The European Parliament and the Council of Ministers reached agreement on a text tonight. The conciliation process is now over. The acceptance of the text was unanimous by the parliament’s delegation, i.e.: including us Pirates and Greens.
This is the final text (compared to the parliament’s last proposal):
3a. Measures taken by Member States regarding end-users’ access to or use of services and applications through electronic communications networks shall respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and general principles of Community law.
Any of these measures regarding end-user’s access to or use of services and applications through electronic communications networks liable to restrict those fundamental rights or freedoms may only be imposed if they are appropriate, proportionate and necessary within a democratic society, and their implementation shall be subject to adequate procedural safeguards in conformity with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and with general principles of Community law, including effective judicial protection and due process. Accordingly, these measures may only be taken with due respect for the principle of presumption of innocence and the right to privacy. and shall guarantee a A prior fair and impartial procedure shall be guaranteed, including the right to be heard of the person or persons concerned, subject to the need for appropriate conditions and procedural arrangements in duly substantiated cases of urgency in conformity with European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. and tThe right to an effective and timely judicial review shall be guaranteed.
To be honest, I never thought this would happen. It is not everything that we would have wanted in the best of worlds, and this is not the end of the fight for a free and open internet. But it is a much bigger step in the right direction than I would have dared to hope for.
We would never have been able to achieve this without all the work that the community of net activists has put in. We have shown that ordinary citizens working together can make a difference. And this is only the beginning.
The internet community has begun to flex its muscles.
Update: Further analysis of the text: Landmarks in the Telecoms text