Estonia, who lead the current European Union Presidency, has called upon other EU Member States to increase their Internet censorship, following in the footsteps of Communist China, according to a leaked document.
“A Council of the European Union document leaked by Statewatch on 30 August reveals that during the summer months, Estonia (current EU Presidency) has been pushing the other Member States to strengthen indiscriminate internet surveillance, and to follow in the footsteps of China regarding online censorship,” reported European Digital Rights (EDRi), an international advocacy group. “Standing firmly behind its belief that filtering the uploads is the way to go, the Presidency has worked hard in order to make the proposal for the new copyright Directive even more harmful than the Commission’s original proposal, and pushing it further into the realms of illegality.”
In the leaked document, Estonia proposes, “two options for each of the two most controversial proposals: the so-called “link tax” or ancillary copyright and the upload filter.” Both items would be harmful to a free and open Internet, in the opinion of the EDRi.
The document, which was dated August 30, 2017, is available to view in full at Statewatch.
As explained by the European Union’s official website, “The presidency of the Council rotates among the EU member states every 6 months. During this 6-month period, the presidency chairs meetings at every level in the Council, helping to ensure the continuity of the EU’s work in the Council… The current trio is made up of the presidencies of the Estonia, Bulgaria, and Austria.”
According to Estonia, their EU Presidency “will focus on preserving the common values of prosperity, security, peace, and stability in Europe.”
“During the next 6 months, the presidency will focus on four key areas: an open and innovative European economy, a safe and secure Europe, digital Europe and free movement of data as well as an inclusive and sustainable Europe,” they explained.