Net neutrality

The European Commission Must Act To Protect Net Neutrality

Paris, November 19th, 2010 – In a letter sent today to Commissioner Neelie Kroes, in charge of the Digital Agenda, La Quadrature du Net calls on the European Commission to take concrete steps to protect Net neutrality in the European Union. Following Mrs. Kroes' speech last week during the EU Net neutrality summit, the citizen advocacy group urges the Commission to engage with national regulatory authorities to ensure that the socio-economic benefits brought about by the Internet will be preserved. A long-awaited debate on which traffic management practices are acceptable and which are not, along with firm guidelines and enforcement, are urgently needed if our societies are to protect Net neutrality.

Digital Agenda: Caution required for the future EU Net policies (Press Release)

Strasbourg, May 19, 2010 - Today, with the release of Neelie Kroes' Digital Agenda, the European Commission is unveiling major policy orientations regarding Internet-related policies. Several leaked drafts of the document revealed heavy pressures from various special interest groups. While the general outcome of the final document is encouraging, the crucial question of interoperability and open standards was eventually arbitrated in favour of US software vendors' positions. On IPR enforcement and cybercrime, the worst has been avoided but some very ambiguous wording remains.

Digital Agenda: Caution required for the future EU Net policies

Strasbourg, May 19, 2010 - Today, with the release of Neelie Kroes' Digital Agenda, the European Commission is unveiling major policy orientations regarding Internet-related policies. Several leaked drafts of the document revealed heavy pressures from various special interest groups. While the general outcome of the final document is encouraging, the crucial question of interoperability and open standards was eventually arbitrated in favour of US software vendors' positions. On IPR enforcement and cybercrime, the worst has been avoided but some very ambiguous wording remains.

EU Commission: Will Kroes' Digital Agenda endanger freedoms?

Paris, May 17th 2010 - On Tuesday May 18th, the Commission's Digital Agenda will be released. This important document will define the European Union's future policies on the Internet and other communications technologies. A leaked draft showed that major policy orientations remained to be arbitrated in advance of the release. Although much of the document puts forward very sensible and positive proposals, potential mentions of dogmatic copyright enforcement and Internet filtering could be sneaked in the final document at the last minute. Will the rights and freedoms of EU citizens be protected?

War on Access

By Jérémie Zimmermann.

“Article 11 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen of 1789 proclaims : "The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious rights of man. Every citizen may thus speak, write and publish freely, except when such freedom is misused in cases determined by Law". In the current state of the means of communication and given the generalized development of public online communication services and the importance of the latter for the participation in democracy and the expression of ideas and opinions, this right implies freedom to access such services. ” - Conseil Constitutionnel, decision 2009-580 (§ 12)

Iceland to become a model for freedom of communication

Paris, February 15th, 2009 - Tomorrow, a parliamentarian resolution will be submitted in Iceland in order to turn the country into a model for freedom of expression on the Internet. Far away from the conservative vision displayed by many confused governments who try to control freedom of communication on the Net through "three strikes", Internet blocking or the ACTA, this would be a historic event. La Quadrature du Net supports this project and congratulates the coalition of Icelandic Parliamentarians at the origin of the initiative.

EU Council Presidency: Spain pushes for flawed Net policies

Last week, the Spanish Presidency of the EU Council came up with a new draft resolution1 in response to the Commission's communication on enhancing the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the internal market.

[Update - March 5th, 2010: The resolution has been adopted by the Council with no significant changes.]

Commissioner Kroes commits herself to Net neutrality

Paris, January 15th, 2010 - Yesterday, the ITRE committee of the European Parliament led the hearing of Commissioner-designate for the Digital Agenda, Mrs. Neelie Kroes.

Commissioner Kroes addressed a number of issues regarding freedoms in the networked society, expressing a positive opinion regarding amendment 1381 and praising interoperability standards. She also indicated her strong support in favor of Net neutrality.

  • 1. Amendment 138 of the Telecoms Package, voted twice by an 88% majority of the European Parliament, provided that" no restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of end-users, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities". After strong opposition from the Member States, it was eventually replaced by a weaker provision in November 2009.

Questions to Commissioner-designate Kroes on Net neutrality and freedoms in the digital age

La Quadrature du Net sent this letter to the members of the ITRE and CULT committees of the European Parliament to urge them to ask the following questions to Mrs. Kroes, Commissioner-designate for the Digital Agenda, during her hearing on Thursday, January 14th.

Questions for the new European Commissioners

Paris, December 16th, 2009 - 2 weeks after launching a consultation, la Quadrature du Net is submitting to the European Parliament a set of questions to be asked to the Commissioners designate.

Ask what the next European Commission will do for our Freedoms!

Paris, November 26th 2009 - La Quadrature is calling on European citizens to submit questions aimed at finding out where the next European Commission (2010-2014) stands on EU citizens' fundamental freedoms on the Internet.

The Council of the European Union and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, just agreed1 on a college of Commissioners designate. The Parliament will now conduct hearings2 before appointing the full college.

  • 1. http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/09/522&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=fr
  • 2. More infos about the Commissionners hearings: http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Hearings_Commissioners

Telecoms Package: A Missed Opportunity for Citizen's Rights

Paris, November 24th, 2009 - There is no reason to celebrate the general outcome of the Telecoms Package. The final text voted today is far from satisfactory: while it includes some consumer protections, they fall short of compensating for the various loopholes and threats to fundamental rights contained in the rest of the text.

One more breach to Net neutrality in Europe: Time to legislate

Paris, November 19th, 2009 - In Spain, the mobile operator Vodafone is launching a new offer that violates the fundamental principle of Net neutrality. This is one more evidence that the "Telecoms Package", recently agreed upon by European lawmakers, fails to protect the egalitarian nature of the Internet. Urgent action is needed at the European level to enforce Net neutrality once and for all.

ACTA: Worldwide Net restrictions without public debate

Paris, November 12th, 2009 - Since Spring 2008, The European Union, the United States, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Australia as well as a few other countries have been negotiating a trade treaty aimed at enforcing copyright and tackling counterfeited goods (Anti-Counterfeinting Trade Agreement or ACTA). The last round of negotiations, held in much secrecy last week in South Korea, was focused on the enforcement of so-called “intellectual property rights” on the Internet. La Quadrature puts together a web-dossier on ACTA and sends a letter1 to Christine Lagarde, French minister of the Economy, to ask that she publicly oppose the proposal regarding Internet regulation.

Net Freedoms in Europe: Recapitulating the capitulation

The European Parliament delegation led by Catherine Trautmann recently gave up on protecting EU citizens against arbitrary restrictions of their Internet access. In order to reach an agreement and avoid a clash with Member States, the Parliament retracted its support to the core element of notorious "amendment 138" : prior judicial decision before restrictions to access and usage of the Internet. This protection of citizens' fundamental rights against arbitrary restrictions of their Internet access came a long way. Here is a little restrospective on the "stations of the cross" of amendement 138.

(See also the rewording of amendment 138, preserving its core principles while adressing legal uncertainty, that was transmitted to MEPs last week)

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