[New York Times] Fight Over Internet Filtering Has a Test Run in Europe

BERLIN — As European lawmakers debate how to keep access to the Internet free and equal — so-called network neutrality — they are inundated, not unsurprisingly, by lobbyists.


“The U.S. companies see the outcome of the fight in Europe as key,” said Jeremie Zimmermann, a lobbyist for La Quadrature du Net, an Internet advocacy group based in Paris. “Each side is hoping to score points on the issue here so they can take it back to the States to influence the outcome there.”

Net neutrality, which La Quadrature supports, is a proposal backed by some free-speech advocates and Internet businesses that would bar network operators from filtering Internet traffic. Internet service providers, however, say that basic traffic management is necessary to balance the soaring demand for bandwidth from video and popular sites.