EP Approves Data Retention

The EP approved the data retention directive, with amendments laid down by EPP and PES. This is a dark day for the Union and the liberty of Europeans. I suggest that all those who voted for these parties will think both once and twice when the next parliamentary election is held.

The directive will call for retention of data under a period between six moths and two years. A monitoring organisation such as this has not been seen since the fall of the Berlin wall.

What is life without liberty I ask. What is the next step in this horrifying spiral? When will people wake up from their dream and finally realise that liberties that we take for granted are being eliminated one by one?

I for one am extremelly displeased with the ongoing development, a sad day indeed.

The Fate of Europe is Decided Today

Today within a few minutes, the parliament will vote about the draconian dataretention directive. Bodström (the Swedish minister of justice) who is one of the brains behind the proposal has whith his accociates in the council made the groupleaders for EPP and PES position them for the proposal. There is a clear oposition against the proposal in the EPP, among others have Charlotte Cedersköld clearly shown her oposition.

It is wrong when the state regulates what data and for how long it is to be stored. Perhaps it is reasonable that the police can query for existing data, but this is not the question treated in this proposal.

The directive that Bodström say that in order to query for the information, the suspected crime has to be valid for an European arrest warrant. Which does not only include serious crimes such as terrorism, murder and trafficing, but also filesharing and other minor offences.

If the parliament opposes the directive, it will be an important point made against the council's undemocratic methods. And if Bodström & co would choose to bypass our elected parliament by screaming out "third pillar", it will be made even more clear that the council lacks in democratic legitimacy and how much the Union's constitution would have been.

In Sweden, the disposal of Bodström must be priorotised, everything else come on second place and I would have made a deal with the devil himself in order to get Bodström, the greatest enemy against liberty in Europe, fired.



More on the draconian data retention directive planned have surfaced. Apparently the parliamentary committee on civil liberties approved a preliminary version of the comission's directive. The directive after the committee's amendments is certainly better than the horrifying draft directive that the council made available a few months ago; but really, this one is not nice either. But it do give right to compensation for the ISPs, although the compensation will come from taxes, so it's a real waste of tax payers money.

Interesting now, is that the entertainment industry has lobbied the parliement in order to get access to the data that is supposed to help combat terrorism and organised crime. Though, their attempts were luckilly in vain.

I believe that I have stated this before, WE DON'T WANT NO STINKING DATA RETENTION LAW!!!

What should be done is the more sane and sensible things such as making way for a European FBI, simplification on information transfers between law enforcement agencies across Europe. And as far as the traffic data goes, yes, I think it's a good idea to allow access to existing traffic data across borders state borders, but forcing the ISPs to store more and additional data than necessary is despicable. Especially the manner this is introduced and the council's actions so far.




Massive Support for the United States of Europe

A poll conducted by this blog have just shown that there is a massive support among the European population for the creation of a federal Europe.

The poll showed that 71.3 % of the European citizens supported the idea of a federal Europe. Only 28.7 % opposed the idea. Among the aliens, i.e. non EU citizens, the support was virtually non existant. 100 % of the non EU-population rejected the idea. While the reason for this is out of the scope of the poll, it is my guess that these people have not seen Europe in its true glory.

Though, it is expected that even these people will change their views on the topic in due time.


ELDR members support the fascist-directive

In Sweden, members from the ELDR and the EPP, have agreed to support the fascist-directive that the Swedish minister of justice, Thomas Bodström (along with his Irish and British counterparts) has been pushing for.

The members of the ELDR and the EPP that I am talking of is the national parties Folkpartiet (ELDR) and Kristdemokraterna (EPP). More specific, the EU-committee of the Swedish parliament discussed the directive and the minister managed to persuade the committee after removing web and chat traffic from the logged data. The two other ELDR and EPP member partys (Centerpartiet and Moderaterna) did not support the directive.

ELDR member Carl B. Hamilton, stated that "as a liberal I have to protect the citizens against stately intrusions into their privacy, but I also have to protect the citizens against terrorists".

That is actually true, but the means that Mr. Hamilton decided to support are not proportional in any way. What would be reasonable and proportional as I see it is for example be to make sure that police from one state can query (through Europol) and receive communications records from another state. Demanding that the data is to be stored for several years is not.

The minister (from the PES party) made a statement about how they wanted to trample on individual privacy for those suspected for involvement in criminality. When a reporter asked him about all the innocents that would be pulled in to this, the minister replied that no one had to worry about intrusions into their privacy unless they are suspected.

Well, of course, no one have to worry a bit because a democratically elected government is inherently good and un-evil. The 1933 elections in Germany proved that without a doubt...

SVT (sv)


EP: Liberty for the People

The European Parliament have today (27 September 2005) voted yes to the European citizens liberty. The vote rejected the plan for data retention that the Council had proposed (an initiative from the governments of Ireland, France, Sweden and the UK).

Although, since this proposal was initiated by the member states and is supposed to be about juridical and police cooperation, it falls under the third pillar and, thus the parliament have no co-decision power (the Council can (as an unelected body) make their own law in this case).

The problem for the Council is that the matter is already regulated by internal market rules and they can't really just change the rules without parliamentary approval if they want to avoid a potentially politically difficult situation (that probably would go to court if they tried). So, now the Parliament and the Council are awaiting a proposal in the matter from the Commission, this proposal will be in the internal market sector and thus subject towards full co-decision.

The Parliament is in general very negative about both of the proposals (though a bit more positive about the Commission's proposal), and in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet a MEP from the EPP wrote a joint debate article together with a MEP from (believe it or not) the NGLA about their opposition against the stasi-like law.

Libertas inaestimabilis res est!

European Parliament Press-release (en)
Aftonbladet (sv)
BBC (en)
Svenska Dagbladet Debate Article [pdf] (sv)


The Dangers of DHMO, ACT NOW!

Usually, I'm quite liberal about stuff like this, but I must draw a line somewhere. There exists a chemical substance called DHMO, or Dihydrogen Monoxide, that is one of the most deadly substances on the planet.

DHMO is a colour-, taste- and odourless liquid that is responsible for the deaths of several thousands every year. Last year alone, over one hundred thousand persons died from the direct or indirect effects of DHMO. DHMO, also known as hydric acid is a major part in acid rain, it can in both liquid and gaseous form cause severe burns. DHMO is added to several sorts of junk-food, and in its two forms deuterium hydromonoxide and dideuterium monoxide it is a vital component for the creation of thermonuclear bombs.

It is a vile substance, that unfortunately can be found almost everywhere. If you have a child in school, the probability that he or she consumes DHMO-contaminated milk for lunch is almost 100%. Do you really want to have your children exposed to DHMO?

Please, write your MEP or MP so that they are made aware of this horrible substance and can take the proper steps towards the ban of DHMO.


Greenpeace Proves their Incompetence

Apparently, Greenpeace is made up by technically incompetent morons. In a press release from 28 June 2005 they bash out on the Iter project. Previously, I did have some respect for Greenpeace as they made people realise that the environment is important (although I cannot say that I agreed with their methods all the time), all this respect has been lost now, since it now shows that their technical incompetence is extremely dangerous for the environment.

The press release is full of disinformation and technical incompetence. For example, they claim that for the €10 billion (short scale) that the project will cost, one could build offshore windfarms producing 10 GW of energy. The calculations here may be correct, but they fail in one vital point: we do not have wind all the time and it would certainly be unwise to rely on something that is so stochastic in nature. It would be necessary to have fast started backup power plants in case the wind fails.

The point they are trying to make is that it takes away money from already working technologies. With this mentality however, we would still live in the stone age. Of course, their claim here need not to be wrong, but it is severely misinformed, and suggests that the people behind it lacks the ability to grasp the whole picture.

Another claim in this press release is that fusion would create a serious waste problem, would emit large amounts of radioactive material and could be used to produce materials for nuclear weapons. These claims are outright lies.

First of all, the waste problem with fission is not the high active waste that you only have to store for a hundred years, the problem is the low active waste that you have to deal with for hundreds of thousands of years. With fusion, you generate small amounts of highly active waste as the reactor walls are contaminated; this is only a problem when decommissioning a plant after its half a century in service and you would only have to store this waste for a hundred year period.

Secondly, the claim that that the material could be used to produce nuclear weapons is just so misinformed that I get sick. I suppose they are thinking on the tritium generated from the lithium blanket. On the other hand, you basically need all this tritium to sustain the fusion reaction.

If we now imagine that tritium somehow, however unlikely was extracted, the tritium in itself cannot be used to build nuclear weapons, firstly you would need an atomic bomb from uranium or some other fissile material as a starter charge. In order to use tritium as a fusion fule in a bomb, you would need deuterium as well (available in regular sea water). In a normal hydrogen bomb the tritium is actually produced from lithium, and why bother finding tritium which is one of the most expensive substances on the planet when you can buy some lithium and produce the tritium yourself when the bomb detonates?

The claims they make are similar to saying that your mobile electronic device can be used to produce nuclear weapons since it contains a lithium battery, or that people should stay away from water as it contains deuterium.

Greenpeace is out, proving their incompetence in finding working solutions for the environmental problems we are facing. Fusion have the promise of producing cheap, safe and pollution free energy and is the best hope for the future of mankind and earth.


The Darknet is Coming

With the recent addition of censorship of the Internet in Sweden and many other European states, the need for an anonymous communications system is growing. The current system in Sweden (heralded by the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet) for example was only to be used to block child porn. In a previous post I predicted that this filter would be expanded; it would sadly seem so that I was right about this. Bodström with his orwellian ambitions decided to request an expansion of the child porn filter to also include web pages that are used by prostitutes and their clients.

So, what is coming next? More pornography related stuff of-course, file sharing networks are probably in danger, and not to forget all the web pages containing hate speech. One is however out on VERY thin ice when starting to ban these since the government tries to act nanny and decide for you what is deemed morally right.

It is of course very difficult for an opponent of these technologies to discuss this, especially since the banned pages are of such kind that you really would like them gone from the planet. Non the less, liberty has never been gratis, it has been payed for in many good men's blood.

The censorship of the Internet is not limited to the enlightened western world, it is far worse in the unfree world. States like Iran, Saudi Arabia and China conduct censorship on the Internet, but these governments censor political information that the state dislike as well. China's Great Firewall (developed by Cisco) is perhaps the most well known of these systems. It cannot be denied that the citizens of these countries should have the right of free speech and liberty. Liberty of thought and speech can in an oppressive country only be guaranteed by completely anonymous communication.

A few weeks ago Ian Clarke of the Freenet project (if you are in China, don't bother to click the link) together with Oskar Sandberg had a presentation on the new version of Freenet in development. The great new thing is that the new version will be scalable on the global scale thanks to new routing algorithm and an invite only system. The motivation behind the new routing algorithm is the small world phenomenon, which basically is a hypothesis stating that every person in the world can be reached through a short chain of social acquaintances.

The network will guarantee the anonymity of a document's publisher and protect the transmissions from governmental eavesdropping. This will ensure that dissidents can publish thought without fearing that the government will knock on their door and drag them away in the night.

If you oppose the right of anonymous communication as it makes it harder to catch pedophiles, ask yourself whither the over 100 000 000 human beings that have been the victims of democide in the 20'th century did not deserve to live. I'm not claiming that all could have been saved, but I am claiming that hundreds of thousand and maybe millions could have lived.

These are exciting times for friends of liberty.

IDG on the censorship extension (sv)
Dagens Nyheter on the New Freenet (sv)
New York Times on the New Freenet (en)
Slashdot on the New Freenet (en)
Freenet Conference Paper (en)


Self-destructing Property and Time Limited Hardware: NO THANKS

The new HD*-DVD format Blu-Ray is apparently going be supporting some disgusting DRM-features. The worst of them is the self-destruct mechanism that will be embedded in the players. Also, while stand alone players will not need to, players in computers will apparently need to be updated periodically via the Internet in order to continue working.

When an individual purchases a DVD-player, the player is now that individual's property. Having the ability for an organisation such as the Blu-Ray forum to disable devices is disgusting, and I believe that article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 1, protocol 11 of the European convention on Human Rights is in violation since it guarantees the right to property.

It is imperative that we stop this development that undermine such important principles.

And NO, nonnegotiable end users agreements cannot revoke the UDHR or ECHR.

* HD = High Definition

Blu-Ray DRM Paper (PDF-file)


Fighting Crime and Terrorism in Europe

In the wake of Madrid and London, the Council (Justice and Home Affairs Council to be exact) is trying to introduce some (in the third pillar so the elected parliament has nothing to say) orwellian laws that will destroy the free and open society. I'm of course referring to the telecommunication data storage programme that some on the Council wants to introduce. There are however steps in the right direction that are taking place as well.

Firstly we have Europol, a European police organisation that assist in enhancing cooperation between national police. Europol helps with planning multinational operations, previously this had to be done through diplomatic channels. The second thing is the European arrest warrant, which moves requests for arrests in other EU-states from the slow and bureaucratic diplomatic channels towards the courts. Another thing that has just recently been agreed upon is the exchange of criminal records over the borders.

One idea that would enhance the ability to fight crime and terrorism across the borders and that would be extremely helpful is the creation of a federal European police force. I.E. a European FBI. The idea is that Europol should be given executive powers and start to conduct their own investigations. This is of course a thorn into national sovereignty which make the idea even more appealing.

All of this is in my mind good and clearly demonstrate that it is possible to enhance the ability to combat crime and terrorism in Europe without introducing fascistic laws such as the teledata proposal.


URGENT: Defend Your Liberties

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
-Article 12, Universial Declaration of Human Rights

The Council of Ministers are trying to push through 3:rd pillar law (the one that the elected parliament doesn't have any say in), that threaten the free and open society. The law that is in violation of the universial declaration of human rights and the European convention of human rights will mandate that traffic data will be stored for a very long time (proposals mention between 6 months and 4 years), current law states that traffic data must be erased when it's not needed for billing purposes. The Council wants traffic data such as timestamps, sender and reciever stored for SMS-messages, e-mail, webbsurfing, phonecalls et.c. The possibillities for missuse are endless.

The law is being rushed by the Brittish and Swedish governments now after the latest terror attacks against Europe. While combatting terrorism is one of the most important issues, this law will help with nothing except to bring ISPs out of business due to the tremmendous costs in storing all the data, and reinstate the eastern european state terror against its citizens, but this time against all of Europe.

This is an orvellian nighmare comming true.

EDRi has in coorporation with the Dutch ISP XS4ALL started a petition in order to prevent the gestapo-like law.

I urge you all to sign it as soon as possible, your liberties are at stake here.


Läs mina läppar...

Det bör vara ganska uppenbart att jag avskyr Nils Lundgrens europapolitik, men för ni övriga som röstade på honom i parlamentsvalet kan ni fundera på brustna vallöften.

Nils Lundgren var emot mjukvarupatent innan valet, ett antal av hans kryss var förmodligen också på grund av detta. På liknande sätt som SAPs löfte om inga biltullar inför förra valet ändrade han åsikt helt och hållet.

Man skall hålla sina löften.

Uppsala Nya Tidning

EP Rejects Software Patents Directive

July, 6, 2005 is a great day for European democracy, SMEs and software developers all over Europe.

The EP has decided to reject the directive on computer implemented inventions, aka the software patents directive. The parliament rejected the directive with 648 votes to 14 with 18 abstenations, this out of a total of 732 MEPs.

The overwelming majority came after the EPP in last minute after a speach by Michel Rocard (PSE); the speach changed the EPP MEPs to reject the directive the directive.

Although, while a directive is needed that clearly limits the patentability of software, it is better with no text at all than a bad text; and it would also be better to address this issue in a full Union based patent system that replaced all the national patents.

European Parliament


ITER Decision Reached

Finally after being delayed for several years, a agreement to build ITER (the International Termonuclear Experimental Reactor) has been reached. ITER will be placed in the European Union. There has been intense discussions on where to host the project with two sites, one in the EU (more specifically Cadarache, south of France) and one in the Japans.

The partners in the projects are the European Union, the United States, the Russian Federation, the Japans, China and South Korea. In order to get the Japans to yield their site they were offered 20% of the research posts while only paying for 10% of the project, the Japans will also host a material research facility.

It was important to host this in the Union over the Japans due to a number of reasons, firstly the EU has made the most progress in the area of controlled fusion research and secondly hosting such an important project in an earthquake threatened area is not an alternative as I see it.

The project is one of the most important scientific projects ever undertaken, it will in the end give us cheap, clean and safe energy. When comparing to the currently used fission reactors, fusion reactors do not produce any low active nuclear waste and fusion reactors cannot cause any major accidents.



The Anthem of Europe

One of the great obstacles that we must overcome together is that Europeans do not feel European. Peter Roland and Peter Diem wrote new lyrics for the Union anthem two years ago, in hope to promote European identity and unity.

The anthem is to be sung in latin, though there are translations into all the official languages of the Union (so that we can understand the text being sung). Using latin is smart, since no one can object about one language being favoured over the other.

The lyrics are available here!

Sing this, learn it by heart and spread the use of the song, for Europe!

Rippling Effect of the Referendums

It is very interesting to see how the referendums have changed the opinion in for example Denmark. Why do each state have the referendums on different dates? It is clear that the outcome of one referendum will effect the outcome in another, especially when the result is so exposed in the media as it have been. What happened when the Spanish voters said yes with a crushing majority? Well, nothing, except a small note in the newspaper.

I have previously written about how wrong it is with national referendums. This is another reason; at least the politicians could have the courtesy of having all the referendums on the same date in order to avoid this rippling effect.

There were complaints from the commission when the Dutch authorities released the results of the last EP elections one day in advance, fearing that it would effect the elections in the other states. Why is no one reacting now?

Dagens Nyheter


Sane ABI for Mac OS X86

I was a bit worried when Apple decided to switch to the IA32 architecture. Three reasons I had for this:
  1. To few visible registers
  2. No Open Firmware
  3. Brain dead calling conventions in System V ABI

Item 1 will be addressed in the EMT64 extensions. Item 2 is a lost cause. Item 3 was addressed by Apple when they defined their own ABI, differing from the Sys V ABI that GNU/Linux use.

Important here is that Apple mandates that the stack pointer is 16 byte aligned at call site boundaries, this implies that the base pointer will also be 16 byte aligned. So, for all 8 (or less) byte variables, the compiler can guarantee that they are aligned properly by the natural alignment.

Further more, in order to ensure minimal performance loss due to miss-aligned access, the ABI enforces a strict 4 byte stack element size, everything including chars are 4 byte aligned on the stack.

This also mean that you will put elements on the stack in the same way as on the PowerPC, i.e. modify stack pointer, place elements with offset from the stack pointer.

Thank you Apple, some hope in the darkness. Now, I only hope that you don't let the new machines be BIOS based, I grieve Open Firmware.


Microsoft bans Democracy

Microsoft just launched their blogging service MSN Spaces in China. In a move to appease the communistic government in China, users of the service was banned from labelling blogs with words such as democracy, freedom, demonstration, democratic movement and Taiwan independence. Entering these words as keywords resulted in a message saying: This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech from this item.

On the positive side, users were still permitted to write about these subjects in their blogs. But just wait... that will probably be banned as well in a short while.

Financial Times
Full article at MSNBC, ironic isn't it?


A Dark Day for Europe

The referendum did not turn out well in France, the axis of evil (Fabius, Wilders and Buffet) prevailed. We can't give up in our quest to unify the people of Europe, and build a federal union of the European people.

Now is not the time perhaps, but the vital elements in the constitutional treaty: more power to the EP, mutual defence guarantees, the Unions foreign minister and the stop of the rotating presidency in the Council; must be implemented as soon as possible; perhaps 2007 when Bulgaria and Romania joins.

We seem to have taken the idea of Europe for granted, today we know we can never do that. We must work together and spread the idea of Europe, on the streets, in the coffee rooms, at work and all other places.

There will come a day when all borders in Europe have been torn down, when we stand together as one people united in diversity. It is not this day, but the day will come.


Undemocratic Referendums

The best description of the Union is that it is a sui generis entity. The Union has several exclusive areas in which the Union works on a federal level, other areas are treated on a confederal level and other on a state level. So, the Union do have the appearance of a single country in some areas; in defence and foreign policy each state still have veto power and the Union seems to be a union of independent states.

This is of course a problem, even in the new constitution, but at least the constitution moves in the right way (e.g. mutual defence guarantees, more power to the European Parliament and so forth). Especially the move of power to the directly elected EP from the Council is most welcome since this will enhance democracy on the Union level. It is not perfect however, especially since the EP will still not be able to propose new law, but al least it is a step in the right direction.

The goal of every true European should be to transform the Union into a true federal republic.

Tomorrow, the state of France will hold a referendum on the Unions constitution. Several newspapers have pointed on the fact that a lot of French citizens will vote no in order to object against the current government. Can the referendum really be seen as valid if the peoples vote isn't about the constitution, but about the current government?

The ratification of the constitutional treaty will be done by referendums in some states and in other states there will be parliamentary votes. Neither one of there options have any legitimacy as I see it, although the complexity of the question certainly favours the parliamentary ratification. National referendums are inherently undemocratic in this specific question, the only valid and legitimate ratification procedure as I see it would be a joint European referendum and parliamentary ratification.

Having a referendum in each state is just plain wrong since this means that one Swede would be worth 7 Frenchmen, 2 Dutch or 0.5 Finns. Having individuals being valued with different levels of importance like this is counter to the idea of equality.

Non the less, tomorrow there is a referendum in France and on the first of June there is a referendum in the Netherlands.

I plead to you my fellow Europeans, vote oui or ja. Not for the sake of France or the Netherlands, but for the sake of the Union.


Göran Persson vs Fredrik Reinfeldt

I tisdagens debatt kan vi notera följande:

Tid 7:15:
GP: "..och <av med glasögonen> det klart att du inte vill använda ordet, det är så besudlat."

Tid 7:30:
GP: "..om man är en vanlig industriarbetare, för HONOM är det, eller för HENNE om det är en kommunalarbetare", vadå låsta könsroller?

Tid 15:40:
FR: "det är det som är den Göran Perssonska återvändsgränden"

Credits till pluto^ som har skarpa öron.


Telia's censour defeated by the EFF

Thank the gods for the EFF. They released a system developed in conjunction with the U.S. Navy that anonymise your network traffic.

The system is called Tor and is free as in freedom. It works on Mac OS X, Linux and Windows. It is based on a concept called onion routing. It basically works by having a local proxy-server that connects to a Tor server through TLS, this server in turn routes the packets forward to another router and so on, until it reaches the destination server.

This is a great thing for freedom and human rights, since no government can track or eavesdrop on the communication that an individual is conducting.

So it begins...

Telia has now made their child pornography filter active. Telia is going to monitor all Internet traffic in Sweden. It does not affect all Internet users, but most of them, including customers of Spray, Glocalnet and Bredbandsbolaget.

The fact that this is against the spirit of article II-67 of the constitution (which is based on the ECHR) nobody seems to care about, and nobody seems to worry that someone will look over their shoulder every single second they are online.

Everyone has the right to respect for his or her private and family life, home and communications.



Nederlanders stem JA!

Nederlanders, stem ja in de referendum van de grondwet. De grondwet zijn de meeste belangrijke kwestie van de toekomst van Europa. Als je nee zeggen, dan zeggen je ja van de Nice-verdrag, en dat verdrag kan niet werk met 25 lidstaten.

En denk moeten je, van je Europese broders en zusters. Ik zeggen: Ik ben een Europees en niet een Zweeds; wat zijn je?

Sorry about my Dutch, probably lots of spelling errors. Please write a comment about any linguistic errors.

Please vote yes, for the sake of the Union!


Något ruttet i Bryssel

Rubriken skall inte tolkas som något antieuropeiskt. Den är ett uttryck för hur illa och odemokratiskt den europeiska beslutsprocessen fungerar. Jag är mycket europavänlig, och för att vara ännu mer tydlig, europafederalist.

Det som hänt nu är Ministerrådets beslut om en gemensam hållning i frågan om hurvida mjukvarupatent skall vara tillåtna eller ej i EU.

Händelserna hittills

För att förstå det hela måste man gå tillbaka till ruta 1 då Kommissionen lämnade över ett förslag för att harmonisera patentreglerna om mjukvara och datorimplementerade uppfinningar. Förslaget fick tusentals små och medelstora IT-företag samt tiotusentals programmerare att bli upprörda. En intensiv lobbykampanj startades för att hindra parlamentet att släppa igenom direktivet utan tillägg. Problemen med ursprungstexten var flertaliga. Bland annat saknades det en tydlig definition på teknik, som om man vill kan tolkas som marknadsföringsteknik, dansteknik eller något annat orimligt. Det behövdes därmed en definition av ordet teknik så att det endast inkluderar sådant som handlar om att kontrollera naturkrafterna.

Efter Europeiska Parlamentets första läsning hösten 2003 skickades direktivet (med ändringarna som lagade direktivets oegentligheter) vidare till Ministerrådet för rådets första läsning. Ministerrådet valde att ta fram en ny text utan Parlamentets ändringar. Texten blev informellt accepterad efter diskussion i maj 2004. Omröstning skulle hållas senare.

I december 2004 försökte rådet att få förslaget formellt accepterat under ett möte med rådet för Jordbruks- och fiskeriaffärer. Förslaget låg då som ett punkt som kan accepteras utan diskussion. En polsk minister anlände i sista minut och stoppade det hela. Samma sak upprepade sig i januari 2005.

När FFII's representant talade med rådsdiplomat och frågade om varför rådet vägrade gå tillbaka till förhandlingar om frågan svarade han: "This is not a banana republic!", d.v.s. Jag vägrar lyssna på det folkvalda Europaparlamentet för att Unionen inte är en bananrepublik.

Den 17e februari 2005 samlades cirka 300 (till största delen liberala) företagare, mjukvaruutvecklare och politiker från hela Europa i Bryssel och demonstrerade mot direktivet.

I mars 2005 samanträdde rådet för den inre marknaden (den här gången rätt sammanslutning av ministrar) och röstade igenom förslaget i brott mot Ministerrådets "Rules of Procedure".

Ordförande från Luxemburg sade: "We are adopting this Common Position today for institutional reasons as not to create a precedent".

Hoppet hänger nu på att Europaparlamentet blockerar eller ändrar förslaget. För detta behövs absolut majoritet. Det verkar dock som att parlamentet kommer att återinföra alla de tidigare ändringarna.

Problemen med mjukvarupatent

Som liberal är man generellt sett ganska patentvänlig, men man måste naturligtvis se på det hela ifrån varje bransh. Exempelvis är tanken på att patentera en film eller ett musikstycke helt absurd. Patent på läkemedel och tekniken och processen involverad i att isolera specifika gener är svåra att ifrågasätta. The Economist har dock vid ett flertal tillfällen påpekat att det nuvarande patentsystemet inte fungerar.

Mjukvara är dock inte något man kan tillämpa patent på. Det finns ett antal anledningar till detta. En av dessa är att programvara redan är skyddat av upphovsrätten och att det är olämpligt att ha dubbelt skydd. En annan är att en patentansökan skall beskriva hur man löser ett problem, patent på mjukvara gör detta mycket sällan (det är inte orimligt att det går åt ett par miljoner rader kod för att implementera vissa patent) och då de gör det är det oftast fråga om mycket triviala saker.

Thomas Östros uttalade sig i SvD efter rådets beslut. "Jag är starkt för patent, det är mycket viktigt för Ericsson och Nokia men också för småföretag." Ericsson och Nokia kan nog säkerligen tycka att det hade varit bra, men de har inga problem att söka ett EPO-patent för de cirka €30 000 som det kostar. Ett småföretag har väldigt sällan medlen till detta.

Vidare så säljer Östros ut Unionens ekonomi och utvecklingsmöjligheter då av de mer än 30 000 mjukvarupatent som redan är beviljade (men ej giltiga) i Unionen tillhör majoriteten amerikanska företag. Blir mjukvarupatent lagliga kommer dessa att omedelbart bli giltiga, och europeisk industri kommer att offras.

Normalt kan större företag ordna korslicensieringsavtal. Unionens mjukvarubranch är dominerad av små och medelstora företag. Dessa företag har mycket svårt att ordna korslicensieringsavtal med större bolag, då ett litet bolag har säg 5 parent jämfört med det stora bolagets 5000 patent.

En avsevärd del av beviljade mjukvarupatent är dessutom antingen triviala och / eller för generella. I vissa fall kan man inkräkta på ett patent med en enda rad kod, och ett inte allt för stort program kan innehålla över 300 000 rader kod.

Följande (RSA-kryptering) var patenterat tills för ett par år sedan, beskrivningen här är marginellt kortare än kodmassan som krävs för att implementera det hela:
Låt p, q vara primtal,
Låt n = pq
Låt m = (p-1)(q-1)
Låt e vara ett heltal och 3 < e < m och e skall vara koprimt till m.
Beräkna d enligt: ed = 1 (mod m)
Nu gäller:
C = M^e (mod n)
M = C^d (mod n)

Som ett exempel kan vi ponera att vi vill starta en webb-butik för att sälja böcker ifrån Contra. Man vill ju inte tvinga kunderna att fylla i kreditkorts- och leveransuppgifter för varje bok. Man kan då ganska enkelt fundera ut två lösningar. 1) Låt kunden registrera sig en gång, lagra kundens uppgifter i en databas och bara låta honom klicka på en knapp vid boken för att köpa den. 2) Låt kunden klicka på en knapp "Lägg i kundvagn" och sedan fylla i uppgifter då han "går till kassan". Båda dessa lösningar kommer automatiskt då man utvecklar webbshopen, båda är patenterade. Det ena iform av 1-Click av Amazon det andra "kundvagnspatentet" är patenterat hos EPO; patentnummer EP807891 och EP784279. Dessutom är hela konceptet med webbshop patenterat; nummer EP803105 och EP738446. Andra patent som är beviljade är hur man betalar med kreditkort via nätet; EP820620 och EP779587.

För mer info kan ni ta en titt på: http://webshop.ffii.org/ där ni kan se vad du råkar ut för om ni någonsin startar en web-butik.

Ett annat problem som kommer dyka upp är bolag som inte utvecklar något men som livnär sig på att köpa upp patent och stämma andra. I Förenta Staterna finns det ett bolag som har patent för hur man skickar film över Internet (inte för att det är någon större skillnad på att ladda ner en film jämfört med vilken annan fil som helst, om man bortser från realtidsaspekterna). Detta bolag började med att stämma porrbolag som lät kunder ladda ner film, detta väckte ju sympati för patentbolaget som kämpade mot den elaka porrindustrin som uppenbarligen inte hade någon respekt för intellektuella rättigheter. Efter tillräckligt många rättsfall där porrbolag förlorat har patentbolaget nu börjat stämma universitet och "vanliga" företag.


ISP traffic monitoring

Recently Telia, the Swedish state owned phone company. After public outcry, decided to install filters that would block internet traffic to child pornography sites on the Internet. Fighting kiddie porn is of course an honourable task; however, the means must be discussed.

What Telia is doing is just plain wrong, and unfitting in a democratic society (the Swedish minister of justice Thomas Bodström is also very wrong as he has threatened with legislation if the ISPs don't install such a system). If there would be a Big Brother award in Sweden, surely Telia and / or Bodström would deserve this award. The system is modelled after the one installed in the UK by British Telecom.

What is happening now is that Telia is installing filters, that will scan all Internet traffic passing through their servers and routers, these filters will then block traffic to and from specific servers that has been identified serving kiddie porn.

The main problem here is of course not the fight against child pornography, but the fact that such filters are being installed. It is easy to conceive that the government might threaten the ISPs into blocking other traffic, and it will happen. First it will be extended to hate crimes on the Internet, i.e. the blocking of neo-nazi, anti-gay, anti-islam web pages. Further on it might be other sites that are included especially those that are "uncomfortable" for the government.

This has to stop immediately!