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EU: “Blocking the Internet to defend copyright is not an option”

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  • It is assured by the European Commissioner for Justice, Viviane Reding.
  • “Freedom of expression and information are fundamental rights of European citizens directly linked to a free Internet,” he adds.
  • The Community Executive plans to present its reform of the community data protection rules this Wednesday.
  • The European Commissioner for Justice, Viviane Reding, assured this Sunday that the European Union does not consider blocking the Internet as an option to protect copyrights, after the closure of the Megaupload file storage and download website this week.

“For Europe, blocking the Internet is not an option, ” Reding said in a speech delivered at a conference on Internet data protection held in Munich and also broadcast in Brussels.

“Copyright protection cannot be used as a pretext for Internet freedom,” he added.

The commissioner avoided referring expressly to the US bill that aims to curb Internet piracy, known as SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), which this week caused a “blackout” of several web pages as a sign of protest for its supposed intention “censorship “, on which the EU has already expressed its criticism.

Free Internet, a citizen’s right

It did, however, state that “freedom of expression and information are fundamental rights of European citizens directly linked to a free Internet.”

“The right of creators to protect the content and the fruits of their creation is equally important and it also has to be protected,” he added, and assured that the objective of the EU is to rebalance both rights, since “they are not enemies, but partners “.

Reding’s claims come after the FBI this week shut down the Megaupload file storage and download website and detained four of its executives on an alleged hacking offense.

The Community Executive plans to present its reform of the community data protection rules this Wednesday to make the digital market more accessible, transparent, and competitive, according to the commissioner.

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