Skip to Content

Global Policy Weekly – January 26, 2012

CDT’s Global Policy Weekly highlights the latest Internet policy developments and proposals from around the world, compiled by CDT’s Global Internet Freedom Project. Subscribe to Global Policy Weekly by clicking the RSS icon on the right.


INDIA: Internet giants contest censorship order
Twenty-one Internet companies have been asked by an Indian court to censor objectionable content. The companies, which include Google and Facebook, have petitioned the Delhi High Court to rule on the case. Their hearing will take place in February.

POLAND: Officials to sign onto ACTA, despite public outcry
Polish officials will soon sign the copyright treaty known as ACTA, or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, in spite of protests by digital rights advocates and attacks on government websites carried out by hacker organizations. Read Global Voices’ coverage of protests against the agreement.

TUNISIA: Internet Agency challenges order to filter pornography
A court in Tunis has ordered that the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI) begin filtering pornographic websites. ATI has contested the order, arguing that Tunisians already have adequate tools for removing pornography from their online searches. “[D]esperate to to put an end to its old image as an Internet censor during the rule of Ben Ali, [ATI] prefers to raise the awareness of Internet users, and especially parents by giving them practical tips on the use of parental control software instead of blocking websites.” Read Global Voices coverage of the debate.



US/Hong Kong/New Zealand: Jurisdiction and the MegaUpload case
After last week’s public uproar over SOPA/PIPA, the FBI seized the servers and domain names of the file locker site, MegaUpload. Ars Technica explains how jurisdictional norms allowed the FBI to seize the servers of a Hong Kong-based website.

Ireland: Irish SOPA? Not quite.
A new law in Ireland, which has been dubbed “Irish SOPA,” will allow copyright holders to file injunctions with a high court if they suspect that their property has been infringed upon. Courts will then be able to order ISPs to block the offending websites. Coverage from Wired here.



EU: Reding releases data protection draft bill
EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding released the much-anticipated draft bill that will overhaul the EU’s 1995 Data Protection Directive. The draft bill proposes a general framework for data protection in the EU, as well as a “separate directive on safeguarding personal data that is processed by judicial authorities for purposes that include investigation of criminal offences.” It also includes a “right to be forgotten” provision. The response from businesses has been mixed thus far, with several UK companies criticizing the bill, calling the reforms “impossible to enforce.” Read The Register’s draft summary here. Read more on the ‘right to be forgotten’ provision here.

EU/US: Commerce Department criticizes DPD reforms
The US Department of Commerce has criticized reform proposals for the EU Data Protection Directive, arguing that prospective regulations could “hinder commercial interoperability and be even counter-productive for consumer privacy protection.” Read more here.

EU: Neelie Kroes likes “Do Not Track” 
Neelie Kroes blogged this week on why ‘Do Not Track’ (DNT) is good for the EU. She writes: “I am convinced that DNT can become a very successful standard, along with the other standards that have made the web what it is today: global, open and interoperable and in keeping with the generative end-to-end principle that has made the web such a phenomenal success. This is about empowering the citizen, by putting control in the hands of the user in a way that is fair and transparent.”

EU: The Art. 29 Data Protection Working Party will hold its 84th meeting on the 1st and 2nd of February in Brussels. A draft agenda for the meeting is summarized here.

Spain: Spain’s data protection authority is holding a public consultation on cloud computing that will remain open until January 27. Service providers and users are welcome to submit comments. Read more about the consultation here. The consultation form is available (in Spanish) here.