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7.45pm BST update: Committee members voted for Trautmann’s amendment 40-to-4 (two abstentions) (via campaign group La Quadrature Du Net). If the telecoms reform package is now implemented formally, France will have a hard time reconciling it with its domestic efforts to disconnect file sharers; the UK will need to take note. A new vote is due May 5.
Earlier: European Parliamentarians meet again Tuesday night to decide whether countries like France and Britain can create agencies to disconnect illegal downloaders. The meeting of the Industry, Research and Energy committee in Strasbourg includes the second parliamentary reading of a wide-ranging telecoms reforms bill that has also become the crux of proposed “graduated response” piracy measures.
Parliamentarians in September voted for French socialist member Guy Bono’s amendment (#138) to the bill that would make authorities seek court permission before disconnecting customers. The Council Of Ministers later removed the amendment, but it has now been reintroduced (#46) by member Catherine Trautmann for the bill’s reading by the 54-member committee.
It reads: “No restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of end-users, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities, notably in accordance with Article 11 of the Charter (NSDQ: CHTR) of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on freedom of expression and information, save when public security is threatened in which case the ruling may be subsequent.