Strip-searching the internet: upload filters and generalised monitoring of communications

Track 01 – Re-imagining the digital public sphere

Fuelled by war on terrorism, the fake news debate and the fight against infringing content, there is an increasing stream of legislative proposals across Europe and the globe that invade online privacy and limit digital free speech in the name of law enforcement.

The currently discussed EU Copyright Directive includes a requirement for major online services to install upload filters that monitors everything for possible copyright infringement in order to avoid liability. In the UK content take-downs with the aim of hindering the spreading of terrorist content are becoming the norm. Across the continent hate speech and fake news are leading or have led to content blocking & removal legislation.

But are these measure effective and what are their effects? And is the urge to control content and take it down instantly not leading to blanket surveillance of all online activity?


  • Glyn Moody, Writer, journalist, blogger
  • Jon Filipek, Consultant, DG CNECT, European Commission
  • Slavka Bielikova, Open Rights Group
  • Melody Patry, Access Now


  • Dimitar Dimitrov, EU Policy Director at Wikimedia