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Ferris calls for full debate and vote on internet legislation

25 January, 2012 - by Martin Ferris TD

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on communications, Martin Ferris TD, has called on the Government to have a full debate in the Dáil on measures governing access to the internet.

He was responding to an interview with Minister Seán Sherlock yesterday which Deputy Ferris said leaves many questions to be answered regarding the implications of the legislation.

Deputy Ferris said:

“While the Minister is claiming that he needs to act in order to reflect both a recent court judgement and two EU directives, he appears to be pretty vague regarding the implications of what he is proposing. Experts in the field are taking a diametrically opposed view to that of the Minister.

“There is understandable fear among both commercial and private users of the internet that this will leave the door open to actions that would severely restrict access to information if copyright holders can secure orders preventing it being made available.

“That would not only represent a significant attack on individual freedom but also a threat to a healthy sector of the Irish economy which has attracted major international players to locate here.

“In the interests of teasing all of this out I am calling on the Government to facilitate a debate and to present legislation that will require approval by the Oireachtas prior to any enactment. That would allow a full debate with meaningful inputs from all interested parties.”

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