European Parliament blocks citizen e-mails protesting EU 'porn ban'

After European citizens began to complain en masse over a report proposing that porn should be banned in the 27-member state bloc, European politicians blew the whistle on their own IT department.

One member of the European Parliament (MEP) claims the upper house's own IT department is censoring e-mails from citizens.

The European Parliament in Strasbourg, France European Parliament/Flickr

Pirate Party member Christian Engström MEP blew the whistle on his fellow political colleagues after they had complained to the parliament's IT department that they were receiving vast numbers of e-mails from the very people they represent.

It comes only a day after CNET reported that other European politicians are set to vote next week on a report that could lead to a pan-European EU ban on all forms of pornography in the region.

On his Web site, Engström said that it was "absolutely excellent" that citizens were actively engaging in the democratic process, and that he had received some 350 emails to his office before 12 midday today.

After this, he said, "these mails suddenly stopped arriving," he said. He claimed, quite frankly, that: "The IT department of the European Parliament is blocking the delivery of the e-mails on this issue, after some members of the parliament complained about getting e-mails from citizens."

He described the block as an "absolute disgrace" and that the European upper house views input from its citizens "as spam." He noted that he will be writing a letter to the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, about this "totally undemocratic practice."

The massive influx of e-mails stemmed from a report written by Dutch MEP for the Socialist Party, Kartika Tamara Liotard, who called on the European Union to enforce a blanket ban on pornography in the media of the 27 member states, including online.

While this initiative report is not a draft legislative measure, it suggests an opinion by the wider European Parliament that could lead to legislation in the future. The vote is scheduled for this coming Tuesday.

This is not the first time the Parliament has been blamed for blocking e-mails from its citizens, however. During the widespread anger over a new transatlantic treaty -- the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA) -- e-mails were also blocked by the European Parliament after Brussels-based politicians complained.

The treaty that on one hand would counter the illegal counterfeit goods trade across borders but on the other would have made it make it far easier for Internet providers to monitor consumers. ACTA would have also allowed for local authorities to impose new criminal sanctions on those who flout copyright and patent laws.

ACTA eventually crumbled in the European Parliament, sending the global agreement into turmoil.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

iPhone running slow?

Here are some quick fixes for some of the most common problem in iOS 7.