Digital Civil Rights in Europe

Article published in EDRi-gram 8.7

In a blog post, Commissioner Malmström’s press spokesman Love Berggren placed the blame for the perceived need to impose EU-wide blocking squarely at the feet of the governments in the USA, Russia and Ukraine. He said that “a check of the internet by hotlines in 35 countries recently found 144 web sites in the USA, Russia, Ukraine and other countries. One year later, a majority of the sites were still operating”.

It is quite puzzling that the Commission has chosen to publicly criticise Russia and Ukraine in this context. There is widespread agreement that the problem of child abuse websites has decreased significantly in recent years in Russia and efforts are ongoing to address the problem there ever more effectively. This was partly to be attributed to efforts of former Commissioner Frattini for positive international engagement with Russia to remove the websites completely from the Internet rather than the new focus of blocking the sites while taking no new initiatives to take them offline.

Similarly, Ukraine has never appeared significantly on the reports of European hotlines with regard to child abuse images. However, and this may be an indicator of a wider strategy of the Commission, it has repeatedly been criticised with regard to intellectual property infringements.

read the entire article in EDRi-gram 8.7

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