Technology News: EU internet law enabling online censorship gains thousands of protesters

March 25, 2019 | Monday



Last weekend, thousands of protesters went on the streets of Germany objecting the new European Union copyright law set to pass this week. With the slogan "Save your Internet," the protesters marched with fear in the EU Copyright Directive. That of which aims to modernize copyright rules on the digital era, leading to online censorship restricting an individual's freedom of speech.

According to a local German media, about 40,000 people joined the protest on the law in Munich last Saturday. According to the events' Facebook pages, there are others in Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Berlin. There are more than one thousand protesters who joined the said event. The European lawmakers are to vote on the final content of the directive on Tuesday.

To explain further, the purpose of the new rules is protecting publishers, artists, and news outlets. It will put limitations on giant tech companies which distribute such contents. A contentious proposal might provide news publication the capacity to have commercial licenses on platforms such as Google News to post their articles.

Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission President said, the rules could secure journalist, authors and publishers are to be "paid fairly for their work."

Another controversial proposal within the rules requires platforms, such as YouTube to eliminate illegal content with automatic filters. Public critics now fear these said filter could repress freedom of speech and could provide tech companies control over the contents published online.

Meanwhile, giant tech companies including Twitter and Google commented aggressively contradicting the law. They argue that it could hurt small online publishers at the same time limiting freedom of information online.

During February, Kent Walker, Google's Senior Vice President of global affairs said in a blog post, “Companies that act reasonably in helping rights holders identify and control the use of their content shouldn’t be held liable for anything a user uploads, any more than a telephone company should be liable for the content of conversations."

Meanwhile, there's more than five million individual who signed a petition against the law on All fighting for the freedom of the internet in which now are likely in "danger."


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