Net Neutrality (EU edition)

Network neutrality in Europe is under threat. Not in some vague possible future; right now. In one week, on Tuesday the fifth of May, the European Parliament will vote on the second reading of the Telecoms Package and amendments.

I urge all EU citizens to contact an MEP, via e-mail or (preferably) phone, and encourage them to support the Citizens’ Rights Amendments, which reaffirm net neutrality and anti-censorship positions adopted by the European Parliament in the first reading but subsequently removed by the Council of Ministers in their “common position”.

The primary purpose of these amendments is to make it explicit that the European Convention on Human Rights applies to internet and telecoms legislation. This should be obvious, but it is clear from the actions of politicians that it is not; it is all too clear that many see the internet as a frivolous toy, and civil rights obviously do not apply to toys. (It occurs to me that politicians are probably among those in the western world least affected by the digital communications revolution; if they need to communicate, they talk to their secretaries.)

Draft texts of the amendments (not yet numbered) can be found here: part I, part II, part III. There’s a (rather bad) campaign site here, and a less bad editorial – for all that it’s in a pointy-haired e-mag – in Computer World UK here.

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