EU deals blow to three-strikes broadband ISP user cut-off pl

The European Parliament has voted (40 to 4) to keep amendment 138 (now renumbered amendment 46), which states that restrictions to the fundamental rights and freedoms of Internet users can only be put in place after a decision by judicial authorities (except when public security is threatened).

The move is being seen as a serious blow to supporters of a Three-Strikes system for dealing with online piracy, which could have seen suspected illegal downloader's being cut-off from their broadband ISPs for repeated abuse. Both ISPs and civil rights campaigners have been bitterly opposed to such a move.

Amendment 46 was first adopted last September 2008 by an overwhelming majority of the European Parliament, and approved by the European Commission despite requests from the French Presidency and rights holders to reject it. The latest vote is being seen as yet another rejection of pressure from the French government to reach a compromise.

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