European Union Votes Net Neutrality Into Law

European Union Votes Net Neutrality Into Law

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If approved by EU member states, it will soon be illegal for telecommunications companies to block internet traffic or charge more for data-intensive content services.

Net neutrality is an important issue in an increasingly connected world, prompting debates as to whether the principle should be required by law. In the United States, there's really no set legal precedent for how net neutrality should be treated, although that may change following the FCC court ruling back in January. In the European Union, on the other hand, members of Parliament have voted to close loopholes in a Telecoms Package law that could have created a two-tier internet. The original version of the law included "specialized services" that included charging more for data-intensive content, blocking internet traffic, and even annoyances like mobile roaming charges.

"After months of negotiations, the European Parliament has today adopted my proposal to close the last remaining loopholes in the text, in order to enshrine net neutrality in European law," said Dutch Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake. "Today's vote creates safeguards to ensure that players without deep pockets, such as start-ups, hospitals or universities, cannot be pushed out of the market as a result of deals between Internet service providers and content providers to offer faster services at a higher price."

The new law still needs to be approved by EU member states, but digital rights groups are already embracing the changes. "Holding the open internet hostage in order to help a small number of companies would be dangerous and short-sighted," said European Digital Rights Executive Director Joe McNamee. "The freedom of the Internet must be protected."

Outside of the already mentioned changes, the new law allows for plain language mobile contracts, additional consumer protection rights, and coordination of frequency spectrum use. Specialized services are still allowed, but not in a way that limits the availability or quality of internet access services. That being said, the European Telecommunications Network Operators association warned that these changes could limit user choices in the long run. "The text approved today would introduce far-reaching restrictions on traffic management, which would make an efficient management of the network almost impossible, resulting in a lower quality internet for all," an ETNO statement read.

Source: Computerworld

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The EU, doing what the US did before the Cold War.

OH I am sure the association that is backed by the fucking ISP's is really worried about slow internet. I caught you fuckers throttling me TWICE already. Besides that WHAT choice is there? I only have two choices and none of them are good to begin with.

No just give me the shitty net neutral internet you are warning people about ETNO, at least that internet works and doesn't cost me 5$ every time I view a non-authorized video.

This is awesome! EU, I want to move to you!

Weaver:
This is awesome! EU, I want to move to you!

There is a lot of shit wrong with EU, but one thing we have over here is a lot less political corruption, especially on EU level, which means that people in charge are able to look at the big picture without their vision being clouded by a pile of money. I used to live in the US 10 years ago. I don't regret moving to Europe. People really are smarter here and generally more informed about important issues.

1337mokro:
The EU, doing what the US did before the Cold War.

Being a beacon of freedom? Yep, we are.

"The text approved today would introduce far-reaching restrictions on traffic management, which would make an efficient management of the network almost impossible, resulting in a lower quality internet for all,"

If they wanted people to take that threat seriously, maybe they shouldn't have spent their time with limited competition already providing crappy internet service as a cornerstone of their business plan.

Too bad that can't happen in the United Corporations of America.

It would be nice if stories like this got more attention, if only so people would shut up about how the EU never does anything for them. Maybe then we'd hear fewer politicians claiming that it's an undemocratic, sovereignty violating tool for renewed German oppression and Eastern European immigration, and that membership offers nothing of value.

Drakoorr:
It would be nice if stories like this got more attention, if only so people would shut up about how the EU never does anything for them. Maybe then we'd hear fewer politicians claiming that it's an undemocratic, sovereignty violating tool for renewed German oppression and Eastern European immigration, and that membership offers nothing of value.

I am Dutch, and this is not in any of the newspapers I read today, and I've never even heard of Marietje Schaake before.
Maybe because Net Neutrality is already guaranteed by Dutch law, so only if the Eurocrats would vote against it, would it have an immediate impact on us.

Sadly the only times I hear about the EU here is when politicians try to justify new taxes by blaming it on "Brussels".

As a guy who lives in the EU - this makes me happy beyond words, It almost makes up for my breakup with now ex girlfriend last wednesday

Good job EU! Makes me feel better about the world!

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say the UK probably won't approve. Because our government just loves corporate cheddar. :(

WeepingAngels:
Too bad that can't happen in the United Corporations of America.

[Corpo-Bot:] GREETINGS CITIZEN #4690021. I AM HERE TO ADDRESS CONCERNS ABOUT YOUR INTERNET SERVICE.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT SLOW, CONTROLLED INTERNET IS FOR YOUR PROTECTION, CITIZEN. *BEEP BEEP BOOP*

*REGISTER ASSURANCE* HIGH SPEED INTERNET PROMOTES PIRACY AND CAN CAUSE ONLINE COLLISIONS. TO PROTECT OUR ECONOMY WE MUST THROTTLE SPEEDS ACCORDINGLY. THIS WILL RESULT IN BETTER ENTERTAINMENT AND SAFETY FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMIL-LY-LY-LY...FAMIL...FAM.. *ERROR*

[INIT CorpBot.ispcz ...Done]
GREETINGS CITIZEN #4690021.

Seriously: At one of the major world powers isn't sprinting towards an internet controlled solely by entities with their own agendas. Good work, EU.

I think the Netherlands already has a law protecting net neutrality, despite that I'm still very happy that the eu made the right decision.

"That being said, the European Telecommunications Network Operators association warned that these changes could limit user choices in the long run. "The text approved today would introduce far-reaching restrictions on traffic management, which would make an efficient management of the network almost impossible, resulting in a lower quality internet for all," an ETNO statement read."

User choices like, say, the choice of whether to pay extra for shit they used to get for free? The choice to pay for both your internet connection and pay for the internet connection of your favorite content creator? The text approved today will have far-reaching restrictions on you fucking people over, is what you mean. Lower quality internet at higher prices is what you fools are all about. Glad some governments somewhere took steps to protect the consumers.

Haha! And people say the EU is useless! Take that, Eurosceptics!

image

(Yes, yes, I know the EU doing one good thing doesn't make it perfect. Don't get dem knickers in a twist, yo...)

Under_your_bed:
Haha! And people say the EU is useless! Take that, Eurosceptics!

(Yes, yes, I know the EU doing one good thing doesn't make it perfect. Don't get dem knickers in a twist, yo...)

Is it just me or does every picture of Nigel Farage make him look awful. I hate the bastard but every single one makes him look about one step above a chimp

hawkeye52:

Under_your_bed:
Haha! And people say the EU is useless! Take that, Eurosceptics!

(Yes, yes, I know the EU doing one good thing doesn't make it perfect. Don't get dem knickers in a twist, yo...)

Is it just me or does every picture of Nigel Farage make him look awful. I hate the bastard but every single one makes him look about one step above a chimp

I dunno, there are those that disagree with you on this one....

Good move EU! Bringing us one step closer to a net neutral world... Hopefully other countries follow suit...

CAPTCHA: Pyrrhic victory ... it looks like the CAPTCHA is taking the United Corporations of America view of this event...

The next time anyone tries to claim that "American exceptionalism" isn't a load of horseshit, I'm telling them that they don't know what they're talkign about.

I'm not great with legislation and that so could some one clarify? In the UK ISPs are (BT in particular in my case) are blocking access to various sites (mostly torrent/download sites) and there are parties that are pushing to restrict access to porn; if this if this Net Neutrality gets voted in does that mean the UK ISPs have to unblock it all since I don't think the consumers don't get a choice in it?

I fail to see how cementing a network that is by its nature unrestricted causes inefficiency and restrictions.

Here's hoping Cameron beings Britain back into line with this directive. Since the carriers started with the censorship program (because, dear God, won't you think of the CHILDREN!?), they technically lost their MC status, and are in direct violation of the European Directive against such.

I like Britain being in the EU, because of stuff like this.

Being Canadian, I'm curious to see just how deep Stephen Harper's going to go in order to please his buddy Barry.

"Oh, the EU is being all liberal and shit? LET'S THROTTLE THEM PLEBS, USA! SQUEEZE EVERY LAST MONEYDOLLAR OUTTA DEM PIRATES, HURRKGLRKFLRLGLRK."

I wish the legislators would understand that you will never - Never with a Capital N - ever manage to fully bring the 'net into full corporate control. The Deep Web is proof of that, and it only takes one peer-to-peer exchange method that gets shot down for two more to sprout up. Some people will gladly pay fine after fine and bounce between ISPs if that means they get to keep a somewhat unrestricted access to what they enjoy.

God knows I'm afraid of the day my ISP starts fractioning its 'net access into package deals, because people like my tech-oblivious parents would swallow the bullshit "safety" warnings that would follow suit without question.

Wow, good on the EU. Maybe one day the ISP oligarchy we have in the US will lose its power and we'll get net neutrality too...

...I'll probably be a grandfather by the time that happens though

erbkaiser:

Drakoorr:
It would be nice if stories like this got more attention, if only so people would shut up about how the EU never does anything for them. Maybe then we'd hear fewer politicians claiming that it's an undemocratic, sovereignty violating tool for renewed German oppression and Eastern European immigration, and that membership offers nothing of value.

I am Dutch, and this is not in any of the newspapers I read today, and I've never even heard of Marietje Schaake before.
Maybe because Net Neutrality is already guaranteed by Dutch law, so only if the Eurocrats would vote against it, would it have an immediate impact on us.

Sadly the only times I hear about the EU here is when politicians try to justify new taxes by blaming it on "Brussels".

Can't say I've ever heard of Schaake before, but it definitely did get -some- attention, judging by how it took me one search query on the NOS website to find an article.

General net neutrality in The Netherlands won't change, but the clauses about roaming charges and plain-language contracts will make an impact.

Under_your_bed:

I dunno, there are those that disagree with you on this one....

.. that tie Farage's sporting in that pic is not, by ANY definition, "snazzy". At best it's butt-ugly, at worst it'd introduce an epileptic fit whenever you'd move your eyes.

Looks like as slow as EU is its once again overshooting the rest of the world. Seriuosly, EU seems to be something that may actually make people believe that politics arent all bad the way they are going.

1337mokro:
The EU, doing what the US did before the Cold War.

You mean the EU doing what US so far threw out of the court?

erbkaiser:

Drakoorr:
It would be nice if stories like this got more attention, if only so people would shut up about how the EU never does anything for them. Maybe then we'd hear fewer politicians claiming that it's an undemocratic, sovereignty violating tool for renewed German oppression and Eastern European immigration, and that membership offers nothing of value.

I am Dutch, and this is not in any of the newspapers I read today, and I've never even heard of Marietje Schaake before.
Maybe because Net Neutrality is already guaranteed by Dutch law, so only if the Eurocrats would vote against it, would it have an immediate impact on us.

Sadly the only times I hear about the EU here is when politicians try to justify new taxes by blaming it on "Brussels".

But operators here still have the authority to block torrent sites and such. I have UPC, and I've noticed they do block a few sites.

The only way they'd get slow internet with net neutrality was if the infrastructure is crap. If it's not? then no excuses fucko!

"The text approved today would introduce far-reaching restrictions on traffic management, which would make an efficient management of the network almost impossible, resulting in a lower quality internet for all,"

Translation

"Our network is out of date/slow and unreliable so we want to throttle traffic so we can spend less money on improving it so we can spend that money on a gold plated lamborghini for each director."

Honestly what a load of bull how will this make a low quality internet ? Oh no all packets of 1s and 0s will be treated the same what will we do!

Now lets hope this forces virgin media in the uk to stop cashing youtube http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Up-to-120Mb-Speed/Tired-of-YouTube-buffering/td-p/1746698

They are also no longer able to "block internet traffic" does that mean that internet censorship in the UK will come to an end ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_United_Kingdom
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Websites_blocked_in_the_United_Kingdom

WeepingAngels:
Too bad that can't happen in the United Corporations of America.

I think that's what I'm going to start calling the USA from now on.

Under_your_bed:

hawkeye52:
Is it just me or does every picture of Nigel Farage make him look awful. I hate the bastard but every single one makes him look about one step above a chimp

I dunno, there are those that disagree with you on this one....

Some days, I wish the less salubrious newspapers in this country would just throw pretense out the window and print pictures like those. I would respect them more for their journalistic integrity.

hawkeye52:
(Snip).

Whatever effort that avatar took to make, it was worth it. Its amorphous nature would make Tzeentch proud!

Deadcyde:
The only way they'd get slow internet with net neutrality was if the infrastructure is crap. If it's not? then no excuses fucko!

I hear tell most places in Europe have relatively quicker and more reliable internet than what is available here. I'd guess the more populated cities are better off, partially because of, well...having to put the pieces back together.

OT: Well, news like this does make me happier to technically be living in the EU. At the moment, I doubt I'd want to settle in a lot of other places I've been to, sadly.

 

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