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Net neutrality

URGENT: Ask MEPs to adopt Citizens' Rights Amendments on May the 6th.

ALERT: last minute trick to prevent European Parliament to vote on amendment 138/46 by changing the order of votes

A dedicated campaign page regarding the issue below has been put on the wiki,
including arguments, counter-arguments, and advice on how to contact MEPs.

Paris, May 4 2009 - Threats to citizens' basic rights and freedoms and to the neutrality of Internet could be voted without any safeguard in the EU legislation regarding electronic communication networks (Telecoms Package). EU citizens have two days to call all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to ask them to vote for the “Citizens' Rights Amendments”, in the second reading of the Telecoms Package. These amendments include all the safeguards that were removed in the “compromise amendments”, as well as provisions protecting against “net discrimination” practices and filtering of content.

Telecoms Package: When rapporteurs betray EU citizens.

On both parts of the Telecoms Package, rapported by Malcolm Harbour (IMCO report) and Catherine Trautmann (ITRE report), agreements have been found with the Council of the EU to destroy or neutralize major protections of the citizens against graduated response, "net discrimination" and filtering of content on the Internet. There is little time left, but the Parliament has a last chance with the plenary vote on May 6th to reaffirm its commitment to protecting EU citizens.

Council of EU imposing Net Discrimination in Europe

UPDATED: with 28.4.2009 trialogue document from the Parliament and Council's 27.04.2009 propositions, where all protections are completely weakened.

Paris, 28 April 2008 - Negotiations are still going on in secret among the European Parliament, the EU Council, and the Commission on the directives of the Telecoms Package. The crucial question of “net discrimination” is being intensely and alarmingly reworked right now in the Universal Service directive, whose rapporteur is Malcolm Harbour (EPP/ED - UK). The Council is currently neutralizing every provision protecting citizens' rights. The Parliament must react.

EU citizens: Save Internet from being turned into a TV!

Paris, Mar. 23rd 2009 - Harmful amendments to Telecoms Package 2nd reading may be voted on March 31st in IMCO and ITRE committees. They all have in common to give extra powers to established industries (telecoms, entertainment, IT security) starving for control over the Internet. “Net discrimination” amendments could allow operators to discriminate against types of content or services, or to give preferential access to certain services whilst blocking others. Such limitations to the websites subscribers can visit, and to services and applications they can use would mean the end of an open Internet as we know it. These amendemnents would have dreadful consequences for innovation on the network as well for citizen's Freedoms. European citizens must urge MEPs from IMCO and ITRE to protect their freedoms by voting for safeguarding amendments and rejecting all amendments allowing net discrimination, “three strikes” schemes and privacy breaches.

Telecoms Package: A little extra effort required

Paris, March 2nd − Rapporteurs for the European Parliament on the directives of the Telecoms Package, have just released their draft reports for the second reading. Some improvements were made, like the reintroduction of amendments 138 & 166. About “Net discrimination”, the worst was avoided, but there is still a blatant lack for clarification and concrete guarantees that Telecom operators won't be allowed full control over the Internet. La Quadrature du Net calls IMCO and ITRE members to vigilance in order to “patch” the last loopholes left open in this text.

Who wants Net Discrimination in Europe?

Paris, Feb.16th - Amendments in the European Parliament to the "Telecoms Package" 1 may allow operators to take control of their customer's usage of the Net. According to amendments pushed by AT&T, "network management practices" could be used to discriminate what content, services and applications users could access and use.

Joint Civil-Society Statement Addresses Net Neutrality in Europe

Paris, 2 may 2016 — In a joint letter, 73 organisations from 31 countries call on the European Telecom Regulators to uphold net neutrality in their current negotiations about the future of the Internet in Europe.

The “Internet Governance” Farce and its “Multi-stakeholder” Illusion

by Jérémie Zimmermann

For almost 15 years, "Internet Governance" meetings1 have been drawing attention and driving our imaginaries towards believing that consensual rules for the Internet could emerge from global "multi-stakeholder" discussions. A few days ahead of the "NETmundial" Forum in Sao Paulo it has become obvious that "Internet Governance" is a farcical way of keeping us busy and hiding a sad reality: Nothing concrete in these 15 years, not a single action, ever emerged from "multi-stakeholder" meetings, while at the same time, technology as a whole has been turned against its users, as a tool for surveillance, control and oppression.

  • 1. From the 2001 World Summit for Information Society to the most recent Internet Governance Forums

Only a Few Hours Left to Save the Internet!

Brussels, 2 April 2014 — In a few hours the European Parliament will vote on the regulation concerning the European single market for electronic communications. This vote in plenary will be the most important vote on the rights and freedoms of citizens since the rejection of ACTA in July 2012. With the right amendments adopted, this text will put in place solid measures that protect Net Neutrality throughout the European Union. These have been tabled1 but their adoption depends on a small number of votes, especially of those in the liberal group (ALDE). The outcome of the vote will either be the protection of competiton, innovation, users freedom of choice, and the freedom of expression and information or signal the end of the Internet as we know it.

  • 1. The amendments tabled by the Social-Democrats (S&D), the Greens (Greens/EFA), the United Left (GUE/NGL) and by the Liberals (ALDE) are very similar on the important points.

Net Neutrality: Will Kroes Fool Citizens (And Give In to Telcos)?

Paris, 12 July 2013 — A leaked draft legislative text shows that the European Commission might be about to kill the open and free Internet. Under the guise of protecting Net neutrality, the Commission wants to give telecom operators a free hand to develop business models that would irremediably undermine freedom of communication on the Internet. For years now, commissioner Neelie Kroes has been bafflingly sympathetic to big telecom companies on the fundamental issue of Net neutrality, but with this draft text she would be going much too far in betraying citizens.

Elements for the reform of copyright and related cultural policies

Now that the ACTA treaty has been rejected by the European Parliament, a period opens during which it will be possible to push for a new regulatory and policy framework adapted to the digital era. Many citizens and MEPs support the idea of reforming copyright in order to make possible for all to draw the benefits of the digital environment, engage into creative and expressive activities and share in their results. In the coming months and years, the key questions will be: What are the real challenges that this reform should address? How can we address them?

This text provides an answer to the first question and tables a consistent set of proposals to tackle the second one. It is available in English, French, and Spanish. The proposals address copyright reform as well as related culture and media policy issues. These elements are intended for being used by reform proponents according to their own orientations. One will have to consider nonetheless the interdependency between various proposals. This text was drafted by Philippe Aigrain, with contributions from Lionel Maurel and Silvère Mercier and was critically reviewed by the co-founders and staff of La Quadrature du Net. It is published in parallel on the author's blog and on La Quadrature du Net's site.

This text is open to any comments. You can add your own reflections or questions here.

Europe Must Follow Netherlands in Adopting Net Neutrality Law

Paris, May 9th 2012 – The Netherlands became the first EU country to adopt a law protecting Net neutrality. This initiative must set the example for the rest of Europe and France.

Study Calls on EU Regulators to Free Up the Airwaves

The European Commission released a ground-breaking study on shared access to radio spectrum. The study, conducted by SCF Associates Ltd, calls for a sweeping reform of wireless communications policies, so as to free up more airwaves and pave the way for "super-WiFi" networks. The EU is severely lagging behind the US when it comes to adapting spectrum policy to new needs and possibilities, and this study should sound as a wake-up call for policy-makers.

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.

Tell the EU regulator about your Internet restrictions!

Paris, January 17th, 2012 – The Net neutrality debate is coming to a turning point in Europe. As the EU Commission and the European body of telecommunications regulators finalise their study on the Internet access restrictions imposed by Internet service providers, every citizen has an opportunity to report their operator's bad behaviour. And to it make clear that the EU must adopt a strong regulation to protect Net neutrality.

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