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Entanet calls on Internet industry to back resistance to ‘right to be forgotten’ directive

1 August 2014

– In its latest opinion piece, leading wholesale connectivity supplier, Entanet, explores the arguments for and against the new laws that allow individuals to be ‘forgotten’ on the Internet and asks if this is the first step towards a broader censorship approach to the web.

The company wants ISPs to get involved with the debate and support the resistant stance that the UK government has taken to the directive.

Following an ECJ ruling in May, EU citizens now have a ‘right to be forgotten’ and request the removal of links to any irrelevant, outdated, excessive or inaccurate information about them from search engines and other non-media websites. Google has reportedly received 91,000 requests covering a total of 328,000 links and has already approved more than 50% of these for removal.

This caused a huge amount of controversy and the UK government has already set itself against the ruling, which it has branded as “unworkable, unreasonable and wrong in principle”. The government also noted that while the “massive burden” of removing links could be borne by Google, it could not be so easily managed by smaller search engines.

Entanet believes service providers should be adding their weight to the resistance to ensure that the potentially far-reaching directive does not to lead to further restrictions or censorship, which could have profound implications for their business, in the future.

Paul Heritage-Redpath, Product Manager at the company says: “We think this is a subject that ISPs and everyone involved in publishing material on the web ought to be getting involved in. The potential implications are huge. The concern must be that this will be the thin end of the wedge and we could start to see more censorious rules being applied in the future, which could cause complex problems. We’re pleased to see that the UK government has quickly set out its stall against the directive and we’d encourage ISPs to support that position and make their own views clear. As well as being inherently wrong to leave it up to corporations to decide what can and can’t stay on the web, our view is that this goes against the original spirit of openness and information sharing that has been at the heart of the Internet revolution.”

You can read the full article here: Is our 'right to be forgotten' the first step towards censorship?