[A2k] Will EU Parliament Enable Discrimination Online or Uncompromising Net Neutrality?

La Quadrature du Net jz at laquadrature.net
Tue Nov 19 08:13:01 PST 2013


La Quadrature du Net – For immediate release

Permanent link: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/will-eu-parliament-enable-discrimination-online-or-uncompromising-net-neutrality

Will EU Parliament Enable Discrimination Online or Uncompromising Net Neutrality?

*** Paris, 19 November 2013 – The rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP - Spain) concludes her draft report [1] on Neelie Kroes' proposal [2] for a Regulation on the telecom package. Despite numerous criticisms [3] made against the unacceptable anti-Net Neutrality [4] provisions in the proposal, del Castillo Vera has chosen not to correct them. Before it is too late, citizens must contact the rapporteur and Members of the ITRE committee, and urge them to ensure the European Parliament guarantees a genuine and unconditional Net Neutrality principle. ***

Neelie Kroes' draft telecom legislation, pretending to defend the Net Neutrality principle, actually creates huge loopholes as the text explicitly allows undue commercial discrimination by way of prioritization. Following its difficult adoption [5] by the European Commission, the proposal is now in the hands of the EU Parliament, in particular the “Industry” (ITRE) committee and its rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera (EPP - Spain), appointed on October 10th. Despite criticisms, and especially the strong position [6] taken by the EDPS, instead of correcting the text's dangerous flaws, she is playing Neelie Kroes' game of faux Net Neutrality. While the rapporteur chose to delete from her draft report the nonsensical provision creating a complex legal framework for priorisation, she doesn't suppress the possibility of such discrimination of our communications, which would be the only way to offer a true protection of Net Neutrality.

Furthermore, in spite of the complexity and the importance of the dossier, the rapporteur accepted to prepare her draft report in only one month, submitting to a rushed timetable completely unusual and dangerous for a legislative act pretending to achieve the European Telecoms Single Market. Such a timetable – along with the parody [7] of a public consultation [8] the rapporteur opened for a few days – will result in the lack of in-depth examination of the amendments MEPs will table by December 17th and could lead to a disastrous final text.

The rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera, by controlling such a procedure and further negotiating compromise amendments on the whole, will bear an immense responsibility. Either she will help enforcing Neelie Kroes' Anti-Net Neutrality proposal amounting to allow discrimination of our communications, or she will play a major role in upholding a true Net Neutrality protecting our freedoms online if she decides to bring meaningful protections against non-discrimination to our communications. Under these circumstances, it is necessary for European citizens to take part in the public debate in order to avoid a rushed adoption of Neelie Kroes' anti-Net Neutrality provisions. Citizens must contact Members of the ITRE committee, and urge them to include in the final report an uncompromising [9] vision of Net Neutrality, free from all form of discriminations and protected by effective enforcement procedures and sanctions against those who violate this crucial principle.

“If the EU Parliament lets Neelie Kroes' text go through without amending its Net Neutrality provisions, the only beneficiaries will be the dominant telecom operators, at the expense of freedom of communication online and innovation in the digital economy. From now and until the final vote in plenary sitting, a few months before the European elections, citizens must contact Members of the ITRE committee and all concerned Members of the European Parliament and urge them to guarantee a true and unconditional Net Neutrality, only way to guarantee our freedom of communication online.” concluded Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for the citizen organisation La Quadrature du Net.

* References *

1. https://laquadrature.net/files/Net%20Neutrality%20-%20Draft%20Report%20ITRE%20-%20%20Del%20Castillo%20Vera.pdf

2. https://www.laquadrature.net/files/Draft_Proposal-Kroes-20130911.pdf

3. As an example, the European Data Protection Supervisor stated in a press release published on November 15th that the Neelie Kroes' proposal devoids “of substance" the Net Neutrality principle "because of the almost unlimited right of providers to manage Internet traffic”. Citizen organisations also widely criticized the proposal: https://secure.edps.europa.eu/EDPSWEB/webdav/site/mySite/shared/Documents/EDPS/PressNews/Press/2013/EDPS-2013-10_eComms_EN.pdf - https://www.laquadrature.net/en/pcworld-digital-rights-activist-eus-proposed-net-neutrality-law-as-useful-as-an-umbrella-in-a-hurric

4. https://www.laquadrature.net/en/kroes-unacceptable-anti-net-neutrality-law-rushed-despite-criticisms

5. A leaked criticism of a draft by EU Commissioner Viviane Redding's services says for example “such limited possibilities of accessing Internet content and services of their choice would run counter to the stated objectives of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.”: http://www.edri.org/NN-negativeopinions

6. https://secure.edps.europa.eu/EDPSWEB/webdav/site/mySite/shared/Documents/EDPS/PressNews/Press/2013/EDPS-2013-10_eComms_EN.pdf

7. http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2013/11/please-help-eu-net-neutrality-consultation-closes-today/index.htm

8. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/document/activities/cont/201310/20131018ATT73002/20131018ATT73002EN.pdf

9. See for example: https://wiki.netzfreiheit.org/w/Net_neutrality_regulation_amendments and http://networkneutrality.info/sources.html (especially point 8)

** About la Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that defends the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet. More specifically, it advocates for the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge. 

In addition to its advocacy work, the group also aims to foster a better understanding of legislative processes among citizens. Through specific and pertinent information and tools, La Quadrature du Net hopes to encourage citizens' participation in the public debate on rights and freedoms in the digital age.

La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, European and international NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society Institute and Privacy International.

List of supporting organisations: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/they-support-la-quadrature-du-net

** Press contact and press room **

Jérémie Zimmermann, jz at laquadrature.net, +33 (0)615 940 675


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