[A2k] EU's ongoing attempt to kill Net Neutrality forever
La Quadrature du Net
contact at laquadrature.net
Wed May 20 02:56:54 PDT 2015
Themes: NET NEUTRALITY, ANDRUS ANSIP, GÜNTER OETTINGER, LATVIAN PRESIDENCY, LEAKED DOCUMENT
La Quadrature du Net – For immediate release
Permanent link: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/eus-ongoing-attempt-to-kill-net-neutrality-forever
EU's ongoing attempt to kill Net Neutrality forever
*** Paris, 20 May 2015 — Governments of the EU intends to crush the rights and freedoms of citizens in order to reach an agreement on roaming , thus undermining competition and innovation in the digital economy, according to a leaked document . This documents reveals an unacceptable disregard on the part of Member States for the commitment of the EU Parliament and many EU citizens to uphold the principle of Net neutrality. ***
For more than two years hard negotiations have been conducted within European institutions regarding the regulation proposal on telecommunications, which now contains two main chapters, one on roaming and the other on Net Neutrality. In 2014, a lot of work was done by citizen organisations to ensure that the European Parliament would protect Net Neutrality and uphold the rights of citizens to access a non-discriminatory, guaranteed access to a neutral and transparent Internet networks.
La Quadrature du Net has already expressed its concerns on several occasions on the direction given to the text by the Council of the EU, because it removed any reference to Net Neutrality and proposed traffic management measures deeply prejudicial to the freedom of communication and innovation. As we move closer toward the end of the negotiations on this regulation, and despite the European Parliament efforts to find an acceptable compromise, the document leaked by Contexte  from the EU Council shows the text is geared toward reinforcing the already dominant position of big telecom operators, turning them into the Internet's gatekeepers. The Council has is using Net Neutrality as a bargaining chip to get a compromise on roaming, perceived as more consensual, allegedly easier to understand and more marketable to voters.
It is unacceptable that the Council, including the Latvian presidency, sweeps away positions of the European Parliament. It is unacceptable that the Council makes the play of big economic operators to the detriment of citizens and small SMEs. The European Union has now the opportunity to reaffirm its Human Rights values but the Council do not seize this opportunity, the EU will be lagging behind the USA since the FCC has just enshrined the Internet as "common goods", and empowered FCC, the US regulator of communications, for enforcing Net Neutrality in the US.
We call on the Council to respect the fundamental rights and reconsider its position by adopting the reasonable proposals of the European Parliament.
We urge the European Parliament not to yield to strong pressure from the Member States and powerful industrial lobbies.
We call on the European Commission to move in the direction of respect of citizens' rights and freedoms in the negotiation of this text and to echo the proposals of the European Parliament.
It is fundamenal and urgent to act before the next trilogue planned on 2nd June. A campaign is ongoing  in all the EU Countries in order to preserve our right to use an Internet based on principles of non-discrimination and liberty.
We call on the citizens to contact nous their representatives in the European Parliament and urge them to safeguard Net Neutrality.
Main problematic issues in current draft
* Article 1: In the objective and scope, the Council remove all reference to "safeguard of end-users' rights" and "non-discriminatory treatment of traffic" whereas it should appears as one of the main principles of the regulation.
* Article 2: the Council remove the Net Neutrality definition and all references to Net Neutrality. An "open Internet" (art.1) does not guarantee transparency and non-discriminatory measures.
* The Council has also removed art 23-2 of the European Parliament on so-called "specialised services" (which depart from the best-effort principle and rely a quality of service optimised for a given category of application). This article enshrined the banning of discrimination between functionally equivalent services and applications. This was a key measure to avoid a discrimination of SMEs and to ensure fair competition within the EU even when telecom operators decide to provide access to offer online access through these specialised services.
* Article 3-2 authorities Internet access providers to conclude specific agreement with end-users which could lead to tariffs discriminatory agreements and infringement of Net Neutrality.
* Article 3-3 on traffic management measures does not protect users from any measure infringing their rights. It could also lead the access providers to act on the content through deep packet inspection measures and not only on the network.
* References *
1. A roaming service is the ability to make and receive voice calls and send and receive data, when traveling abroad.
** 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
More information about the A2k