Finnish Parliament Revises Controversial Internet Plan
A proposal seen as, "a threat to the free communications in the Internet" in Finland has been substantially revised by the Finnish parliament, says the Electronic Frontier Foundation Finland (EFFI).
If the law had been passed as was, "It was feared any publisher or service provider would have had to log practically all Internet traffic, archive all publications for up to three months and even monitor discussion groups," says the organization.
Electronic Frontier Finland has been battling the law proposal for more than a year and EFFI board member Kai Puolamäki was invited to present EFFI's critique at the parliament's hearing session.
"There were a number of serious problems in the government's proposal", he says. "Luckily, the parliament heard us and took our comments into account. Now the result is a better law. There is no doubt on it - we can make a difference."
He said the emphasis is now on freedom of speech instead of restrictions, going on, "The scope of retention is more narrow. Archivation time is significantly reduced to three weeks. Any communication not edited by service provider or website owner is not governed by the law - this means chat rooms and newsgroups are saved. Finally, the logging of Internet traffic data is no longer required. So privacy is saved, too."
EFFI chairman Mikko Välimäki said, "This is a second huge victory for us in a short time. Just two weeks ago we persuaded the parliament to return the local EU copyright directive implementation for redrafting. Now they rewrote the law on free speech on the Internet quite in line with our arguments."
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