09 March 2009

UK Government Wants to Kill Net Neutrality in EU

The UK government is fast turning into the digital villain of Europe as far as the Internet is concerned. Not content with monitoring everything we look at online, it now wants to break Net Neutrality so that it can block out chunks of the Internet is disapproves of - killing Net Neutrality in the process.

That, at least, is the effect of a proposed amendment EU's Telecoms Package, currently being circulated according to Monica Horten's IPtegrity site:

The UK government wants to cut out users rights to access Internet content, applications and services. Some of the information used to justify the change has been cut and pasted from the Wikipedia.

Amendments to the Telecoms Package circulated in Brussels by the UK government, seek to cross out users' rights to access and distribute Internet content and services. And they want to replace it with a ‘principle' that users can be told not only the conditions for access, but also the conditions for the use of applications and services.

As Horten explains:

The proposed amendments cut out completely any users' rights to do with content - whether accessing or distributing - which would appear to be in breach of the European Charter of Fundamental rights, Article 10. The Charter states that everyone has the right "to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers." In the digital age, the Internet, and the associated applications and services provided by the World Wide Web, is the means by which people exercise that right.


The amendments, if carried, would reverse the principle of end-to-end connectivity which has underpinned not only the Internet, but also European telecommunications policy, to date.

The proposal is not just against the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, but will also bring the European Council in conflict with the European Commission and the European Parliament. Unfortunately much of the real power in Europe still lies with the Council, so if this proposal is accepted there, it might still be imposed against the wishes of everyone else.


Anonymous said...

Have you got a source for these "proposals"

Glyn Moody said...

Yes, you can find them linked to here: