EU’s Stand on Internet Access as Fundamental Right Breaks Under Corporate Pressure

by Irma Arkus

In an unusual, yet not entirely unforseen manner, European Parliament has “softened” their position on Internet access as a fundamental right, allowing French Parliament to exercise the 3-strikes-and-you’re-out law.

The law, brought on by attempts of media conglomerates, including music and film distributors, to control “Internet piracy” was not applicable due to the fact that the European Parliament called acceess to Internet, a fundamental right.

Now, after a closed door meeting with big business, the European Parliament settled on a compromise saying that the “prior fair and impartial procedure” is required in order to disconnect users from access.

While political parties, such as the Green party are “celebrating” their apparent victory, it is obvious to anyone that business interests have successfully pressured the EU to partially accept the draconian measures made to punish potential “pirates.”

The very concept of considering access to the Internet as a fundamental right was seen as a relatively progressive move on the part of EU. While it puzzled North American lawmakers and big business, it did not fail in envisioning what Internet access represents to civil participants, even disobedient ones, in EU’s version of Information Society or Knowledge-Based society. [BusinessWeek]