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Floundering towards EU information law


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Presented at Fordham Law School conference on Intermediaries in the Information Society on 227/3/09

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Floundering towards EU information law

  1. 1. Floundering towards EU information law Ian Brown Oxford Internet Institute
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Infringement, gossip and child abuse images </li></ul><ul><li>Constitutional code and the information anarchists </li></ul>
  3. 3. Plus c’est la même chose <ul><li>E-commerce Directive ( 2000/31/EC) Section 4: Liability of intermediary service providers (Art. 12 &quot;Mere conduit”, Art. 13 &quot;Caching”, Art. 14 Hosting, Art. 15 No general obligation to monitor) </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright Directive ( 2001/29/EC ) Art. 5 ( 1): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Temporary acts of reproduction referred to in Art. 2, which are transient or incidental [and] an integral and essential part of a technological process and whose sole purpose is to enable: (a) a transmission in a network between third parties by an intermediary, or (b) a lawful use of a work or other subject-matter to be made, and which have no independent economic significance, shall be exempted from the reproduction right provided for in Art. 2. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Constitutional problems with 3 strikes <ul><li>Proportionality: infringes rights to privacy, expression, association, education, commerce, civic engagement (EU CFR Arts. 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 36) </li></ul><ul><li>Oversight: Lack of transparency, public examination of evidence, impartiality, knowledge of law, evidence rules, lawyer and legal aid? EU CFR Art. 47 </li></ul>L. Edwards (2008) ISPs and filesharing, Musicians, Fans and Online Copyright , London
  5. 5. Quelle horreur! <ul><li>Data Protection Dir. (95/46/EC) Article 12: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Whereas the protection principles must apply to all processing of personal data by any person whose activities are governed by Community law; whereas there should be excluded the processing of data carried out by a natural person in the exercise of activities which are exclusively personal or domestic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ECJ Case C-101/01: posting personal data on a website constitutes processing ( Lindqvist ) </li></ul><ul><li>How far can we regulate individuals as well as intermediaries as data controllers? © is not a promising precedent </li></ul>
  6. 6. Blocking child abuse images <ul><li>British Telecom system blocks access to pages on secret blacklist </li></ul><ul><li>Imposed on other retail ISPs by govt </li></ul><ul><li>Now being considered by EU, with little consideration of constitutional issues </li></ul>
  7. 7. A technologised 1st amendment? <ul><li>Were recording industry attacks on P2P systems an unexpected boon for free speech? </li></ul><ul><li>Resulted in replicated, highly redundant Content Distribution Networks with blind peers (encrypt data flows and caches) and minimal points of observation and control </li></ul>
  8. 8. Designing for privacy <ul><li>Data minimisation key: is your data really necessary? </li></ul><ul><li>Limit personal data collection, storage, access and usage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encrypt data in the cloud </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimise middlebox plaintext access and external observability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Users must also be notified and consent to the processing of data – user interfaces? </li></ul>Ade Rowbotham (2005)
  9. 9. Final thoughts <ul><li>Code embeds values; how can we encourage constitutional values (UDHR?) in global computation & communication systems? </li></ul><ul><li>Run-time vs design-time rights </li></ul><ul><li>Competition law an unexplored option </li></ul><ul><li>How far has public disgust with political corruption damaged the rule of law? </li></ul>