European Parliament ambushed by doctored version of pending internet censorship rules that sneaks filtering into all online services


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/14/metadata-strikes-again.html


#2

Please do not use “unelected” as a slur on public servants. That’s a Republican meme. A person can have credibility without winning an election.

(Come to think of it, both of my parents were faceless, unelected government bureaucrats.)


#3

In general, no, unelected shouldn’t be used as slur. No words should be. But it’s not being used so here, and it absolutely is the right word for those attempting to secretly legislate while not actually being elected.


#4

This highlights the importance of people who spend time actually reading (and in most cases decoding) the actual, mind-flensing content of regulations like this. It’s actually impressive that we don’t have far more laws written by special-interest lawyers and passed verbatim by legislators and regulators who never read them.

(As to “unelected” as a slur, yeah, I have problems with that; I think civil servants in Western countries are on the whole much harder to corrupt than their elected bosses. Plus, most of the heroic readers I mentioned above are current or former civil servants)


#5

The original problem with what happened at that vote is not that it was an unelected official drafting rules, it was that an elected official, instead of looking into the issue to understand it and then draft what he thinks is the best approach to tackle the problems that are supposed to be solved by this invited an unelected official to draft the rules for him.

At European law making, the commission (appointed officials by the member state governments every 5 years, the closes the EU has to an executive branch) proposes draft laws, that are then negotiated by the Parliament (directly elected representatives of the people) and the Council (Representatives of the member state governments, changing very time the government of the respective member state changes; a bit akin to the 1st chamber of federal parliamentary systems like Germany (Bundesrat), much less comparable to the US Senate or the UK House of Lords. The Commission is a sort of arbiter in these negotiations, but has no voting power, it’s main official task as relating to law making is to propose new law initiatives, the other two bodies do not have that power.

The scandal isn’t that the unelected official was involved with the draft law, the scandal is that she is was/is involved in all three processes (hammering out the original draft within the commission; hammering out the Council negotiating position; hammering out the Parliament negotiation position). Once the Council and the Parliament have set their positions they will negotiate, so the scandal is that instead of trying to come up with a solution himself MEP Voss turned to the very same powers whose proposals he is supposed to scrutinise.


#6

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