Netizen Report: France Bags ‘Hadopi’ Law, Germany Pushes for Data Protection | Digital Open Public Sphere |

Most of this report was researched, written, and edited by Lisa Ferguson, Yuqi Chen, Alex Laverty, Hae-in Lim, Ellery Roberts Biddle and Sarah Myers.

Global Voices Advocacy's Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world. We begin this edition in the EU, where last week France trashed its controversial ‘Hadopi’ anti-piracy law and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for greater protections for user data in the EU, reminding us that not all news is bad news.

National Policy

French legislators struck down the heavy-handed ‘Hadopi’ online copyright law. Under the law's “three strikes” rule, users who violated copyright restrictions three or more times could be punished by having their Internet connections cut. The Guardian reports that legislators are seeking policy reforms that will shift the focus of law enforcement towards commercial piracy issues.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised to push for tougher laws in the EU aimed at protecting personal information on the Internet. According to Merkel, a region-wide approach that unifies the diverse range of data protection laws that individual European states have adopted will improve user protections overall.

Iran launched a “national email service” that all citizens will be required to use to “safely” communicate with government officials. It remains unclear whether this will impact access to other email providers. President-elect Hassan Rouhani has called for less filtering of the Internet, saying “gone are the days when a wall could be built around the country.” Analysts see the debate over Internet policy as critical to Iran’s future, as relaxation of controls could help bolster the country’s economy.

Via Andrea Naranjo