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Internet freedom 'must be protected', TD tells Council of Europe

TD for Clare Michael McNamara was speaking about ACTA at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

Image: Press Association Images

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION and internet freedom must be protected in future domestic legislation resulting from the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Labour’s TD for Clare told the Council of Europe today.

Michael McNamara was speaking at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, where he called for public consultations about future domestic legislation resulting from ACTA.

He spoke in favour of a proposed amendment to a resolution on “the protection of freedom of expression and information on the Internet and online media”, referring to the “wide criticism and concerns over the restriction of fundamental rights and freedoms, most notably the freedom of expression and communication privacy, raised by Internet stakeholders and governments” in relation to ACTA.

McNamara said that many of Ireland’s fellow member state would have “such fundamental rights enshrined” in their constitutions and – therefore – citizen would be entitled to ensure that their rights were being protected in the courts.

As such, he said, it was “questionable as to whether regulatory institutions are the appropriate means to police matters that are so central to democracy.”

At the beginning of the month, the European Commission referred the controversial treaty to the European Court of Justice.

The European Parliament’s ratification is required to make the treaty binding on the 27 EU member states; the Commission has urged it to wait until the court issues a ruling on whether ACTA is compatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

EU agrees on referral of ACTA to European Court of Justice>

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