Christian Engström, Pirat

30 maj 2010

Question to EU Commissioner Malmström on net censorship

Filed under: Censilia,English,informationspolitik — Christian Engström @ 13:07

Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for "Freedom, Security and Justice"

This is a translation of a blog post I published in Swedish on April 13. The answer to the question is expected next week.

Some six weeks ago, I met EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in a Swedish radio debate on Internet censorship [transcript in English]. Ms. Malmström is Commissioner for Freedom, Security, and Justice. She has recently presented a proposal for the introduction of censorship on the Internet, in order to combat the spread of child pornography.

In the debate, she made a number of quite remarkable statements.

According to Ms. Malmström, countries like the US, Ukraine and Russia are hosts to a large number of sites that openly spread pictures of sexual abuse of children, and the only way to stop this is to introduce blocking on the Internet.

The Swedish Pirate Party does not share this view. We think that if there are sites like that, they should be closed by the police, and the people behind them should be tracked down and put in prison. In the event that such sites are found, trying to filter them using censorship lists would just be sweeping the problem under the rug.

But is it really true what Ms. Malmström said, that the police in countries like the US can’t be bothered to take action against this kind of criminal sites, and just allow them to continue operating without interference? If that is the case it would be quite remarkable, to say the least.

To bring clarity to the issue I have submitted a written question to the EU Commission. I have a right to do this as a Member of the European Parliament, and the Commission has to respond within 6 weeks.

This is the question:

Lack of international cooperation and real action in shutting down sites with child pornography

The Commission has proposed a new directive for blocking of web sites with child pornography.

Commissioner Malmström has said in the Swedish Radio on April 7 that there are lots of studies indicating that the sites that have been shut down have subsequently been resurrected ”several times a day on the new hosting company that is not accessible to the police”. Could the Commission provide the references to substantiate this claim?

Also, according to worrying information provided by Commissioner Malmström’s office at her blog, “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.”

1. How have the governments of the USA, Russia and Ukraine responded to these very severe allegations of failure to address this serious criminal activity?

2. Does the Commissioner believe that the governments of the United States and Ukraine are guilty under the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention of aiding and abetting the crime of child sexual abuse due to their alleged inaction? If not, why not?

3. Can the Commissioner provide information regarding the number and nature of communications that have been sent by her to the governments of the USA, Russia and Ukraine since she took office specifically aimed at bringing an end to those countries’ alleged inaction with regard to known child abuse websites?

4. Can the Commission explain how such a state of affairs is possible when both the United States and Ukraine have ratified the Cybercrime Convention?

5. Assuming that the Commission has undertaken an analysis of actions taken in relation to each of the websites in question, can the Commissioner provide a breakdown of the problems that have lead to the sites remaining online (inadequate national legislation, inadequate policing resources, failure of EU authorities to pass on reports, etc?)

The deadline for the Commission to answer a written question is 6 weeks, so hopefully the answer should appear next week.

It will be very interesting to see what Ms. Malmström answers.


Previous articles in English on Ms. Malmström’s Internet Censorship Directive:

IFPI’s child porn strategy
Net censorship debate with EU Commissioner Malmström

Andra bloggar om: , , ,

11 kommentarer

  1. […] This blog post is also available in English. […]

    Pingback av Fråga till Cecilia Malmström om nätcensur « Christian Engström, Pirate MEP — 30 maj 2010 @ 13:24

  2. Har du själv kollat upp lite fakta i målet så du kan bedöma hennes svar sen? Annars kan hon ju utan motsägelse komma med vad 17 för påståenden som helst. Vilket hon ju bevisligen kan göra nästan obehindrat utan att någon utom du reagerar. Vore fin fint med ett litet svar från Ex vis justitieministern i något av de omtalade länderna. Om dom får läsa hennes påståenden tror jag dom är rätt ivriga att besvara dina frågor. Kanske till och med svara Cecilia Malmström direkt? Det är ju rätt grova anklagelser hon kommer med mot dom. Hade jag som privatperson sagt så om vår polismakt och domstolsväsende hade jag åkt dit för grovt förtal misstänker jag

    Vad vet jag?
    Jag bara hoppas på en lite mer öppen och fri värld!

    Min röst på PP är säkrare än amen i kyrkan.

    Kommentar av Magnus — 30 maj 2010 @ 16:07

  3. As always, Mr. Engström, good job on the follow-up!

    Thank you.

    Kommentar av Morten Rasmussen — 30 maj 2010 @ 17:47

  4. Magnus, även om Christians frågor till innehållet ser ut att handla om EU:s polisiära samarbete med USA, Ryssland och Ukraina, så är de inte avsedda att begära fram fakta om detta samarbete (eller frånvaron av det), utan syftet är att tvinga Cecilia Malmström (och därmed EU-kommissionen) att tala klarspråk och berätta hur hon anser att samarbetet fungerar.

    Cecilia har mig veterligen inte sagt rent ut att myndigheterna i de nämnda länderna är samarbetsovilliga, utan mest i förbigående antytt ”svårigheter” att ingripa mot brott begångna utanför EU för att politiskt motivera granskning av all datakommunikation här hemma. Då är det också Cecilia som måste styrka sina antydningar med hårda fakta. Det vore direkt kontraproduktivt av Christian att konfrontera företrädare för de nämnda länderna med grundlösa anklagelser som han själv har formulerat, när nu Cecilia inte har gjort det utan kan försvara sig med att Christian har ”feltolkat” henne.

    Förfrågningar till de nämnda länderna blir aktuella först när Cecilia själv uttryckligen har klandrat dem för det konventionsbrott Christian nämner. Vi vet dock inte än vad hennes svar blir; hon kan exempelvis komma med någon helt annan bortförklaring som visar på bristande logik i hennes eget resonemang. I så fall är det den bristen som Christian skall angripa, och det behöver han inga kommentarer från någon indignerad rysk ambassadör för att göra.

    English summary: This question belong’s on commissioner Malmström’s desk, and on her desk only. Christian has no reason to confront foreign ambassadors with any implied allegations of inaction until Malmström herself has confirmed those allegations in her own words. Pursuing this matter via multiple optional channels in advance would even be counter-productive for the purpose of discrediting Malmström’s proposal.

    Kommentar av Anders Andersson — 30 maj 2010 @ 18:09

  5. Du gör förbannat bra nytta mot stollerierna därnere CE. Fortsätt med det! Rösterna på PP har redan gjort nytta flera gånger om.

    Kommentar av Njet — 30 maj 2010 @ 19:33

  6. […] sprida barnporr är ett ytterst trubbigt verktyg. Det fungerar helt enkelt inte. Det enda som är acceptabelt är att man omedelbart stänger ner sajter som bevisligen sprider barnporr. Det är ett långt mer […]

    Pingback av Anna Troberg » De mörka krafterna borde komma ut ur garderoben — 30 maj 2010 @ 21:07

  7. Mrs Malmstrom is not commissioner for freedom, security and justice! that is one of the issues. She is commissioner for Home Affairs (or actually for Security). and as such the mouthpiece of the law enforcement/security and lobbies. either she did not see this coming or she used it as first test balloon for the other proposals in her cupboards (i.e. cybercrime, drug trafficking and counterfeiting). and now that blocking has been accepted as a tool you can imagine the floodgates being open. the EU still is a security-led powerhouse. freedoms are being lost by the hour.

    Kommentar av Jules Cantor — 31 maj 2010 @ 5:10

  8. Cecilia is keen to show the swedish approach as a good example of filtering. That also explains why it is not possible to remove the material that she wants to filter from the net. A lot of it is simply not illegal in the US and many other countries. It is for example aminations, fiction, adults that look young, kid underware comercials etc.

    Kommentar av ConnyT — 31 maj 2010 @ 7:00

  9. this is my very modest contribution: I started a facebook group named ”Operation Censilia” (!/group.php?gid=132364380108683)

    Kommentar av Asgardi — 6 juni 2010 @ 22:50

  10. It’s so great that someone is defending our freedom. It amuses how people can believe to that government that treats them as criminals by default. How many millions of internet uses are in Europe? How many real criminals of them? Is it even logical to do things like this?

    PS: and one more argument for your side: Australian blacklist already leaked to wikileaks, Google search will confirm.

    Kommentar av Stanislav — 7 juni 2010 @ 11:09

  11. Did you ever get the reply!?

    Kommentar av ConnyT — 12 juni 2010 @ 18:21

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