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March 18, 2014

Loopholes in EU telecom regulation threaten neutrality of the net

The neutrality of the internet is under threat after the European Parliament’s Industry Committee today voted yes to a new Regulation for a Telecom single Market. As they stand, the proposals include worrying loopholes that could allow the creation of a two-tiered internet. The full European Parliament will vote on the Regulation on 3rd April.

Jim Killock, Executive Director of Open Rights Group said:

‘By allowing ISPs to charge more for “specialised services”, the Regulation would enable telecoms and other companies to buy their way to a faster internet at the expense of individuals, start-ups and small businesses. This threatens the openness and freedom of the internet.'

Also of concern are proposals that would allow "reasonable traffic management measures" to "prevent or impede serious crime”. On these, Killock added:

‘It is unclear what "reasonable traffic management measures" are but potentially they could allow ISPs to block or remove content without any judicial oversight. Decisions about what the public can and and can’t see online should not be made by commercial organisations and without any legal basis.’

For more information or interviews, please contact Pam Cowburn: pam@openrightsgroup.org, 07749785932