[A2k] Net Neutrality Vote In EU Parliament: MEPs Must Protect the Internet!

La Quadrature du Net contact at laquadrature.net
Mon Mar 31 07:32:53 PDT 2014


La Quadrature du Net – For immediate release

Permanent link: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/net-neutrality-vote-in-eu-parliament-meps-must-protect-the-internet

Net Neutrality Vote In EU Parliament: MEPs Must Protect the Internet!

*** Paris, 31 March 2014 — A few days before the vote that will decide the future of Net Neutrality and the Internet commons in Europe, La Quadrature du Net calls on all Members of the European Parliament to support the amendments proposed [1] by the Social-Democrats (S&D), the Greens (Greens/EFA), the United Left (GUE/NGL) and the Liberals [2] (ALDE). These amendments contain strong provisions to protect freedom of expression and freedom of information online, reassert the principle of fair competition and guarantee that users may freely choose between services online. From now until 3 April, citizens should urge [3] their representatives to support this cross-party package of amendments in order to preserve the Internet commons. ***

In the months following her appointment as Commissioner in 2010, Neelie Kroes' position on the question of Net Neutrality evolved from unmitigated support [4] to an alignement [5] with the demands of telecom operators' lobbies. Rushed [6] through the committees so that it could be voted before this year's European elections, the Commissioner's proposal for a regulation reflects this inconsistency: while on one hand claiming to protect Net Neutrality, it in fact radically undermines it by permitting commercial discrimination of Internet traffic. Despite much criticism – from within the Commission itself [7] and other institutions [8], as well as from civil society [9] –, the most serious flaws of the proposed regulation have not been corrected [10] by the “Industry” (ITRE) Committee, in charge of this dossier in the EU Parliament.

The recent proliferation of harmful agreements under negotiation or concluded between Internet service providers and telecom operators – such as those between Apple and Comcast [11] in the United States or SFR and YouTube [12] in France – or telecoms operators' practice to alter the content of web pages to benefit their own services [13], can be added to the existing long list [14] of discrimination by ISPs, discrimination that has in fact already been identified [15] by many institutions and European regulators. It is high time to put into law strong guarantees for Net Neutrality. Years of inaction have only helped to shelter private interests from public interest regulation and allowed the situation to deteriorate.

A few days before the vote on the future of Net Neutrality and the Internet commons in the European Parliament, La Quadrature du Net sent the following email to all MEPs, inviting them to adopt strong amendments in favour of fundamental rights to freedom of expression and innovation online:

* References *

1. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+AMD+A7-2014-0190+237-244+DOC+PDF+V0//EN

2. The amendments tabled by ALDE are identical on the key points to the amendments tabled by other groups: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+AMD+A7-2014-0190+234-236+DOC+PDF+V0//EN

3. http://savetheinternet.eu/

4. https://www.laquadrature.net/en/commissioner-kroes-commits-herself-to-net-neutrality

5. https://www.laquadrature.net/en/neelie-kroes-pushing-telcos-agenda-to-end-net-neutrality

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

7. A leaked draft by Viviane Reding'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

8. For example, the European Data Protection Supervisor wrote in a press release published on 15 November that Neelie Kroes' proposal voids the principle of Net Neutrality “of substance” “because of the almost unlimited right of providers to manage Internet traffic”: https://secure.edps.europa.eu/EDPSWEB/webdav/site/mySite/shared/Documents/EDPS/PressNews/Press/2013/EDPS-2013-10_eComms_EN.pdf

9. https://www.laquadrature.net/en/pcworld-digital-rights-activist-eus-proposed-net-neutrality-law-as-useful-as-an-umbrella-in-a-hurric

10. https://www.laquadrature.net/en/net-neutrality-dangerous-loopholes-remain-after-key-vote-by-lead-eu-parliament-committee

11. https://www.laquadrature.net/en/arstechnica-apple-wants-its-own-path-on-comcast-network-for-video-service-wsj-says

12. https://www.laquadrature.net/fr/pcinpact-tout-pc-inpact-en-illimite-chez-sfr-lavenir-dun-net-sans-neutralite [fr]

13. http://www.zdnet.fr/actualites/sosh-et-orange-violent-ils-la-neutralite-du-net-au-detriment-de-facebook-et-de-leurs-abonnes-un-exemple-troublant-39788554.htm [fr]

14. http://respectmynet.eu/

15. https://www.laquadrature.net/en/eu-telecom-regulators-wake-up-call-on-net-neutrality

** 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 **

contact at laquadrature.net, +33 (0) 972 294 426


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