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Patrick Breyer är en kämpe! //Erik
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Subject: Advocate General to deliver opinion on right to surf the
Date: Wed, 11 May 2016 09:58:56 GMT
+++ Advocate General to deliver opinion on right to surf the
Internet anonymously +++
Is there a right to surf the Internet anonymously? Europe's top court is
rule on whether website operators such as Google or Facebook may
record which information Internet users read, post or search on the
web or whether citizens have a right to use the Internet
anonymously. Tomorrow the EU Court of Justice (ECJ)'s Advocate
General will deliver his opinion on the case of German pirate party
politician and privacy activist Patrick Breyer who is suing the
German government over logging all visits to government websites
Website operators often record and track their users online
behaviour for commercial purposes, but also to disclose records to
law enforcement agencies and owners of copyright-protected content
upon request. Breyer is challenging this practise and demands that
operators anonymize users IP addresses:
"Banning governments and Internet giants from identifiably recording
our browsing habits is the only way to effectively shield our
private life and interests, to prevent erroneous infringement
notices and false suspicions. IP addresses have turned out to be
extremely prone to error und unreliable when used to identify users.
For as long as browsing the Internet can result in prosecution,
there is no real freedom of information and expression on-line.
Nobody has a right to record everything we do and say on-line.
Generation Internet has a right to access information on-line just
as unmonitored and without inhibition as our parents read the paper,
listened to the radio or browsed books."
The Court is to decide whether IP addresses transmitted when a
website is accessed come under the EU's privacy legislation and
whether operators have a "legitimate interest" to record it along
with the users' "click stream". Breyer says: "Websites can be safe
without tracking every user across every page. This 'Internet
stalking' is about as useful as hanging a security camera next to an
open warehouse door. We need secure IT systems, not a general
suspicion against Europes Internet users."
Earlier this year the Court had requested the parties to discuss
whether indiscriminate logging is necessary for "the prevention,
investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences".
Breyer: "The blanket retention of communications data having been
rejected as a disproportionate interference with our fundamental
right to privacy, recording the content of our online behaviour
should be dismissed even more so."
Breyer warns that the recently approved General Data Protection
Regulation could thwart a success in court due to a lack of specific
rules protecting on-line privacy. "The Commission should amend
EU legislation to specifically prohibit any blanket recording of our
Internet use by website operators. Europe should reject the ruthless
method of 'collecting it all' and enforce our right to freedom of
information and expression in the digital age."
Comprehensive case information in German:
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