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Net neutrality

Net Neutrality: The European Commission Gives Up on Users and Innovators

Paris, April 19th, 2011 – The European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, has submitted her long-due report on Net neutrality to the EU Parliament. This extremely disappointing document rules out any immediate measures against telecoms operators who continually restrict EU citizens' access to the Internet. Hiding behind false free-market arguments, Mrs Kroes gives way to anti-competitive practices harmful to freedom of communication and innovation in the digital environment.

Net Neutrality: An Encouraging Report From the French Parliament

Paris, April 12th, 2011 - The trans-partisan parliamentary mission led by Laure de la Raudière and Corinne Erhel just released its report on Net neutrality1. This encouraging report calls for preserving the Internet's universality and protecting end-users' fundamental freedoms, and should be considered a template for other European public authorities. That said, while this document offers an important reflection on the evolution of our legal framework to protect fundamental rights and foster the digital economy, it must be followed by actions. La Quadrature du Net publishes an unofficial translation of the report's introduction.

EU Parliament Calls for Free Wireless Communications

Paris, April 12th, 2011 - The Industry Committee of the European Parliament has adopted amendments to the EU Spectrum Policy Programme allowing for a free use of airwaves for citizens, which will lead to the development of the next generations of free wireless Internet communications (“next generation WiFi”). This vote is encouraging and must be confirmed in plenary, despite the pressure that broadcasters and telecoms industries will inevitably put on the European Parliament to keep airwaves under control.

Voting For a Free and Open Wireless Internet

Next Tuesday, April 12th, the EU Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) will hold a major vote for the future of wireless communications in the European Union. By amending the radio spectrum policy programme proposed by the European Commission, Members of the Parliament have an opportunity to boost wireless Internet access. By encouraging shared and unlicensed uses of the spectrum, they can create the next generation of WiFi networks that will improve access to the Internet in urban as well as rural communities, and launch the next wave of innovation in mobile communications. But the risk is for Europe to give in to media or telecoms corporations who would like to control the airwaves – a public resource. La Quadrature calls on EU citizens and NGOs to step into this important debate on the future of our communications system, which forms the structure of our democratic societies.

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
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