You might have seen that the EU's "Telecoms Package" squeaked through with some protection for users' rights intact -- specifically, the proposal to allow "3-strikes" rules (whereby everyone in your house would lose internet access if any member was accused, without trial, of copyright infringement) was killed. But it's not as good as it could be, nor as good as it was before the content industry's lobbyists got their chums to rewrite it.
Jérémie Zimmemrmann writes,
The European Parliament and the Council of the EU came to an agreement on the "Telecoms Package" negotiations. They laid down legal and procedural guarantees against restrictions of Internet access. The new provision gives "effective judicial protection and due process", guarantees "the principle of presumption of innocence and the right to privacy" and the respect of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
However, the text only speaks of "a prior fair and impartial procedure" instead of a prior ruling by the judicial authorities, guaranteed by the original "amendment 138", and contains loopholes and ambiguities. The invalidation of freedom-killer measures such as "three strikes policies" will now depend on interpretation by the European Court of Justice and national courts. Moreover, the text only relates to measures taken by Member States and thereby fails to bar telecom operators and entertainment industries from knocking down the founding principle of Net neutrality.
The European Union is in the final stage of deciding on net neutrality, and as it stands their proposal contains major loopholes that threaten the open Internet in Europe and around the world. BEREC, the EU regulator, is holding a final public comment period that will end on July 18.
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