Will the EP turns its back on Internet rights?

Brussels, November 4th 2009 - On the eve of a crucial conciliation meeting that will decide on the fate of the "Telecoms Package", the European Parliament must decide whether it will keep its promise to protect citizens rights online. Will the European Parliament send a dangerous message to Member States by assenting to extrajudicial restrictions of Internet access? Should fundamental rights be sacrificed in an attempt to finish Telecoms Package at any cost?

On Wednesday evening, if the European Parliament and the Council of the EU find an agreement on what could replace "amendment 138", the meetings on the conciliation of the Telecoms Package might very well be the last ones. An agreement could be found between the Parliament's neutralized version, and the dangerous compromise proposed by the Council. None of the texts on the table guarantees the freedom to access the Internet without restrictions from private parties or administrative authorities such as in "three strikes" schemes.

What we expect from our elected European representatives in the negotiation is the following1:

  • A clear defense of fundamental rights on the Internet.
  • A guarantee that no administrative body or corporation can restrict our access to the Net.
  • The consideration of access to the Net as a basic right that cannot be waived without complete judicial guarantees in the whole process.

"It is much more important to protect fundamental rights than to push for a quick agreement at any cost. Disturbingly, the Parliament delegation has used a tailored and debatable legal argumentation that suggests it has no competence to defend citizens' rights when they are endangered by corporations or governments." concludes Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

A campaign page2 has been set up to allow everyone to contact Members of the European Parliament and urge them to refuse any proposal from the Council allowing "three strikes" policies in Europe, and to explicitly protect EU citizens' freedom to access the Net.