24 May 2011 E-005082/2011
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Marietje Schaake (ALDE) , Sophia in ‘t Veld (ALDE) , Renate Weber (ALDE) and Alexander Alvaro (ALDE)
Subject: Virtual Schengen border
During the joint meeting of the Law Enforcement Working Party and the Customs
Cooperation Working Party on 17 February 2011, it was proposed to create a ‘virtual Schengen border’ for a single European cyberspace. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) would have to block illicit content on the basis of an EU ‘black list’(1).
This proposal is in contradiction with the statements of Commissioner Malmström that there will be no measures to broaden the scope of blocking, as well as the position of the European Parliament that opposes any mandatory EU‑wide blocking(2).
1. Is the Commission aware of this initiative of the Law Enforcement Working Party?
2. Could the Commission specify what the status is of an initiative of the Law Enforcement Working Party?
3. With regard to the broadening of the cooperation by involving other types of crimes as stated in the presentation ‘Toward the Single Secure European Cyberspace’, could the Commission specify which types of website or content would be added to the EU black list in the longer term?
4. Could the Commission clarify the criteria and procedures for drawing up the EU black list?
5. Could the Commission confirm which types of technology it intends to use for the ‘virtual Schengen border’? Furthermore, does the Commission consider the use of these technologies in line with European Internet users’ fundamental rights? Why? If not, why not?
6. Does the Commission realise that, by imposing enforcement competences on ISPs, it is devolving enforcement of regulation to private parties? If not, why not?
7. Does the Commission agree that there is a serious risk of mistakes, abuse and censorship?
8. Does the Commission agree that building a virtual wall around Europe’s Internet will be a stimulus for other, possibly oppressive regimes to do the same, thereby censoring information flows and monitoring their citizens even further? If not, why not?
(1) Point 8 of http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/11/st07/st07181.en11.pdf
(2) See for more information the results of the orientation vote in the European Parliament on proposal for a directive COM(2010)94 on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, which took place only three days before the above-named meeting.
Please find the answer here.