Net Neutrality in France: Is Minister Fleur Pellerin of Any Use?

Paris, 15 January 2013 — The disappointment after the round table organized by the French Minister Fleur Pellerin on Net Neutrality was predictable. The debate only served to cover up the Minister's inaction. Evading the issue by referring it to an obscure committee, the Minister postpones again any ambitions for a draft law protecting citizens.

Yet again, today's debate on Net Neutrality will have been a smokescreen. The voluntary speeches fall short with the referal of the issue to an obscure committee created by Nicolas Sarkozy, the CNN (Conseil national du numérique), all to finally justify the failure to adopt a serious position. Operators are left free by the State to restrict and monitor our online communications. While all the elements1 on the table demonstrate the need to act quickly by enshrining Net Neutrality into the French legislation, Fleur Pellerin still evades the issue.

“By referring the issue to an obscure committee rather than announcing a draft law guaranteeing Net neutrality, the Minister of Digital Economy, Fleur Pellerin, is protecting operators' interests over those of the users. Fleur Pellerin evades the issue and abandons citizens, leaving them at the mercy of access restrictions dangerous for innovation and freedom.” said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of the citizen organisation La Quadrature du Net.

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