Pretty gruesome stuff happening. This is old news:
The ongoing Google/YouTube-Viacom litigation has now officially spilled over to users with a court order requiring Google to turn over massive amounts of user data to Viacom. If the data is actually released, the consequences could be far more serious than the 2006 AOL Search debacle.
But this not so. And happening via backdoor of telecoms regulation.
The Telecoms Package (Paquet Telecom) is a review of European telecoms law. [...] buried within it, deep in the detail, are important legal changes that relate to enforcement of copyright. These changes are a threat to civil liberties and risk undermining the entire structure of Internet, jeopardising businesses and cultural diversity.
The bottom line is that changes to telecoms regulations are needed before EU member states can bring in the so-called “3 strikes” measures – also known as “graduated response” – of which France is leading the way, but other governments, notably the UK, are considering whether to follow. A swathe of amendments have been incorporated at the instigation of entertainment industry lobbying. These amendments are aimed at bringing an end to free downloading. They also bring with them the risk of an unchecked corporate censorship of the Internet, with a host of unanswered questions relating to the legal oversight and administration.
The Telecoms Package is currently in the committee stages of the European Parliament, with a plenary vote due on 1st or 2nd September. This does not leave much time for public debate, and it reminds me of the rushed passage of the data retention directive (see Data Retention on this site). It is, if you like, regulation by stealth.
These two items have in common the attempt to undermine the infrastructure of the net/web by controlling those who provide or maintain it. Not good.