updated 12:55 pm EST, Wed November 25, 2009
EU rule will minimize Internet cutoffs
The European Parliament late yesterday officially approved a final key rule in its telecoms package that will require legal rights for those threatened with losing Internet access in piracy cases. The measure will only allow EU member states to cut off access if it's deemed "appropriate, proportionate and necessary within a democratic society." Any decision will require an objective procedure that allows the accused to defend themselves as well as presumptions of innocence and a right to privacy.
The measure is a partial reaction to France's three-strikes law, which cuts off access after a third notice and has a relatively limited "fast track" system for defense. It currently meets the requirement for self-defense, but it's unclear whether the EU has tested the French law for compliance with its new standards.
All of the EU member states have to enshrine the new rules in their own laws by May 24th, 2011.