More than Half of the EU with Restrictions to Net access. What will Neelie Kroes Do?

Paris, January 20th, 2012 – La Quadrature du Net sent EU regulators evidence from the platform Respect My Net that in more than 14 EU Member States, telecoms operators engage in illegitimate restrictions of their customers' Internet access. Such evidence shows that EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes' “laisser-faire” approach on Net neutrality amounts to allowing operators to blatantly violate their users' freedom of communication. Now is the time for the EU Commission to start working on stringent measures to enforce Net neutrality all across Europe.

Based on the reports submitted by citizens on the RespectMyNet platform1, La Quadrature du Net answered the Body of EU telecoms regulators' questionnaire regarding violations of Net neutrality in Europe. These reports only give a partial account of the situation, since many countries are not yet represented on RespectMyNet and more data-gathering needs to be done to provide a comprehensive and accurate picture.

As of today, RespectMyNet includes 144 confirmed reports of breaches to Net neutrality, spread among 44 operators in more than 14 Member States who engage in violating their users' freedom of communication by blocking or throttling specific content, applications or services available on the Internet2.

Download our submission to BEREC here3 as well as our accompanying note here4 .

Citizens can participate in this effort to protect Net neutrality by sending their own response to the BEREC questionnaire5.

“Thanks to RespectMyNet, citizens act as the watchdogs of Internet access providers. Collected data leaves Commissioner Neelie Kroes with no choice but to acknowledge that freedom of expression, privacy, innovation and competition are all being hampered by operators' practices. With such evidence on the table, If Neelie Kroes still refuses to propose legislative action on Net neutrality, we'll know for sure that she is working for telecoms operators, and not for citizens' general interest. Citizens must continue to report and confirm cases to RespecMyNet.”, said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

Here are La Quadrature du Net's proposals to safeguard Net neutrality :

  • Lawmakers need to adopt a legal definition of the Internet that is based on the neutrality principle, in order to ensure the sustainability of its technical architecture.
  • The neutrality principle must apply to all Internet networks, regardless of access mode (landline or wireless). Exceptions to this principle in case of unforeseen congestion or security threat over the network must be carefully crafted and overseen.
  • Infringements to Net neutrality carried out by operators must be subject to dissuasive sanctions.
  • The balance between co-existing so-called "managed services" and the Internet on communications networks must be sustainable, in order to protect the quality of Internet access.
  • The use of packet inspection technologies must be regulated in order to protect the privacy of electronic communications and their integrity.

To see more of La Quadrature's proposals, visit www.lqdn.fr/en/proposals

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