A study funded by the Open Society Initiative has found that many EU countries are already attempting to block internet access for file sharers, despite a proposal to make such action illegal under European law.
According to MacWorld, the study entitled ‘Internet Blocking: Balancing Cybercrime Responses in Democratic Societies’ highlights the growing effort made by various governments to control internet access.
In Germany, Britain, Italy and Scandinavia measures that were initially drafted to block access to child pornography have seen their remit widen, while the French government has proposed a ‘three strikes’ system for file sharers.
In Turkey, which is currently trying to join the EU, government bodies have blocked access to over 6,000 websites, including YouTube, Geocities and DailyMotion.
The study has been endorsed by a number of European MPs.
“Protection of children is a matter of the utmost importance,” said the UK Liberal MEP Graham Watson. “But this does not mean that the Commission can propose measures that may well be entirely ineffectual but which will have long-term consequences for the right of freedom of communication in Europe.”