Dutch journalists and internet providers have objected to the “undemocratic censorship system”
An alliance of Dutch journalists, internet providers and civil society groups announced on Monday that they would challenge the EU’s decision to ban RT and Sputnik before a European Court of Justice. Although they do not support the content of both outlets, the coalition says the hasty censorship is undemocratic and raises constitutional questions.
The EU cabinet banned RT and Sputnik on March 2, citing the conflict in Ukraine and said it would remain in effect until Russia stopped operating. “Confusion and information manipulation action against the EU and its member states.”
It was a hasty political decision “Do not do justice to the freedom of information contained in the human rights treaty, which is the foundation of our democracy.” The Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) reported on Monday. NVJ is joining Press Freedom Fund (Persvrijheidsfonds) and three Internet service providers to challenge the ban in front of the Luxembourg-based ECJ and will file an application on Tuesday, the group said.
“We’re not fans of RT and Sputnik.” NVJ’s Thomas Bruning told Dutch public broadcaster NOS to call outlets “State propaganda.” But he added that the ban prevents “Anyone, including scientists and journalists, is able to request that information. We don’t think it’s up to European government leaders to decide what can and can’t be found on the Internet. “
The alliance wants to resolve “Legitimacy and Proportionality” Prohibition, and whether “Undemocratic censorship system” Fair, the plaintiff said in a statement.
“The measure requires ISPs to block access to information that contradicts the principle of net neutrality.” Internet director Freedom Internet director Enco Scholte said in a statement about joining the Ter Horst case. “In a democratic constitutional state, a free and open Internet is absolutely necessary.”
Scholte ter Horst described the EU sanctions on the NOS as a decision “Panic and rushing” Which is “Not proportional and opens the door to more such barriers,” Indicates that the ISP has previously been told that it cannot interfere with the content of the Net Neutrality Policy.
This is a threat to the open internet.
As a result of EU sanctions, RT and Sputnik broadcasts – even their accounts on some social media platforms – are not accessible in the region of the block. Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom followed suit. The United States has a constitutional ban on public censorship, but Silicon Valley-based YouTube has blocked RT and Sputnik accounts.
Condemning the censorship, RT Deputy Editor-in-Chief Anna Belkina says its critics did not. “To point to a single example, a single grain of evidence that what RT has reported these days, and is about to report, is not true.”
Russia has retaliated by blocking the websites of several Western state outlets, including the BBC, Deutsche Welle and US-run Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty and Soboda. Earlier this month, Moscow also revoked the CBC’s visa and credentials, citing Canada’s decision in March to ban RT’s English and French broadcasts.