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EuroISPA Calls for Europe to Protect Net Neutrality and Oppose Disconnection

Posted: 21st Oct, 2009 By: MarkJ
The pan European association of European Internet Services Providers (EuroISPA) has joined consumer groups, La Quadrature du Net and numerous other NGOs to urge the European Parliament not to give up the fundamental rights of EU citizens and support amendment 138. Failing to do so could lead to an EU wide policy supporting arbitrary restrictions of Internet access, such as customers being cut-off from the Internet by their ISP.

The EuroISPA Statement

EuroISPA strongly supports the principles laid down by the amendment 138 as adopted by the European Parliament in its second reading with an overwhelming majority. We believe that unrestricted access to the Internet is an integral part of Fundamental Freedoms, providing a secure business environment and protecting citizens’ civil liberties.

Any restriction of an individual to those rights should only be taken following a prior judicial ruling. Only a court can guarantee a proportionate, balanced decision, respectful of the Fundamental Rights of Information, Privacy and Communication.

Being a matter of Fundamental Rights for European citizens and businesses, it would be unwise to give Member States excessive scope regarding the application of the relevant rules. Otherwise, there is a considerable risk of varying and arbitrary implementation, the result of which would damage both citizens' rights and the Single Market.

EuroISPA urges the European Parliament to fully respect the democratic mandate received from European citizens’ and defend the principles laid down in the Charter of Fundamental Rights on Freedom of Expression and Information and the European Convention for Human Rights.

Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net, said:

"The Parliament is the only European institution that is democratically elected. Stepping back on an amendment adopted on two occasions by an 88% majority of its Members would send a dreadful signal to European citizens, as if defending them was only important before the elections but not afterwards. The Parliament's legitimacy is at stake. During the negotiations, the Parliament will now be able to take advantage of the massive support of the European civil society."

The European Parliament is due once again to vote on a revised Telecoms Package that has been put forward by the European Council, which seeks to replace amendment 138. The replacement itself would give up on the idea that Internet access could only be restricted via a "prior ruling by the judicial authority".
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