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.

Agreement on a new version of amendment 46/138 in Brussels. The European parliament accepted a weaker text.

Paris, 29 avril 2008 - A new version of amendment 138/46 was agreed today between the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. Instead of blocking immediately the HADOPI-style fake justice for the entertainment industries, one will be able to stop it only after a long procedure in front of the European courts. In face of an unjustified pressure from the Council asking to suppress the reference to the role of the judiciary, the Parliament gave priority to a quick agreement on the Telecoms Package rather than voicing strongly its support to citizen rights.

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.

Victory for EU Citizens! Amendment 138 was voted again.

Strasbourg, April 21 2009 - Once again, the European Parliament has demonstrated it can resist pressure and stand for the rights and freedoms of citizens. Amendment 138 (now renumbered amendment 46) was adopted today in ITRE committe, in Strasbourg.

URGENT: Two days to help Catherine Trautmann protect EU citizens.

Paris, April 20th 2009 − The Council of the EU is strongly pushing Catherine Trautmann – rapporteur of the main directives of the "Telecoms Package" – to accept a useless, neutralized version1 of amendment 138. This amendment, opposing to “graduated response” – or “three strikes” – schemes, has been overwhelmingly adopted by the European Parliament in its first reading on September 2008, and is crucial for safeguarding EU citizens' rights and freedoms. La Quadrature du Net calls European citizens to urge their MEPs seating in ITRE committee to support the rapporteur by refusing any compromise neutralizing amendment 138 (now renumbered 46) on April 21st vote.

  • 1. The Council wants to make it a merely indicative recital instead of an article that Member States must transpose into their law

EU citizens' rights and innovation at stake in European Parliament

Paris, March 26th - The European Parliament may be about to surrender absolute power over the Internet to the telecom operators. Under the false pretext that the existing rules governing market and competition would solve any problem, members of IMCO committee are about to allow "Net discrimination" in amendments pushed by AT&T and the UK government. If these amendments are approved, European innovation, Internet growth model and citizens' fundamental rights and freedoms may be in great danger.

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.

Copyright dogmatism ridiculously strikes the European Parliament.

Paris, Jan 26th - The European Parliament's committee for legal affairs (JURI) voted the Medina report on Copyright last week. This report goes against its initial objective of responding to the Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Econnomy. This Green Paper implicitly acknowledged the failure of the 2001 copyright directive.

EU data protection authority confirms privacy threat in "Telecoms Package"

Paris, January 19th. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) released his opinion on the current state of the Telecoms Package. His views on the ePrivacy directive confirms La Quadrature's analysis: If nothing is done, article 6.6(a) will allow any company to collect and process traffic data from any Internet user, for an undetermined period of time. This disposition is harmful and unacceptable.

Telecoms Package : La Quadrature prepares the 2nd reading

La Quadrature just sent a letter to the Members of European Parliament, rapporteurs and shadow rapporteurs on the "Telecoms Package", who are meeting these days for preparing the second reading.

Some provisions of the text agreed by the ministers of the 27 Member States remain problematic and require their intervention:

Citizen safeguards striked out in EU Council

Paris, November 27th 2008 − The EU Council reached a political agreement on the telecommunication reform (“Telecoms Package”) on Thursday, Nov. 27th. On one hand, crucial modifications to the text finally doom Nicolas Sarkozy's project to impose graduated response to the whole Europe. On the other hand, important safeguards to citizen's fundamental rights and freedoms were deleted. The agreed text lowers the protection of privacy in the EU, in the name of “security”.

Say No to Sarkozy's European Takeover!

Paris, November 20th 2008 − Essential rights and freedoms for Internet users are at stake. On November 27th, The Council of EU may open the door to an pan-european "graduated response" by removing Amendment 138, voted by 88% of the European Parliament from the “Telecoms Package”. Academic studies confirm that the fundamental principles of proportionality and privacy may also be threatened by the ministers of the Member States, along with this blatant denial of everyone's right to a due trial.

How French Presidency Hides a Political Laundering Inside EU Telecoms Package

Everybody agrees that European Union suffers from a democratic deficit which deepens the gap between European institutions and their citizens. What is more unknown is that one of main reasons for this is that Member States often use European Union to achieve what can be spelled as “political laundering”. The “Telecoms Package” gives a perfect example of such a deceptive maneuver, aimed at legalizing an european-wide "graduated response" against citizens, and stretching it even deeper as usual. How does it work?

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