"Considering that the European Parliament receives on average 250,000 emails from external senders per day and that in addition 230,000 emails concerning the report on 'Eliminating gender stereotypes' were received, this is a strong indication that the European Parliament is being targeted by mass emails," Schulz said.
Considering the high number of emails received in a very short period of time, the limited number of related email accounts used to sent those mails and because emails were sent automated, the intervention of the technical services was justified, Schulz said. No emails were deleted, the blocked mails have been stored in the quarantine part of the infrastructure, Schulz added.
"In his answer, the President of the European Parliament defends the blocking of the emails from citizens to MEPs as spam, and does not in any way indicate that he will do anything to prevent this from happening again. I find this completely unacceptable," said Engström in a blog post.
If 850 European citizens mail each of the 754 MEPs this will result in several hundred thousand emails being sent, Engström wrote. "But that is no justification for the administration of the European Parliament to take the decision to censor those citizens by just silently discarding the emails that citizens send, so that they do not reach the elected members," he said, adding that in his opinion citizens who make there voices heard are an asset to the political system and not a problem that needs to be addressed by spam filter.
Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org