EDR Beats Down EU's Plans to Censor Websites

The European Digital Rights (EDR) group has criticised the EU for considering plans to allow ISPs to block websites with offensive material, according to a report released yesterday.

The report, 'The Slide from Self Regulation to Corporate Censorship', was written in response to a report prepared by Italian MEP Roberta Angelili. In her report, she wrote: "In order to protect the best interests of the child, member states may set up procedures to block access by internet users."

The EDR opposed the plans when the report was first released and have argued again that if the plans go ahead, innovation on the web would be stifled. It also argues that the measure would not prevent the distribution of offensive material.

"The largest and most developed internet economies, including the European Union and the United States, are in the process of making a crucial and irreversible choice on the future of openness, democracy, transparency and innovation on the internet," says the report.

The EDR argues that the proposed system of 'blocking' will allow the government and ISPs to get the necessary positive publicity, without actually tackling the problem adequately.

This is partly because illegal sites regularly move their location and use hacked servers, rendering blocking useless.

The MEPs will hold a final vote on the decision on 3 February.

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