20 April 2009

Urgent: Please Write to your MEPs about Amendment 138

Sorry, it's time to get those virtual quills out, and to write to your MEPs. There's a crucial vote coming up in the next couple of days that may see net neutrality killed in Europe thanks to the British and French governments. La Quadrature du Net has the details; here's my letter:

I am writing to ask you to urge your colleagues, particularly those on the ITRE committee, to vote in favour of amendment 138/46 to the Telecoms Package, and not to allow it to be deleted or watered down in any way – for example, by making it an indicative recital instead of an article.

As a journalist who has been writing about the Internet since 1994, I know how important it is that the connection is provided without any technical restrictions. This is the only way that innovations can emerge – indeed, the British inventor of the Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has said that if restrictions of the kind that the striking of amendment 138/46 will allow were in place back in 1989, the Web would never have taken off. This means that if the amendment is dropped or weakened, Europe may well miss out on the next Internet revolution – hardly what the European Union is seeking to do with its wider support for innovation.

To its great credit, the European Parliament has consistently fought to retain this protection for users, and I urge you and your colleagues to continue to stand up for European citizens who are being sidelined by the proposal from some governments to drop amendment 138/46.

Please send your own variation before tomorrow evening. Remember: it's *your* Internet they want to ruin.


Anonymous said...

The write to them link above makes it so easy to contact your MEPs that anyone can send a message to theirs within a few minutes.

Isn't technology cool. It would be a pity if certain members of our society weren't able to access services like this.

Glyn Moody said...

Yes, indeed - or any of the other neat tools for engaging with the government online...

Roger Lancefield said...

Message sent. Many thanks for the heads up Glyn. I recycled your missive, obviously editing where appropriate. I hope you don't mind.

Glyn Moody said...

Great - thanks. Recycling is fine.