EU approve overhaul of telecoms law

After months of bargaining, legislation has been approved by a broad majority of the European parliament aimed at boosting the rights of mobile phone and internet users. The new laws give citizens greater protection against access restrictions.

Due to be implemented over the next 18 months, the reforms will enhance consumer rights, safeguard Internet freedom, protect data, boost competition and modernise radio spectrum use, according to parliamentary statements.

Under the new laws, service providers and authorities will have to demonstrate clear evidence of wrong-doing and illegal downloading to the judiciary before acting to terminate users connection for copyright infringement. A previous draft French anti-piracy law had suggested that Internet connections could be cut without judicial scrutiny, causing understandable uproar.

The moves are being seen as a victory for the smaller parties over the interests of the larger block votes. Christian Engstrom, MEP with the delightfully named Swedish Pirate Party said the new legislation "is far from perfect but it does represent a step in the right direction". He continued, "It sends a clear message to Nicolas Sarkozy, Peter Mandelson and others that draconian copyright enforcement measures will not be allowed to override Internet users' fundamental rights in the EU".

Today I’m standing with the Pirates against the French.

Originally published at