3. Protecting citizens’ rights relating to internet access by a new internet freedom provision: Following the strong request of the European Parliament, and after long negotiations on this point, the new telecoms rules now explicitly state that any measures taken by Member States regarding access to or use of services and applications through telecoms networks must respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens, as they are guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and in general principles of EU law. Such measures must also be appropriate, proportionate and necessary within a democratic society. In particular, they must respect the presumption of innocence and the right to privacy. With regard to any measures of Member States taken on their Internet access (e.g. to fight child pornography or other illegal activities), citizens in the EU are entitled to a prior fair and impartial procedure, including the right to be heard, and they have a right to an effective and timely judicial review.
Commissioner Reding said on this matter: “The new internet freedom provision represents a great victory for the rights and freedoms of European citizens. The debate between Parliament and Council has also clearly shown that we need find new, more modern and more effective ways in Europe to protect intellectual property and artistic creation. The promotion of legal offers, including across borders, should become a priority for policy-makers. ‘Three-strikes-laws‘, which could cut off Internet access without a prior fair and impartial procedure or without effective and timely judicial review, will certainly not become part of European law.”