Paris, September 22nd, 2011 — Civil society groups launched today an online platform to help citizens track Internet access restrictions imposed by telecom companies. This platform, RespectMyNet.eu, will present EU lawmakers with the evidence they keep denying: there is an urgent need to legislate against Net Neutrality violations, which harm fundamental freedoms as well as innovation and competition.
Net Neutrality, which refers to the principle of non-discrimination of Internet communications, is at the core of the democratic, social and economic benefits brought about by the Internet.
“The online freedom of every European citizen is now under attack by big telecom operators who want to control what you do online. They want to block or slow down websites and even charge extra for using cheap internet telephony services. The Netherlands should soon prohibit these unacceptable practices. But this is not enough: every European has a right to an open internet.” declared Ot van Daalen of the Dutch digital rights organisation Bits of Freedom.
“European lawmakers have turned a blind eye on the issue for more than two years. EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes’ report on the matter argued that there was no evidence of the need for Net Neutrality regulation. Such a wait-and-see attitude is shocking considering the reality of operators’ traffic management practices, and their impact on online freedoms, competition and the whole digital economy.” said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.
To back up their call for a EU-wide protection of Net Neutrality, civil society groups released today RespectMyNet.eu.
“RespectMyNet.eu is an online platform enabling citizens to become the watchmen of the Internet by reporting Net Neutrality violations. Everyone is invited to report undue blocking or throttling of their Internet access, and help name and shame operators who engage in harmful practices.” concluded Zimmermann.