were able to outright violate the EU charter by requesting the MEP's to sign NDA's visavi their electorate, and were requested and pressured to approve into active legislation a treaty they weren't allowed to know the contents of.

      The US and the UK have glaring deficiencies with their First Past The Post election rules, but the issue the EU is facing is that the unelected bureaucracy can easily marginalize the MEP's.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 6:27am

    Does this mean the EU is now a terrorist organization?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 6:42am

    Are we to simply take what’s reported as “terrorism” at face value and risk the automatic removal of things like THE primary collection page for all books on archive.org?

    That's exactly what they want.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 6:45am

    "The French agency told the Archive it needed to take down that content within 24 hours or the Archive may get blocked in France."

    Works for me. If the French government wants to hurt their own citizens like this, let them.

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

  • icon
    Coward Anonymous (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 7:01am

    Same procedure expected...

    One would hope that EU bureaucrats either at the EU Commission who brought forth this proposal, or in the EU Parliament who will vote on it next week, will be required to answer those questions before this monstrosity moves forward.

    The answer would probably be that this negligence to act on reports from EU law reinforcement entities proves the regulation is necessary and that it's natural that platforms would otherwise hesitate to confirm their own inability to keep their platforms safe.

    That the reports were in fact false would only be waved away as examples made to show how little platforms currently cares about EU officials' requests. And when a target platform eventually choose to react, maybe a week later as these examples show, the harm is already done.

    I expect the recent procedure will occur again to ensure this will be voted accordingly.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 7:31am

    Those Who Live By The Ban...

    "The French agency told the Archive it needed to take down that content within 24 hours or the Archive may get blocked in France."

    Therein lies the solution. Any EU member nation that blocks the Archive deprives mainly its own citizens of the value and virtues of the scholarship available via the Archive. If those self-same citizens have the wit to recognize the magnitude of their loss, they will hale down the laws and drive the creators of those laws forth into the darkness of perpetual ignominy.

    People - voters - nation-level-stakeholders - are often lazy when it comes to managing their own political interests. Once the results of their a priori lack of gumption proves intolerable, they wise up.

    At some point, the loss of access to the Archive and other valuable online assets carelessly, casually, stupidly blocked will either rally a populace to revolt or doom themselves to perpetual ignorance. Live or die, they choose.

    If citizens of an EU member state tolerate their loss of the Archive, more the fools they.

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

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 7:49am

    Those are the requests from Europol, who unfortunately likely qualify as a "competent" authority under the law.

    I dunno. Given the request they submitted, they appear to quite clearly be incompetent. And given that all the Internet Archive staff appear to be on Pacific Time, and thus in North America, no authority appears to actually exist as they are outside of Europe's jurisdiction.

    The only appropriate response to a request this insanely bad is an email detailing the above two points as firmly and insultingly as possible.

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

  • icon
    aerinai (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 7:53am

    The hypocrisy of takedown requests

    What i don't understand is you can issue a takedown request using an 'automated process' because 'it is too much work to verify something is actually infringing', but then they expect the receiver to do it AND do it within an hour? Straight. Up. Hypocrisy.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 8:01am

      Re: The hypocrisy of takedown requests

      Or maybe the directive is written this way, so as to appear 'reasonable' while its intent is to enable complete removal of sites for non-compliance with 'reasonable' requests.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 8:33am

      Re: The hypocrisy of takedown requests

      They don't expect the receiver to verify anything, they expect the receiver to use their own automated process to take it down

      It's just that saying it that ways sounds a bit too much like censorship, so they obfuscate by suggesting that the receiver could verify it while ensuring that it is impossible for them to actually do so.

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

  • icon
    dysmey (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 8:09am

    Adieu O francais

    The French agency told the Archive it needed to take down
    that content within 24 hours or the Archive may get blocked
    in France.

    The appropriate response, I think, would be "then block us", and then back up and take out of public view any French material. It is just as well: Fewer people would be able to read them, because French is being dropped as public school curriculum throughout the country due to cost and a growing sense of irrelevance.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 8:23am

    Let them eat Copyright...

    They were out of touch back then, and they are out of touch today...

    Is there something in those powdered wigs that rots the brain?

    Oh well, let them have their Copyright and eat it too...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 8:58am

    Do they define and use any criteria for their designations of terrorist content or are they going to just wing it, shoot from the hip and claim that they know it when they see it.

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

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 9:10am

    Let's take these one at a time.

    Project Gutenberg - public domain books that are NOT covered by Copyright and owned by one of our paymasters? Free books terrorize our paymasters, so it qualifies.

    15 Million other texts that are not under "control"... again, terrorizing our paymasters. Out they go!

    Prelinger archive of FREELY available movies? one more time, with feeling - that terrorizes our paymasters.

    Grateful Dead? Obviously those infringe our paymasters copyrights, so take them down too.

    CSPAN? Don't know about the rest of you, but what our congress does frequently scares the hell out of me - so OK.

    All good to me.

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

  • identicon
    Michael, 11 Apr 2019 @ 9:42am

    What we really need is a service for websites that will redirect whatever automated piece of garbage detecting this "terrorist content" so it only gets EU state websites back while it is crawling.

    Once they have shut down their own sites, we will have a much better internet.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 10:16am

    Who reviews the requests for removal due to it being terrorist content?

    Oh, you mean there was no review and there are no actual examples?
    They simply said that it is too much data for them to have looked thru it all by now and therefore .... LOL this is ludicrous.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 10:22am

      Re:

      If I were the one reviewing 500 new requests for takedowns and found that the first 10 out of 10 were bogus I'd consider that a reasonable sample and decline the remaining 490.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    IVAN, 11 Apr 2019 @ 10:58am

    JEWSIH FILTH TRYING TO COVER THEIR TRACKS, FILTHY CENSORING BASTARDS, HIDING THEIR CRIMES, BUT WE ALREADY KNOW, SO SCREW YOU!!!

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 11:44am

    What is it about..

    Retroactive laws??
    In the USA have no standing. and it takes allot to enforce them, or even FORCe them to have affect.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 12:03pm

    No wonder things never improve, they can't figure out whats bad.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 12:08pm

    Internet Archive is not subject to EU laws, because their facilities and servers are in San Francisco, Calfifornia.

    Therefore, they only have to obey U.S. laws.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 3:37pm

      Re:

      Love their venue space. Seeing an event with their equipment blinking in the background feels like stepping onto hallowed ground.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 2:03pm

    'I am shocked, shocked I say.'

    The Internet Archive has issued a minor correction to its original story, noting that it was not actually Europol who sent the demand, but rather the French Internet Referral Unit using the Europol system, so that it looked like it was coming from Europol. Here is there update:

    Why am I not surprised that the country that has expressed such open contempt for the internet in past years was responsible for this stunt, and that they tried to hide it so ineptly?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 3:36pm

    Cool. Carve the EU out of the internet to play in their happy little sandbox and lets go back about our respect for human rights and business as usual. I give them about a month of holding their breath before coming to their senses to realize how absolutely absurd what they've done to themselves is and come back with a touch of humility.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 3:49pm

      Re:

      Because if there's one principle the Internet Archive stands for, it's "Fuck you, got mine."

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 4:50pm

        Re: Re:

        Well I hope they don't stand for "Ok, we'll do whatever you want Mr. Rep From a Single Small Nation and to hell with the rest of the world."

        I think The other 99% of the planet's rights trump whatever a few French bureaucrats want.

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

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 15 Apr 2019 @ 8:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          They certainly do.

          But I'm tired of, and annoyed by, this tedious horseshit about how the correct solution to this problem is to geoblock the entire EU. That's reductive nonsense that attempts to boil a complex issue down to knee-jerk jingoism. It's not clever, it's not original, and it's not helpful.

          Websites affected by this should absolutely push back. But the correct way to push back is not to write off a significant portion of the western world.

          You know all those nice people who protested the passage of the Copyright Directive? It's their Internet, too. Any time some dumbass in the comments says "lol just geoblock Europe," said dumbass is advocating for punishing people who not only oppose this policy but were ready to march in the streets over it, rather than just respond to it by posting facile bullshit in an online comments section.

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

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 15 Apr 2019 @ 9:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            They should certainly do everything possible to fight against this nonsense. But at the end of the day, if all that fails and 11 and 13/17 and anti-terorrism and whatever else becomes law and starts getting enforced, what are they to do? Other than the biggest players, complying with the law will not be feasible. So they can accept massive liability, shut down completely, or geoblock the EU. The correct option does seem obvious. This should be a last resort, but it may become the only choice.

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

            • identicon
              kickler, 16 Apr 2019 @ 7:56pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              This should be a last resort, but it may become the only choice.

              From the looks of things, it's going to become the only choice very, very fast.

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

  • identicon
    Tang, 11 Apr 2019 @ 4:28pm

    Those silly stoopid Brexiters

    Remember to insult everyone who saw this coming and didn't want Britain to be a part of it! All of those silly backwards hicks who knew this would happen, what morons!

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

  • icon
    Shaun Wilson (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 6:11pm

    Penalties for False Take-downs

    In a similar manner to the story about Canadian copyright treat letters from earlier this week or more directly analogous with the DMCA, if there is no penalty for false take-downs being sent the many, or perhaps a majority, will be false and cause massive censorship. At an absolute bare minimum the penalties for ignoring a take-down (or in this case not responding within 1 hour) should not apply to any further requests send from a source that has proved itself "incompetent" in this manner. If you want to actually be reasonable about it however then the submitter of the false take-downs should be fined (again at a minimum) the cost of dealing with the false take-down such as the cost of the time spent by employees dealing with take-down requests, commercial losses if a commercial site (or some of it's content) is taken down by a responding hosting provider and even damages for the reputational costs and emotional and mental harm associated in having your content falsely designated as terrorist content.

    Ideally the individual within the "competent authority" responsible for a false take-down should also personally liable - such as the law in the US that states that government employees are personally liable for violating citizens constitutional rights - but even if that were somehow passed, the EU courts would likely react the same as the US supreme court did and completely make up something like "qualified immunity" to essentially overturn such a law.

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

  • identicon
    Rainer, 11 Apr 2019 @ 11:43pm

    The fascists are burning books again

    An May 10, 1933 the Nazis in Germany burned a lot of paper books because they were "a thread to real german culture" and other crappy reasons.

    Now some of the new Nazis requests the same in a digitally way. And the ironic piece of history is, considering that Project Gutenberg hosts books that are out of copyright because the author is dead for more than 70 years, this takedown request practically targets at the same literature that the Nazis were burning in 1933.

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

  • identicon
    EternalBard, 12 Apr 2019 @ 12:22am

    Ok so it is looking more and more like blocking the EU

    Speaking for my own voluntary archive, I've gotta block. Sorry EU. If you don't like it let me know. If enough people do I'll make a kickstarter to get money to hire hotshot developers who can use the latest machine learning technology to find whatever vague bull***t you come up with next. Plus good live around the clock monitoring staff to take immediate action for your midnight emails. Plus good lawyers to defend against whatever nonsense you come up with in any case. Should only cost 5-15 million. lol. Hey! Angry europeans who like to throw shade at Americans providing free services for you, hope you have deep pockets to "support" such an effort. Sorry for the snark but the complaints about project Gutenberg having to block in Germany and possibly the EU in the future because of things like this here seem like the country-sized version of r/choosingbeggars.

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

  • identicon
    Filipescu Mircea Alexandru, 12 Apr 2019 @ 5:31am

    A coordinated attack against the internet

    Everyone please take note and do not forget: This is only one part of a coordinated global attack against the open internet, started in late 2016. It’s not just Europe! The following events have all happened at once:

    – America passed SESTA / FOSTA and killed Net Neutrality
    – Britain created the Digital Economy Bill (the war on porn)
    – Australia created a bill attacking secure software and strong encryption
    – Canada proposed an internet tax as well as its own version of SOPA / PIPA
    – Europe created the Copyright Directive and now the Terrorist Regulation
    – Russia banned Tor and VPN

    In 30 years since the internet existed, it has never been attacked this way… the only exception being ACTA (1) and SOPA / PIPA in the US back in 2012. All those proposals were introduced in 2016 – 2017 and coordinated together ever since. Such coincidences do not exist: Governments worldwide orchestrated this… and I’d say they did it with military grade precision.

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

  • identicon
    Rog S., 12 Apr 2019 @ 11:42am

    ...whoever “they” are

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2019 @ 9:34pm

    "If we only could make the internet disappear... then we would end terrorism in the real world."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2019 @ 1:39pm

    If Source-IP=France then error 404

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


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