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The future of EU Internet may be sealed tonight.

La Quadrature du Net - For immediate release

Permanent link:
http://www.laquadrature.net/en/act-now-the-future-of-eu-internet-may-be-sealed-tonight


Act now to save Net neutrality!



*** Brussels, September 28th - The first conciliation meeting on the
Telecoms Package will take place tonight at 9:30PM. In this meeting, 27
Members of the European Parliament and 27 representatives of the Council
of EU will decide on the future of Internet in Europe. They will choose
whether to fix or maintain the dreadful anti-Net neutrality dispositions
voted in second reading by the Parliament, under the influence of AT&T.
Rapporteurs and representatives of the Swedish Presidency opposed this
idea so far. European citizens only have a few hours to urge MEPs to
preserve Europe's innovation, competition, and citizen's fundamental
rights. ***


The inaugural meeting of Conciliation phase on the Telecoms Package will
gather 27 Members of the European Parliament delegation, and 27
representatives of the ministers of the Member States, on Monday,
September 28th, at 9:30PM. During this procedure, the whole European
regulatory framework of the Internet will be negotiated. In the first
meeting, members of the committe will decide on the crucial perimeter of
the negotiations. From this decision will depend the fate of Net
neutrality in Europe.

So far, the rapporteur Catherine Trautmann and the minister in charge
for the Swedish Presidency Åsa Torstensson expressed their will to deal
only with the "amendment 138", which the Council wants to get rid of
[1]. This would mean that the dreadful provisions allowing operators to
kill Net neutrality in order to get control of the Internet [2]. These
provisions allowing for limiting access to Internet services and
applications, voted in second reading under influence by AT&T [3], would
then become law in Europe.

"Trautmann and Torstensson are trying to make everyone believe that Net
neutrality should be dealt separately, after the Telecoms Package, but
this is just a bad excuse. They know that Net neutrality is already in
the Telecoms Package, because AT&T amendments allows operators to kill
it to take control of the Net. They must admit it and do what is best
for Europe's competitiveness and citizens's fundamental rights, at any
cost. Internet is much more important for the future of our societies
than the efficiency of the EU legislative process." explains Jérémie
Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

Citizens from all Member States have a few hours left to call all the
Members of the European Parliament delegation in the conciliation
committee [4]. They can find arguments in the letter sent to them by La
Quadrature [5] along with the Open letter [6] signed by more than 70
NGOs across 15 Member States (including ISOC, CCC, Reporters without
Borders, and major consumers unions) , in a 2-pager memo and in a
complete 22-pages dossier about Net neutrality.

"Conciliation must leave room for a clear legislative statement
affirming that the fundamental principles of a non-discriminatory
Internet have higher status than the short-term convenience of specific
interest business models. It is very important that citizens who love
the Internet act together now. We need to use this unique opportunity to
help European lawmakers avoid making an irremediable mistake. "
concludes Zimmermann.



* Références *

1. Amendment 138 states that restrictions to fundamental rights and
freedoms such as access to the Internet must be subject to a prior
ruling by the judicial authority. This was confirmed by a decision of
the highest French jurisdiction, the Consitutional council, on the
"three strikes" policy. The Council added that "In the current state of
the means of communication and given the generalized development of
public online communication services and the importance of the latter
for the participation in democracy and the expression of ideas and
opinions, this right implies freedom to access such services."
2. Located in Articles 20.1.b and 21.3.b of the Universal Service
Directive, it allows for "conditions limiting access to and/or use of
services and applications".
3.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/technology/08iht-neutral.1.20669185.html?_r=1
4. A specific campagne page:
http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Call_conciliation_MEPs_sept28
5.
http://www.laquadrature.net/files/LaQuadratureduNet-20090928-Letter_to_the_conciliation_committee_MEPs.pdf
6. Open letter "We must save Net neutrality!" with full list of
signatories:
http://www.laquadrature.net/en/we-must-protect-net-neutrality-in-europe-open-letter-to-the-european-parliament

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