Smith Hails EU Parliament Vote For Internet Freedom

06 May 2009
SNP Member of the European Parliament and alternate member of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee Mr Alyn Smith has today (Wednesday) hailed a vote in the Strasbourg chamber which confirms that a user's internet access cannot be restricted without prior ruling by the judicial authorities.

This defeats a concerted French effort to see considerable limits placed on the right of access by some 407 votes to 57, with 171 abstentions.

The package will now enter into a negotiation between the Parliament and the Member State governments, so realistically will not be resolved until after the European elections in June, but the defeat of the French proposals represents a major victory for the Parliament and for internet freedom.

Speaking after the vote, Smith said:

"I'm delighted that our group was so to the fore on this dossier, and promoted, successfully, the rights to internet freedom.

"This is a real win for the Parliament as a whole, and proves to the French government as much as any, that we will put the rights of our citizens first and foremost, and will not be pushed around.

"I'm grateful to so many constituents and others who contacted us with messages of support, and glad that their pleas to other MEPs did not fall on entirely deaf ears. The Parliament had a good day today."