I tweeted about this yesterday but it’d still on my mind. This type of thing is driving me to despair about working in the technology sector in Ireland:
IRMA, which represents major music groups EMI, Sony-BMG, Warner and Universal, is to begin compiling lists of websites that it claims are damaging its business. It will then apply for a court order, requiring Eircom and other internet providers to block access to these sites…
Under the terms of an agreement between Eircom and Irma, Eircom will not oppose any court application, meaning that the orders will be automatically granted. A spokesman for Eircom confirmed that Eircom â€˜â€˜will not oppose any application [Irma] may make seeking the blocking of access from their networkâ€™â€™ to blacklisted websites.
I do not endorse illegal distribution of copyrighted material but I am very, very much against censorship of the internet in any shape or form.
Either I am missing something or this SBP article is incorrect but if not is this the most extreme form of legalized private industry censorship that exists in any country in the world? Civilized, democratic nations do not allow private industry association to dictate what information their population can/cannot read.
Irish government, you should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves for not defending the rights of your population against private industry censorship. If you wanted to show the entire world that the legislative and judiciary process in this country cannot keep pace with advancements in technology then congratulations, job done. I can only imagine that internet multinationals now have yet another reason to establish their European bases elsewhere instead of in this “knowledge economy” of ours.
Irish businesses, if this censorship is allowed then is “Ireland Inc” a viable base for technology leaders? Or is Ireland a luddite nation that restricts access to information at the behest one industry sector who cannot adapt to technological progress? I hope this doesn’t impair your ability to trade and build up your company here but I doubt your foreign partners will look on this as a positive development for your operating base. If your business website contains any user generated content (and I mean any) then you could be blacklisted with no avenue for recourse. Is that a risk you are willing to take?
Is there any move afoot to organize (or engage with an existing organization like the Electronic Frontier Foundation) to defend Irish free speech, privacy and consumer rights? We are clearly not explaining to both legislators and electorate why agreements like this are modern day luddite fallacies. This couldn’t happen if we were.