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.

It is crucial to save Net Neutrality!

"Net neutrality". This obscure yet simple concept is the root of the development of the Internet as we know it. In the digital environment, it is the guarantee of competition, innovation, and fundamental freedoms. Until now, net neutrality has been the rule, both for technical and economical reasons. However, it is now under the threat of network operators1 who see business opportunities in discriminating information flowing through their networks. It is crucial to seize the opportunity of the third reading of the "Telecoms Package" directives to take strong measures aimed at protecting a free, open and innovative Internet within the European Union.

HADOPI raises from the dead, still as flawed

After the groundbreaking decision1 from the Constitutional Council of France, last month against the three strikes law adopted in May, the Government is re-introducing a reworked version of the so-called "graduated response". The inherent flaws of this system, aimed at fighting exchange of entertainment content through Internet, makes this new bill as dangerous as its predecessor.

Hadopi is dead: "three strikes" buried by highest court.


To the grieving minister of Culture....

Solemn burial for HADOPI in French National Assembly

Paris, 12 May 2009 - French "HADOPI" law implementing "three strikes" policy was adopted by a short majority in National Assembly, after a previous rejection on April 9th1. Members of the majority right-wing party of N. Sarkozy, under high pressure, voted this obsolete text, massively rejected by public opinion and directly opposed by Europe. This legislative process' debacle, along with an "hadopigate" case2, opens the way to credible solutions for funding creation in the digital age that have to be compatible with civil liberties3. HADOPI is stillborn, the debate shall begin!

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.

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.

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