[A2k] Letter to MEPs: Do not give up Net Neutrality!
La Quadrature du Net
contact at laquadrature.net
Mon Apr 20 06:31:17 PDT 2015
Themes: NET NEUTRALITY, TRIALOGUE, GÜNTHER OETTINGER, ANDRUS ANSIP
La Quadrature du Net – For immediate release
Permanent link: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/letter-to-meps-do-not-give-up-net-neutrality
Letter to MEPs: Do not give up Net Neutrality!
*** Paris, 20th April — On 3rd March 2015, the Council of the European Union voted a text endangering Net Neutrality in Europe, despite European Parliment's position adopted a year ago. Negotiations between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union (trialogue) started on 11 March in order to settle an agreement on the final version. It is crucial that the European Parliament remains firm on the preservation of Net Neutrality, that ensure equal treatment on the data network and on prices. Infringing Net Neutrality means infringing fundamental rights and liberties of any European citizen. This is why, in order to remind our representatives their responsabilities, La Quadrature du Net sends a letter to Members of European Parliament calling them to reject Council's propositions and to come back to a real protection of everyone's rights and liberties. ***
The European Parliament has had so far a fundamental role in the negotiations on the Regulation on the European Single Market for Electronic Communications. It is indeed you, MEPs, who introduced on 3rd April 2014  the Net Neutrality principle as the basis of the respect of rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet, thus ensuring the access to the Internet without discrimination. Recently, on 26th February, the USA have themselves enshrined Internet as "common goods", adopting a text  empowering FCC, the US regulator of communications, for enforcing Net Neutrality in the US.
Yet Net Neutrality is endangered  today. The Council of the European Union has adopted on 3rd March 2015 a text that is playing into the hands of powerful telecoms firms, in violation of fundamental rights by removing any reference to Net Neutrality.
The Council has ruined the balanced text adopted by the European Parliament that enabled operators to develop innovative access offers ("specialized services"), while providing a strong protection to citizens. By refusing to strictly define Net Neutrality, it upholds the interests of operators and ignore those of citizens.
Accepting such a step back would have serious impact on innovation and freedom of communication in Europe and worldwide.
Without clear rules on Net Neutrality, the largest Internet Service Providers would become toll bridges that would grant access to their clients regarding their ability to pay and exclude the others. Adopting the regulation in the state would endorse discrimination such as financial discrimination. It would shape the text towards free circulation of content without any / guarantee of protection of / protecting fundamental rights. This would allow a small group of monopolistic industries in the field of telecoms, such as Google, to reaffirm their rights to monoply infringing competition, innovation and freedom of communication. Therefore, there is need to put Net Neutrality in the law as the only way to ensure that the Internet remains open for innovation and a platform promoting Human rights.
We urge you to firmly hold your position from April 2014 on preservation of freedom and non-discrimination and to support Net Neutrality, which is both:
* a guarantee of a european economy boosting fairly competition and european innovation,
* a guarantee for freedom of speech and information, reducing the risks of censorship and surveillance
We need a genuine Net Neutrality
We need clear european rules, that prohibit any type of network discrimination as blocking, slowering, or pricing discrimination, including services called "zero costs".
We need a real political leadership that recognizes the value of an open, democratic and innovative Internet.
We are relying on you and your colleagues in trialogue, on your firmness and your deep sense of European democratic values.
* References *
** 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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