Thursday

29th Jun 2017

Focus

EU to move against Iran satellite, internet censorship

The European Union is on Monday (22 March) set to announce it intends to take action to "put an end" to satellite jamming and internet censorship in Iran.

Foreign ministers from EU member states meeting in Brussels will issue a declaration that notes with "grave concern" the measures taken by Iranian authorities in recent months to prevent its citizens from accessing certain content via TV, satellite, mobile phone and the internet.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"Deliberate interference by jamming of satellite broadcasting has affected numerous radio and TV services, including European services, transmitted by [French operator] Eutelsat," reads the draft document, seen by EUobserver. It is expected to be confirmed by the ministers and later officially adopted by EU premiers and presidents at the spring EU summit later in the week.

The BBC's Persian service and Germany's Deutsche Welle have also been the object of the Islamic Republic's high-tech censors.

"In addition, the Iranian authorities regularly prevent their citizens from freely accessing, communicating and sharing information on the internet, and restrict or block mobile telecommunications."

The resolution notes that complaints made via the International Telecommunications Union, a Geneva-based UN agency, have been ignored by the country.

The bloc will call on Tehran to cease such jamming and internet censorship "immediately". If Iran does not respond, the EU "is determined to pursue these issues and to act with a view to put an end to this unacceptable situation."

What precise sanctions the EU could take are not spelt out in the declaration, although it is thought that exports of some electronic and telecommunications equipment from European manufacturers could be halted.

The statement will also recognise more generally the growing problem of attempts by authorities in many countries to curtail access to content available via new telecommunications technologies.

"Restrictions and limitations on the use of new technologies have emerged as a key challenge to the respect for human rights in many parts of the world, undermining the potential the technologies have in promoting freedom of expression."

Pressure mounts on EU cloud deal as deadline looms

The European Commission is under pressure to keep to its self-imposed September deadline to publish an EU cloud computing strategy, as new evidence revealed widespread public confusion about it.

Slovenia and Croatia reignite border dispute

Croatia said it would not apply a ruling to be delivered by the international arbitration court on Thursday. Slovenia appeals to the EU to pressure its neighbour.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. World VisionEU, Young Leaders and Civil Society Join Forces to End Violence Against Girls
  2. EU2017EEGet the Latest News from the 2017 Estonian EU Council Presidency @EU2017EE
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Talks Should Insist on Ending Reprisals Against Critical Voices
  4. European Free AllianceEFA Is Looking for a New Intern
  5. Malta EU 2017Conservation of Atlantic Tunas: International Measures Become EU Law
  6. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan Statin Therapy Interfere With a Physically Active Lifestyle?
  7. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  8. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  9. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  10. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  11. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  12. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!