Two weeks ago we celebrated a win at the European Parliament, where members of a powerful committee tasked with making decisions about how we share and collaborate online rejected proposals that would restrict our right to link.
Seeing the pro-Internet community stand up and take action together is always reaffirming–and in today’s global political climate where important decisions like this are often taken behind closed doors, a healthy level of engagement is something to celebrate in and of itself.
But we told you anti-Internet forces led by Europe’s publishing lobby would be back for more, and as we move into the final round, here they are, waiting to ambush us and open the door to an EU-wide ‘link tax.’
The so called freedom of panorama was included in MEP Julia Reda's copyright report, but a troubling amendment voted it out. Speak out now to push back against those powerful interests who want to restrict and censor our right to link online: SaveTheLink.org
You’re reading this, so obviously that question doesn’t apply to you. But as ProPublica recently reported, approximately 20 states currently have restrictions on municipal broadband in place, thanks largely to aggressive lobbying on the part of the telecom industry to prevent city-run broadband from becoming a reality.
In its public proposal, the European Commission would apply the fundamental principles of net neutrality to all broadband Internet services providing access to the Open Internet in Europe's single digital market: no blocking or throttling of legal online content, apps or services. All bits traveling over the networks the EU defines as the Open Internet would be treated equally. Prioritization, "degradation or discrimination" would all be be banned.
XKEYSCORE, NSA's most powerful tool of mass surveillance, is a degradation of our freedoms and our democracy.
Article by Morgan Marquis-Boire, Glenn Greenwald and Micah Lee for The Intercept
One of the National Security Agency’s most powerful tools of mass surveillance makes tracking someone’s Internet usage as easy as entering an email address, and provides no built-in technology to prevent abuse. Today, The Intercept is publishing 48 top-secret and other classified documents about XKEYSCORE dated up to 2013, which shed new light on the breadth, depth and functionality of this critical spy system — one of the largest releases yet of documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Unfortunately, and unlike what the mainstream media is reporting, the new EU announcement presents disastrous Net Neutrality rules.
Article by for Glyn Moody Arstechnica
A two-tier Internet will be created in Europe as the result of a late-night "compromise" between the European Commission, European Parliament and the EU Council. The so-called "trilogue" meeting to reconcile the different positions of the three main EU institutions saw telecom companies gaining the right to offer "specialised services" on the Internet. These premium services will create a fast lane on the Internet and thus destroy net neutrality, which requires that equivalent traffic is treated in the same way.
According to new reports, it appears as though top European Union decision-makers are about to enable a dangerous plan desired by Big Telecom providers that would effectively force many of our favourite websites into a slow lane online.
The new rules will allow deep-pocketed media conglomerates to create “specialized” channels that will dwarf the speeds the vast majority of the websites, services, and apps that we love and rely on – leaving them in the dust. There’s no doubt such a move will badly hurt innovation, creativity, and freedom of expression online.
As it stands right now, these rules would, in effect, destroy the Internet as an open playing field in the EU by undermining the principle of “Net Neutrality.” This is nothing less than a full out assault on the open Internet in Europe, and will impact millions more who rely on EU-based websites and services in their daily lives. The draft rules–as described by the European Commission–present three major threats:
The UN Declaration of Human Rights says human beings have the right to free expression, to culture, to equality, to life, liberty, and security. Without access to the web, it's increasingly hard to exercise these basic human rights, making connectivity itself a right by extension.