The European Parliament will decide over your rights and freedoms! On 24 February, the lead committee of the European Parliament (ITRE Committee) is scheduled to vote.
The internet’s continued success is based on three foundational principles. First, the end-to-end principle, which ensures that all points in the network should be able to connect to all other points in the network. Second, the best effort principle which guarantees that all providers of the internet should make their best effort to deliver traffic from point to point as expeditiously as possible. Last but not least, the innovation without permission principle, which states that everyone should be able to innovate without permission from anyone or any entity. These principles can be collectively defined as network neutrality, which is fundamental to ensure growth and innovation in the ICT sector and safeguard the internet’s core value for democracy and freedom of communication.
Net neutrality means that all traffic on the internet is treated on an equal basis, no matter its origin, recipient, sender, type of content or the means(e.g. equipment or protocols) used to transmit packets. Any deviation from this principle (for instance for congestion purposes) must be necessary, proportionate, temporary, targeted, transparent, and in accordance with relevant laws. Network neutrality is the guiding principle of the open internet. It is fundamental to ensure that the internet remains a platform for the enjoyment of human rights and innovation. Net neutrality means that all traffic on the internet is treated on an equal basis, no matter the origin, type of content or means.
The EU Commission has promised to safeguard the internet's foundational principle in a Regulation, but the proposed text fails to deliver net neutrality. Unless you take action to help the European Parliament fix the text, the internet will soon look more like cable TV, where your operator has total control over what you can access online, even charging you extra for certain services.
We need your help to tell Parliamentarians to protect the open and neutral internet - tell them to protect network neutrality!
Watch this Video to find out why it is so important:
Neelie Kroes, the Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, promised to safeguard network neutrality. However, in the past few years her position has changed significantly to the opposite direction. Her proposal for a Regulation for a Telecom Single Market confirms this. While we welcome the intention to enshrine net neutrality into law across the EU, the proposal fails to deliver the promise of net neutrality as it contains several problematic loopholes. However, the text itself is not far off the mark. With the right improvements, the European Union could have binding net neutrality legislation. The proposal is now in hands of the Parliament and will be reviewed by several committees, with the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) committee as the lead in charge of this dossier. The modifications introduced in some committees have regrettably worsened the problems in the Commission proposal. Furthermore, the legislation is on a very strict timeline, as the Parliament hopes to conclude negotiations before elections in May 2014, which has made the window for consultation very small.
Internet companies, quite reasonably, claim the right to provide specialised network services – such as high definition video - at guaranteed speeds for precise industrial applications. As long as these services are run separately from the internet and do not interfere with internet quality, this is clearly not a problem.
Currently, the proposed Regulation does not give a clear definition of specialised services. It would allow for the possibility of a “specialised service” to be interpreted as any kind of online service. This would lead to the creation of a two-tiered internet, where certain services would be prioritised while others would be pushed into the slow lane. As a consequence, this would restrict the freedom of communication and the possibilities and incentives for innovation. (Article 2.15)
Example: Many mobile operators already offer unmetered access to Facebook, with everything else being subject to a payment based on the volume of downloaded data. If the definition of a “specialised service” allows this kind of offer, it will restrict the possible market available to potential competitors, restricting choice and innovation in the long run.
What we need is a clarification to ensure that the “service” in question is not functionally identical to an online service and that it is run on a network that is entirely separate from the public internet. The Body of European Regulators (BEREC) definition states that such services have to be separate from the public best effort internet and shall only be provided within the European electronic communications provider’s network.
The text proposed by the European Commission would give users the “freedom” to choose discriminatory services. This “freedom” will ultimately be negative for internet users and negative for the broader online innovative environment (Article 23).
Example: It has been estimated that British consumers alone pay approximately 5 billion pounds a year too much, due to their “freedom” to choose between numerous confusing service options.
What we need is to replace “shall be free” with “have the right” and to ensure that the text does not allow discriminatory services to be offered by internet access providers.
To allow the use of “reasonable traffic management measure” to “prevent or impede serious crime” will enable internet companies to interfere with online communications, without a legal basis or a court order. This provision will give law enforcement authority to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) outside the rule of law and that is in clear violation of article 52 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (Article 23.5).
Example: In the UK, for example, voluntary measures are already being carried out by ISPs to prevent individuals leading to lawless blocking of a range of legal online services. In 2012, this led to the accidental blocking of the website of the French civil rights group, La Quadrature du Net.
What we need is a deletion of the dangerous exception for arbitrary interferences in communications traffic flows of reasonable traffic management.
To find out more, read our analysis and amendments on how to improve the proposed Regulation:
To follow the Dossier on the european level you may consider these links:
industry, Research and Energy
Internal Market and Consumer Protection
Culture and Education
Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
|Deadline for amendments (AMS)||17/12||03/12||05/12||19/12||16/01|
|Condersation of AMS||22-23/01||09/01|
|Vote and Final Report||24/02||23/01||21/01||21/01||12/02|
The proposed Regulation has been criticized by many different institutions and individuals. Already before the draft was publicly announced, one part of the European Commission criticized another because they considered the proposal as a threat for net neutrality and fundamental rights.
A second vocal critic is the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communication (BEREC). This independent expert group of national regulators helped the factual discussion about net neutrality a lot and came up with many useful definitions (e.g. for specialised services). Furthermore, BEREC provided statistical data which showed that half of Europe's population is already affected by net neutrality violations in the mobile sector. Also, the European Data Protection Supervisor warns about loopholes in the net neutrality provisions and highlights the danger for data privacy in the new legal situation.
Act now to tell your representatives to protect our rights and freedoms. The best way to do this is by calling a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). But you can also send them a Fax, a letter or an E-Mail - we provide you with all the information, and calling them is free of charge.
The best way to carry your message to a MEP is to develop your argument verbally. In this way, you can adapt your speech to her/his answers, and express your great concern about the subject on which you are calling. MEPs do not receive many calls from citizens, thus they are particularly sensitive to them.Generally, conversations look like that:
And now... Call the next MEP ;)
Some people sometimes propose to send generic form emails to all MEPs (and even to those who do not vote on the related subject). We believe that such emails are counterproductive. MEPs and their assistants know how to use a spam filter as well as you, and those emails end up in spam folder quickly. Generic form emails give the impression that you do not want to take the time to get interested in the matter, and do not reflect the number of people involved in it (a single person can send several messages). Worse, such emails increase the risk that the MEPs do not read the personalized emails on the same dossier, and finally hurting your cause.
The best solution is to send personalized emails based on your own approach and your knowledge of the matter (Remember: you are not expected to be an expert, only a concerned citizen) and, if possible, according to the positions of the MEP's political group.
You can reach us under info /at/ savetheinternet.eu
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|technology review (print)||02/2014||Zutritt nur für VIP Kunden?||German|
|Radio Dreyeckland||24/01/2014||Focus Europa Spezial #38: Eine Debatte über unsere digitale Zukunft und die Netzneutralität in Europa||German|
|Huffington Post||22/01/2014||Web 3.0: So könnte das Internet ohne Netzneutralität aussehen||German|
|derStandard||21/01/2014||Google und Facebook dominieren in Entwicklungsländern den Internetzugang||German|
|FM4 ORF||21/01/2014||Internet-Freiheit in Gefahr||German|
|Berliner Zeitung||21/01/2014||Deutschland droht Zwei-Klassen-Internet||German|
|Frankfurter Rundschau||21/01/2014||Zwei-Klassen-Internet droht||German|
|Unwatched.org||20/01/2014||Jetzt handeln! – SaveTheInternet.eu: Kampagne zum Schutz der Netzneutralität||German|
|Linuxfr.org||19/01/2014||Internet La fin de la neutralité du net ?||Français|
|Radio Corax||17/01/2014||Die EU will die Netzneutralität faktisch Abschaffen - Bedeutung und Auswirkungen auf das heutige Internet||German|
|tevac||17/01/2014||La rete è in pericolo e TU puoi salvarla||Italian|
|Huffington Post||16/01/2014||Netzneutralität - "Ruf deinen Abgeordneten an": So kämpft das Netz für ein gerechtes Internet||German|
|Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten||16/01/2014||Kommerz und Zensur: EU und USA wollen das Internet verkaufen||German|
|La Tribune||16/01/2014||Dans la bataille Internet contre télécoms, les opérateurs gagnent une manche||Français|
|Kurier (print)||16/01/2014||Kampf um das offene Internet||German|
|Dziennik Internautów||15/01/2014||Neutralność internetu przegrywa w USA, a w UE walka trwa. Dołączysz się?||Polish|
|Punto Informatico||15/01/2014||USA, scacco matto alla neutralità?||Italian|
|Huffington Post||15/01/2014||Web 3.0: What The Internet Could Look Like Without Net Neutrality||English|
|Futurezone.at||15/01/2014||Kampf um das offene Internet in der EU und den USA||German|
|t3n||15/01/2014||EU entscheidet über Netzneutralität – Fordere deinen Abgeordneten auf, das Internet zu retten!||German|
|Netzpolitik.org||14/01/2014||SaveTheInternet.eu – Kampagne zur Netzneutralität||German|
|La Quadrature du Net||14/01/2014||SaveTheInternet.eu : Agissons pour la neutralité du Net !||French|
|PC INpact||14/01/2014||SaveTheInternet.eu : la neutralité du net et la « priorisation » en question||French|
|PC World||14/01/2014||European civil rights groups join forces to defend net neutrality||English|
|Heise||14/01/2014||EU-Kommissarin Kroes verteidigt Pläne zur Netzneutralität und Abschaffung der Roaminggebühren||German|
|Reuters||14/01/2014||Schneller gegen Aufpreis: US-Gericht kippt Netzneutralität||German|
|derStandard.at||14/01/2014||SaveTheInternet: Bürgerrechtler fordern Netzneutralität per Gesetz||German|
|Logbuch Netzpolitik||10/01/2014||LNP089 Botschaft bedeutet Botschaft||German|
|N24||09/01/2014||Netzpolitik: Ausblick auf 2014||German|
|panoptykon.org||09/01/2014||Powiedz: NIE dla Internetu dwóch prędkości!||Polish|
|ZDF||09/01/2014||Letzte Rettung für die Netzneutralität?||German|
|TAZ||08/01/2014||Internetaktivist über Netzneutralität: „Uns bleibt nur noch sehr wenig Zeit“||German|
|08/01/2014||savetheinternet.eu on reddit.com||English|
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|30c3 Talk||27/12/2013||30C3: Der Kampf um Netzneutralität – Wer kontrolliert das Netz?||German|
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