Christian Engström, Pirat

14 oktober 2011

Italiensk EU-parlamentariker vill registrera allt på internet

Filed under: informationspolitik,Smile29 — Christian Engström @ 13:39

EU-parlamentarikern Tiziano Motti vill att allt du gör på nätet loggas och sparas – för barnens skull.

Europaportalen skriver:

EU-parlamentarikern Tiziano Motti vill att allt du gör på nätet loggas och sparas – för barnens skull. En slags svart låda ska installeras i alla världens datorer, smartphones och läsplattor.

Tanken är också att systemet ska kopplas till ett ”snabbt varningssystem” för kriminella aktiviteter. Där är detaljerna oklara, men går i princip ut på att närsomhelst material med sexuellt utnyttjade barn upptäcks ska ett alarm gå till myndigheterna som ska kunna se vem som laddat upp det.
Christian Engström (PP) som sitter i den gröna gruppen har sin åsikt klar.

– Om det var Kina, Nordkorea eller Saudiarabien som hade föreslagit det här, vad hade vi sagt då? Det är skrämmande i ett demokratiskt Europa att man ens hör en politiker föreslår något sådant. Det är så absurt att jag verkligen hoppas att vi aldrig behöver diskutera det på allvar i parlamentet, säger Christian Engström.

Läs mer hos Europaportalen

16 juni 2010

Massive campaign for Written Declaration 29 continues

Filed under: English,informationspolitik,Smile29 — Christian Engström @ 14:40

Assistant to MEP Motti handing out WD29 flyers

The massive campaign to get Members of the European Parliament to sign Written Declaration 29 has continued this week in Strasbourg. There are posters everywhere in the Parliament building, roll-ups at strategic places, and assistants handing out flyers outside the plenary.

Written Declaration 29 calls for the extension of the Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC to cover search engines as well. All your searches with Google and other search engines would be saved, for future reference by the police and/or others.

But the declaration is drafted in such a way that this is not at all obvious unless you read it very carefully, and look up the directive number to see what it is all about. The marketing material just talks about stopping child pornography and sexual harassment on the Internet, without going into any details.

In addition to the posters and flyers and roll-ups, all MEPs also got a letter from the author of the written declaration today. It was delivered both as a mail and physically on paper to the office of each of the 736 MEPs.

In the letter, the author of the declaration MEP Tiziano Motti for the first time mentions the Data Retention Directive by name, and not just by its number. But he claims that the call to extend the Data Retention Directive to search engines is just ”for the sake of avoiding technicalities”.

You can read the letter here.

Why is the campaign for this declaration so well organized and massive, compared to ordinary campaigns for written declarations here in the European Parliament?

I’m afraid I don’t have any answer to that question.

But I still urge all MEPs not to sign this declaration, or to withdraw their signatures if they have been misled into signing.

The Data Retention Directive is bad enough as it is, and quite possibly unconstitutional in several Member States. Extending it even further is not a good idea.

You can help by contacting MEPs from your country and warning them about the real contents of this declaration.


Also about WD29 (in Swedish): Henrik Alexandersson,

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2 juni 2010

Urging MEPs to withdraw their Written Declaration 29 signatures

Filed under: English,informationspolitik,Smile29 — Christian Engström @ 11:33

MEPs can withdraw their signature from Written Declaration 29 by going to room PHS 02A30 in the Parliament in Brussels

Written declaration 29 has been marketed within the European Parliament using a very emotionally loaded picture of a child, and talking about the need to set up an ”early warning system” to combat sexual child abuse.

In reality, however, the substance of the declaration is to call on the Commission to extend the Data retention directive to search engines, so that all searches done on for example Google will be monitored.

It is understandable if many Members of the European Parliament have been misled into signing the declaration, since the Data Retention Directive is never mentioned in any of the marketing material for the declaration, and is only referred to by its number 2006/24/EC in the declaration itself.

You can read more about the background in my previous blog post Written declaration 29, for data retention of Internet searches.

MEP Cecilia Wikström from the liberal group ALDE has written a letter to all fellow MEPs explaining how she was misled into signing the declaration:

Both of the two e-mails sent to MEPs focused on the early warning system and neither mentioned the data retention Directive. The website set up to support the written declaration also does not mention data retention, at least not in an obvious way. Even the written declaration itself does not mention the Directive by name, but only refers to its reference number.

Bearing in mind the fact that data retention is not relevant to an early-warning system and that none of the material made available to MEPs on the subject mentioned data retention, it seems very likely that MEPs signed the Written Declaration unaware of this aspect of the text, just like I did.

Ms. Wikström has now withdrawn her signature, and is urging all colleagues who have already signed to withdraw theirs as well.

So do I.

If you are a Member of the European Parliament and have been misled into signing the declaration, you can withdraw your signature from the declaration. To do this, you go to room PHS 02A30 in the Parliament building in Brussels, where the written declarations are kept.

In order for the withdrawal to have effect, you must do this before the declaration reaches 369 signatures (which would constitute a majority of the Members). Right now, the declaration is listed as having 324 signatures, so it is already dangerously close to adoption.

If the declaration reaches the magic 369 signatures and is adopted, the names of the signatories will be made public.

If you are a citizen concerned about the right to privacy and freedom on the Internet, you can help by sending a mail to the MEPs from your country, and explaining the issue to them.

Try to be as polite, brief, and factual as you can in your mail, and remember that most of the MEPs who have signed have probably been misled into doing so.

And please contact your MEPs as quickly as possible, so that the declaration does not get adopted before word about its real contents has spread.


Andra som skriver om den skrivna förklaringen Smile29 (in Swedish): Europaportalen, Nyheter 24, Anna Troberg, Kalle Vedin, Sultan, Satmaran, OpenEnd, Motpol, HAX 1, HAX 2, Christian Engström, Oscar Fredriksson, Albin Ring Boman, Lena Ek, Annie Johansson 1, Annie Johansson 2, Rose Marie Nelson Ekerå , Mark Klamberg, Farmor Gun, Apelsineld

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31 maj 2010

Written declaration 29, for data retention of Internet searches

Filed under: English,informationspolitik,Smile29 — Christian Engström @ 5:07

"Extend data retention to search engines, to protect the children!" EU parliamentarians demand in Written declaration 29

This is a translation of a blog post I published in Swedish on May 28, with most of the links changed to point at targets in English.

All Members of the European Parliament can right now sign a so called ”written declaration”, that demands that the Data Retention Directive be extended to cover search engines as well. They will then be forced to routinely save data about which information each of us citizens has been looking for on the net. The argument for the expanded surveillance is the fight against child pornography, as usual.

The proposal for collection of data about our Internet searches is known as Written declaration 29. The people behind the written declaration have a campaign site called

I don’t know why they have chosen such a tasteless web address. Whether we are talking about sexual abuse of children or the introduction of mass surveillance, I don’t think it’s anything to smile about. But that’s a side track.

The core demand in Written declaration 29 is

2. Asks the Council and the Commission to implement Directive 2006/24/EC and extend it to search engines in order to tackle online child pornography and sex offending rapidly and effectively;

(Emphasis added)

If you follow the reference to Directive 2006/24/EC, an old acquaintance rears its ugly head: the Data Retention Directive.

According to the Data Retention Directive, which is currently in various stages of implementation in the different member states, Internet service providers and mobile network operators are required to collect and save data about who we are in contact with and where we are located. With Written declaration 29, search engines like Google and others will have to collect and save data about our searches, and make the data available to the police on demand.

Several Swedish bloggers have taken note of Written declaration 29, for example Xorbot, Sultan, Satmaran, and Göran Widham.

I agree with their criticism. This proposal adds another building brick to the surveillance society.

So what happens now?

A written declaration is one of the many instruments that the European Parliament has to express its views on a matter. The written declarations are slightly outside the normal work flow at the European Parliament. They are intended as a means for groups of individual MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) to take initiatives that are outside the current political agenda, often for the purpose of starting a debate.

For example, Written declaration 30 wants to limit the use of trans-fatty acids in food, and Written declaration 34 wants to make May 22 the European Day Against Obesity.

The authors of a written declaration first write a text that says what they think the European Parliament should express as its opinion. It has to be a short text of at most 200 words, and it should be structured like the examples, with first some references, then a fes paragraphs where the European Parliament expresses an opinion and proposes some actions.

The authors of Written declaration 29 are MEP Tiziano Motti from Italy, and MEP Anna Záborská from Slovakia. Both are members of the Christian Democrat group EPP, which is the biggest group in the parliament.

When the written declaration is submitted to the tabling office it is given a number, and is translated to all the official working languages. It is then kept avaialable for all Members of the European Parliament for 3 months, so that they can sign the declaration if they want to.

If a written declaration is successful in collecting signatures from a majority of the members within the stipulated time, it is adopted. Then whatever the decalation said becomes the official position of the European Parliament on the matter.

If the authors of a declaration fail to get enough colleagues to sign it within the time frame, the declaration falls and that is the end of it.

Since there are 736 members of the parliament (until the Lisbon Treaty extends that number), 369 signatures are required for a written declaration to pass.

On the overview page for written declarations you can see how many signatures each declaration has collected. Right now, Written declaration 29 has collected 324 signatures.

It is already dangerously close to being adopted.

When a written declaration is adopted, this in itself has no formal legal effect. All it says is that the European Parliament thinks this or that about a certain issue, and invites the European Commission to take this or that initiative to address the problem. It is then up to the Commission if it chooses to take any such initiatives, or if it prefers to just ignore it.

But even if an adopted written declaration has no direct legal effect, it is an important signal to the Commission. If there is somebody within the Commission who wants to do a certain thing, and a written declaration appears asking the Commission to do just that, it becomes considerably easier for the Commission to get going.

If Written declaration 29 about data retention for internet searches becomes reality, it will presumably be delivered to Swedish Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. She is responsible for the area of Fredom, Security, and Justice” (yes, it’s actually called that), and she has recently made a proposal for the introduction of censorship on the Internet with child pornography as the excuse.

If this declaration is adopted, Ms. Malmström will get more gasoline to pour on the flames. She can then point at the parliament explicitly asking her to introduce data retention on Internet searches, and continue her crusade under the child pornography banner against the free and open Internet.


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