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Quad'news about Net Neutrality

Telecoms Package: Why the European Parliament must fight for amendment 138

On Monday, September 28th, the Conciliation committee on the Telecoms Package – a major reform of the Telecommunications sector in the European Union (EU) – started discussing contentious provisions that remain in the text. Early May, Rapporteurs for the EP and diplomats from the Council of the EU reached a consensus on the whole package, but one amendment that was finally passed by the Parliament : the notorious amendment 138. This fundamental provision is now at the heart of the negotiation.

Concerns About Article 20, 21 and Recital 26 of the Telecoms Package

Summary: Amendments to the Universal Service directive pushed by American Telco AT&T currently allow operators to implement anti-Net neutrality measures. These provisions:

  • are mainly targeted to allow a Net discrimination
  • are harmful for the growth and innovation models of the Internet,
  • are a clear disincentive to the model based on cost-efficient bandwidth-based investments,
  • are against the benefit of consumers,
  • raise concerns about the protection of fundamental rights and freedom of European citizens.

Act now! The future of EU Internet may be sealed tonight.

Brussels, September 28th - The first conciliation meeting on the Telecoms Package will take place tonight at 7:30PM. In this meeting, 27 Members of the European Parliament will decide on the future of Internet in Europe. They will choose whether to fix or maintain the dreadful anti-Net neutrality dispositions voted in second reading by the Parliament, under the influence of AT&T. Rapporteurs and representatives of the Swedish Presidency opposed this idea so far. European citizens only have a few hours to urge MEPs to preserve Europe's innovation, competition, and citizen's fundamental rights.

Net Neutrality: letter to the ministers in charge

La Quadrature du Net sent a letter to the French ministers in charge of the Telecoms Package to ask them to protect Net neutrality in the European Union, as they enter into final negotiations regarding this major reform.

Here is an english translation you can adapt to the context of your Member State:

Dear Minister,

Net Neutrality: EU must neither give up competitiveness nor freedoms.

Paris, September 24th - La Quadrature du Net sent a letter to the French ministers in charge of the Telecoms Package1 to ask them to protect Net neutrality in the European Union, as they enter into final negotiations on this major reform. At a time when the United States are moving towards enforcing a principle that is crucial for competition, innovation and citizen freedoms, Europe cannot suffer an anti-Net neutrality legislation. La Quadrature publishes a complete dossier2, along with a 2-pager memo3 on the topic and invites all European citizens to contact their representatives in the Council4, as well as the 27 MEPs who will sit in the conciliation committee5.

Why would EU sacrifice Internet Freedoms?

Updated on Sept 21st: The list of MEPs that will be part of the Parliament delegation in the conciliation committee is now official.

Paris, September 21th 2009 - The conciliation of the EU "Telecoms Package"1 will begin in a few days. 27 Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the executive branches of the 27 Member States will negotiate the text in closed-doors meetings. The outcome of these discussions will shape the future of Internet users' freedoms in Europe. EU citizens must ask their representatives to adopt firm positions to protect their citizens' fundamental rights and defend Net neutrality2.

Following the US Example, Europe Must Act Now to Protect Net Neutrality

As the United States moves forward to guarantee Net Neutrality, the European Union is on the verge of passing a major reform of the telecommunications sector that contains provisions threatening the open, non-discriminatory nature of the Internet. If Europe were to adopt the telecom package as it stands now, it would risk further undermining its position as one of the top leaders of the information age.

We Must Protect Net Neutrality in Europe! - Open letter to the European Parliament

Paris, September 16th 2009 - We Must Protect Net Neutrality1 in Europe! Organizations from all around Europe share their concern of seeing Net Neutrality being sacrificed during the conciliation procedure of the directives of the EU Telecoms Package. They sent this letter to the Members of the European Parliament, urging them to take decisive action in order to guarantee a free, open and innovative Internet, and to safeguard the fundamental freedoms of European citizens.

Organizations can sign this letter using the form below.

  • 1. See our work-in-progress guide about Net Neutrality: http://www.laquadrature.net/en/net_neutrality

Telecoms Package: preparation for a third reading

updated: Sept 21st.The list of MEPs that will be part of the EP delegation conciliation committee is now official.
updated: Sept 17th.European directives of the "Telecoms Package" are advancing through the codecision process of the EU. As soon as the Council of the EU formally rejects any amendment voted by the European Parliament in second reading1, the Telecoms Package will enter the conciliation procedure. In this closed negotiation (between 27 representatives of the Council of the EU and 27 representatives of the European Parliament), the fate of an open, free and neutral Internet in the EU will be decided. Here is a quick guide to understanding this procedure, and participating now to urge open-minded and progressive MEPs to take part in the conciliation committee (There are only a few days left as the decision are already taking place.).

  • 1. This formal rejection of the European Parliament's 2nd reading amendments by the Council triggers the countdown to the conciliation phase. In practice, negotiations could start as soon as the composition of the conciliation committee is known.

Amendment 138/46 adopted again. Internet is a fundamental right in Europe.

Strasbourg, May 6 2009 − The debates on the Telecoms Package, thanks to a remarkable citizen mobilization, led to an extremely strong recognition of the access to internet as a fundamental right with the re-adoption of amendment 138/46 in second reading by a qualified majority. It is the final blow against three-strike laws such as Nicolas Sarkozy's HADOPI bill, which are explicitely banned. The European Parliament nevertheless adopted a soft compromise on issues of network equity: no strong protection against “net discrimination” was adopted.

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.

Protect EU citizens in IMCO/ITRE votes on March 31st (letters)

Here are the letters (PDF attached below) La Quadrature du Net sent to members of IMCO and ITRE committees about the crucial votes on Telecoms Package second reading, on March 31st.

Letter to IMCO members

Protect EU citizens in the Harbour report!

Paris, March 26th

Dear Member of the European Parliament, dear IMCO member,

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.