Do Your MEP Candidates Care about Digital Rights?

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That's what the Open Rights Group wonders:

The European Parliament makes many of the key laws that frame our rights both as customers and users of new technologies. In many ways, their decisions are more important than national parliaments. ‘Three Strikes’ and other heavy-handed enforcement policies live or die on the say of EU legislators. Copyright terms and user rights are first decided at EU level. Data retention comes from an EU Directive and even Data Protection rules come from EU standards.

So we feel that it is the responsibility of EU candidates to help educate voters about their views on these matters. Not only do voters need to know that they are electing people with powers to make these decisions – but we all need to enter a democratic debate about where Europe is heading.

They'd like your help in finding out:

As voters, you have a few days left to ask your candidates what they think – and inject some polite but real democratic debate about Europe back into this election.

We urge you to look carefully at the answers given within your region before weighing digital rights into who you vote for.

The questions we asked were:

Europe should not extend copyright terms as longer terms damage innovation and reward the estates of deceased artists rather than working creators.

Privately stored data that can be linked to individuals should be treated as ‘personal data’ and given stronger protection than in current UK law.

The EU Data Retention Directive that requires large scale storage of internet ‘traffic data’ is disproportionate and likely to breach privacy protections under the European Convention of Human Rights.

Internet access is a fundamental right as a means of social organisation and freedom of expression and should be defended from ‘three strikes’ disconnection proposals for people accused of copyright infringement. Due process should be observed in dealing with infringement cases.

And remember: this stuff has a direct impact on you personally, and on your business.

As ever, the trusty WriteToThem is at hand, waiting to pose your questions.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca.

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