[A2k] RespectMyNet: Internet Restrictions on the Table of EU Regulators

La Quadrature du Net jz at laquadrature.net
Wed Nov 30 06:21:45 PST 2011

La Quadrature du Net - For immediate release

Permanent link: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/respectmynet-internet-restrictions-on-the-table-of-eu-regulators

RespectMyNet: Internet Restrictions on the Table of EU Regulators

*** Paris, November 30th, 2011 – La Quadrature du Net met with European body of telecommunications regulators BEREC, which is currently listing Internet access restrictions imposed by telecoms operators across the EU, as requested by the EU Commission. Thanks to the RespectMyNet.eu platform [1] and thanks to the participation of citizens from all over Europe in unveiling these harmful practices, BEREC cannot ignore any longer the widespread access restrictions which undermine freedom of communication, privacy, as well as competition and innovation online. By further contributing to RespectMyNet, citizens can help increase pressure on the Commission to legislate on Net neutrality. ***

Last Spring, EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes said that it was urgent to wait on Net neutrality [2] and asked the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC [3]) to conduct a fact-finding exercise regarding ongoing access restrictions imposed by Internet Service Providers across the EU. A few days ago, the EU Parliament increased the pressure on BEREC and the Commission to act, by adopting a resolution calling on them to protect Net neutrality and to “assess the need for further regulation” once BEREC concludes its study [4].

Thus, BEREC's ongoing work on Internet access restrictions – which is expected to be released in February 2012 – will be crucial for the future of Net neutrality. If the study shows widespread violations of Net neutrality, the Commission will have no other choice but to propose EU-wide regulation to enforce this founding principle of the Internet. On the contrary, lack of sound evidence regarding ongoing restrictions will favour telecoms operators, like AT&T and others, who for the past two years have relentlessly lobbied against any measure to protect rights and freedoms online and the digital economy [5].

La Quadrature du Net met with BEREC last week to make it clear that the evidence on the RespectMyNet.eu platform already provides BEREC with an input they cannot overlook. Representatives from BEREC confirmed they would use the reports from the citizen platform as useful input for their study. Still, as BEREC will soon be concluding its research on Internet access restrictions and discriminatory practices, citizens across Europe must continue to take part in this debate by reporting and confirming Net neutrality violations on RespectMyNet.eu.

“Whether it is throttling of certain protocols, port blocking or even application blocking, Internet access restrictions reported on RespectMyNet.eu already show the need for regulatory intervention to make operators respect Net neutrality. BEREC cannot but recognise these widespread access restrictions imposed by telecoms operators. But there is still work to be done to get the situation's full picture. By helping BEREC list restrictions through RespectMyNet, citizens will help break away with Commissioner Neelie Kroes' failed ‘wait-and-see’ approach. Everybody can help shape the debate by testing their landline or wireless Internet connections and adding and confirming reports. Neelie Kroes won't be able to ignore much longer the need for resolute legislative action.”, said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

* References *

1. Visit http://respectmynet.eu
2. See: http://www.laquadrature.net/en/net-neutrality-the-european-commission-gives-up-on-users-and-innovators
3. See: http://erg.eu.int/about/index_en.htm
4. See: http://www.laquadrature.net/en/eu-parliament-massively-commits-to-net-neutrality-and-open-internet
5. See this New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/technology/08iht-neutral.1.20669185.html

** About la Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that promotes 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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