EU digital rights groups demand net neutrality protection

Digital rights groups say the European Commission must act to protect net neutrality

More than 80 European digital rights organizations on Wednesday called on the European Commission to do more to protect net neutrality.

The groups, represented by The European Consumer Organization (BEUC) and European Digital Rights (EDRi), are demanding an end to "dangerous experimentation with the functioning of the Internet in Europe."

The group said in an open letter to the Commission that operators across Europe are violating Internet neutrality particularly in the mobile sector, where they say there is evidence that companies including ISPs are "using technical measures for their own commercial interests and tampering with citizens' ability to access the Internet."

"The experimentation by certain European access providers with blocking, filtering and throttling of services creates borders in an online world whose key value is the absence of borders," said Joe McNamee, Executive Director of EDRi, in a statement demanding that the European Commission put a stop to it.

BEUC and EDRi fear that the upcoming non-binding recommendations on net neutrality from the Commission will be based on what the deem to be meaningless safeguards, such as the possibility to switch operators and an obligation for each operator to have at least one full Internet offer.

Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes has been a vocal advocate of net neutrality, saying consumers should be free to make their own choices about their Internet subscription and online activity, but that this "does not preclude consumers from subscribing to more differentiated, limited Internet offers, possibly for a lower price."

Digital rights organization La Quadrature du Net claimed in January that Kroes had caved in to telecom operator pressure and was giving up on net neutrality. She replied that she would not be bullied by NGOs or lobbyists.

"Make no mistake: I am in favor of an open Internet and maximum choice. That must be protected. But you don't need me or the E.U. telling you what sort of Internet services you must pay for," said Kroes.

The Commissioner has initiated many consultations on net neutrality, and has asked European national legislators and regulators to wait for better evidence before regulating on a country by country basis. However both The Netherlands and Slovenia, reluctant to wait, have already introduced legal protection for net neutrality.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags governmentregulationinternettelecommunicationeuropean commission

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?