CONTENT FILTERING could be illegal in Europe, according to a legal opinion expressed by Pedro Cruz Villalón, an advocate general of the European Court of Justice.
According to V3.co.uk, Villalón said that filtering and blocking systems used by Internet service providers (ISPs) "is a restriction on the right to respect for the privacy of communications and the right to protection of personal data, both of which are rights protected under the Charter of Fundamental Rights."
He added that it would also restrict freedom of information, which is protected under EU law.
He expressed these views after the Belgian Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers took the Belgian ISP Scarlet to court in an attempt to force it to install content filtering equipment to prevent peer-to-peer filesharing.
Villalón said that there was room to apply some form of filtering process as part of national laws, but only if there was absolute clarity on how it would work. He said that ISPs should not have to pay the cost for monitoring illegal content on their networks, a claim that Scarlet would strongly agree with.
If the court agrees with Villalón's assessment it could create a precedent whereby content filtering is outlawed across the European Union and future cases could be dismissed on the same grounds. It might also give ISPs freedom to operate without needing to constantly monitor for potentially illegal content. µ
Firm's first high-end speaker gets the thumbs up from us
Yes. Yes you can
A fantastic ultraportable that's almost devoid of innovation
Screen if you want to go faster