September 30, 2009 | Jim Killock

Amendment 138: help Europe defend our right freedom of speech

As we in the UK are defending our basic freedoms on the net, asking for our right to a fair trial, asking that our freedom of speech be protected, another battle is taking place in the EU.

The remarkable La Quadrature du Net is campaigning for the survival of the European Parliament’s Amendment 138, which states that European citizen’s have a right to internet access as part of their right to freedom of expression, and that it should only be withdrawn as the result of a court order.

This amendment has had the French government in apoplexy, as it would make it very difficult to defend their HADOPI law, which currently has a sub-judicial process to remove citizens accused of copyright infringement.

We know the UK government needs to have this amendment neutered as well. Amendment 138 could block Mandelson’s disconnection proposals: or at the very least, force him to put people before a court before taking them off the internet. In other words, to respect our rights.

What to do

Write to your MEP today. Let them know that Amendment 138 is their greatest stand for citizen’s rights, and that it must survive. Parliament has stood up for the people – and must preserve this amendment in its role as defender of our rights.