To recap, the Commission saw great merit in an anti-piracy system where Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) would voluntarily agree to monitor their users and report the infringers to the industry reps or to the authorities, as well as possibly cut off their internet connection. From what we have heard from our sources at the Commission, a lot of the feedback they have currently received has been very supportive of the idea of filtering and monitoring. This has now emboldened some officials to push forward with plans to implement such voluntary EU-wide proposals, although nothing has yet been firmly decided. EU law clearly states that ISPs have no obligation to monitor and filter content, but the carrot they get from participating is that they are less likely to be sued by IFPI and others.
In my humble opinion we are heading down a very dangerous path here. I don’t see any justification to give ground to rightholders in this respect, as the idea of filtering and monitoring the internet access of all users just to catch a few who are committing large scale copyright infringements is a disproportional measure regardless of how you measure it. We fully support Commissioner Reding’s goal of making online content available to all Europeans, but in this regard we believe she is really about to make a colossal mistake.
The scary thing is that this will only affect the normal people that are not doing anything illegal. If you have something to hide you use encrypted mail and encrypted traffic and that is just going to look like random data to the government. We are basically giving up our personal integrity for nothing!