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Saturday, 30 October 2010

Nick Griffin MEP Opposing unacceptable levels of surveillance and censorship on the Internet

Opposing unacceptable levels of surveillance and censorship

 OCTOBER 2010: LAST month Nick Griffin was lobbied by constituents to oppose the "Gallo Report" which proposed enacting legislation to further restrict the freedom of Internet users throughout the European Union.

 One letter to the MEP from a scientist explained his opposition:
"The Internet was created as a tool for the unrestricted dissemination of information across a global network. As such it must rank as one of the towering achievements of mankind. Speaking as a scientist we have only just begun to understand the benefits that can be realised through the use of a collaborative information system such as this. In my own field I have seen research accelerate at an almost exponential rate as the number of new Internet users has grown.
How depressing it is then to be continually battling to save the Internet from those who wish to place tyrannical restrictions on law-abiding citizens purely to further enrich the top 1% of earners.
I am sure you are aware of George Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language". It steels us against the danger of suspiciously vague language. The Gallo proposals are precisely the kind of threat Orwell was warning us about. After immersing myself in the language I was left feeling that just about anyone,law-abiding or not, could be considered a threat to copyright and thus worthy of punitive sanctions.
Whilst I accept that artists deserve the right to be paid for their work, I do not feel that the law should provide protection above this entitlement. If those who are seeking to protect the rights of artists cannot frame their demands clearly and/or propose sanctions proportionate to the "crime" they have no business infringing our right to make use of perhaps the greatest tool ever devised by man.
Please think very carefully about the unique and vast potential of the Internet and weigh such against the wealthy corporations seeking to damage its efficiency in search of bigger profits profit."
Responding on behalf of Nick Griffin, Constituency Office Manager Tina Wingfield wrote:
"In line with his opposition to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Mr Griffin has concerns about the significant impact the Gallo Report could have on individuals’ rights to privacy and freedom of expression. Both the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and the Gallo Report encourage repressive restrictions on internet users and excessive control mechanisms.
In light of this, Mr Griffin voted against the adoption of the Gallo resolution when it was put to the vote in the European Parliament. Unfortunately, the majority of MEPs did not, apparently, share Mr Griffin’s concerns for the rights of individuals, and the Report was approved.
Although the Gallo Report has now been recommended by the Euro Parliament to the Commission, there is a long way to go before the proposals in this, and the equally questionable ACTA, are translated into legislation.
Mr Griffin will be monitoring the progress of both initiatives and will use his vote wherever possible to prevent the European Union from endorsing the unacceptable levels of surveillance, censorship and sanctions that the implementation of these initiatives would generate."
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