European Union adopting regulations that will penalize Internet users

first_img News to go further RSF_en Europe – Central Asia “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says June 7, 2021 Find out more Europe – Central Asia Help by sharing this information June 8, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijancenter_img October 21, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 European Union adopting regulations that will penalize Internet users Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about the consequences that the European Union’s adoption of the so-called Telecoms Package will have for bloggers and other Internet users.“This Telecoms Package undermines the right to equal Internet access,” said Reporters Without Borders, which last month joined more than 80 organisations from 15 EU member countries in signing an open letter voicing concern. “The European Union should have sent a strong signal by refusing to create a two-speed Internet.”The press freedom organisation added: “The European Council is allowing Internet operators to haphazardly determine the use of bandwidth as they see fit. This is already happening and it should be forbidden under the principle of Net neutrality.” The European Union has been debating the Telecoms Package, a collection of rules governing Internet access by computer and mobile phone, for the past year in Brussels. The European Council is currently conducting its second review of the bill and is due to finish by the end of the month. The package should have given the EU the opportunity to guarantee Net neutrality, but all of the amendments that the European Parliament proposed with this in mind have been rejected by the council. Instead, the principle of Net neutrality is being ignored and the package seems well on its way to being approved as is.Net neutrality means equal access to the same Internet for everyone, without technical restrictions, and the right, once access has been have paid for and obtained, not to have anyone dictating what you can or cannot do with it. No Internet company (access provider, search engine operator etc) should be able to discriminate, prioritize or filter website content or information transmission (for example, by giving priority to information sent to a major corporation).Net neutrality also means banning regulations that impose discretionary or arbitrary controls on bandwidth use (except when the security of the Internet or its users is threatened, or to deal with temporary technical problems). The Internet must remain neutral and independent as regards consumers and providers, and the type of information transmitted. “It is incomprehensible that the EU’s institutions do not enact such a basic principle as Net neutrality when tackling such a vital and complex bill,” Reporters Without Borders continued. “This lack of coherence is all the more glaring because this principle of equality is in the process of being clearly incorporated into US and Canadian legislation. The problem could have been solved already, to avoid having to go back to it when the damage has been done. If Net neutrality is not guaranteed, some companies will relocate to the United States to escape the discrimination that is likely to be practised in Europe.”While the EU is allowing operators to challenge the principle of equality, the United States and Canada both have bills promoting neutrality. On 21 September, the White House called for a “free and open Internet” and endorsed a bill called the Internet Freedom Preservation Act. Canada has Private Bill C-552, which would amend the 1993 Telecommunications Act in order to guarantee Net neutrality.Google, Yahoo! and Amazon also advocate Net neutrality, unlike mobile phone companies and Internet Service Providers such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, which block access to Peer-to-Peer, Skype and even some newsgroups – Internet services that threaten short-term profitability for mobile phone service operators. AT&T has just decided to allow Internet telephony but only on its 3G mobile phone network.The principle of non-discrimination is enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. It derives from the principle of free expression that everyone has the right to express their views by any means and subject to the same conditions as everyone else. Under the name of Net neutrality, it necessarily applies to the Internet, as a means of communication. It is this set of fundamental principles that the EU is allowing Internet operators to violate.“The right to free expression should not be applied differently to the Internet just because it is a revolutionary means of communication,” Reporters Without Borders added. “Western democracies must not violate this fundamental right.”Read and sign the open letter to the European Parliament on Net neutrality:http://www.laquadrature.net/en/we-must-protect-net-neutrality-in-europe-open-letter-to-the-european-parliamentFor more information and details on this subject, read “Protecting Net Neutrality in the Telecoms Package”:http://laquadrature.net/files/LaQuadratureduNet-DOSSIER_Protecting_Net_Neutrality_in_the_Telecoms_Package.pdfWatch this interview with Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of “La Quadrature du Net,” a citizens collective :Reporters sans frontières: Entretien avec Jérémie Zimmermanenvoyé par rsf_internet. – L’info internationale vidéo. 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