telecoms package

Revision of the "telecoms package" directives

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.

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.

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.

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”.

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