Mary   28 Feb 2014   Internet Governance

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The minutes I spend on Facebook each day take more energy than a 10 km run (were I of fit enough mind and body to undertake such an endeavor). I seem to spend my time dodging calls to action and skimming over worthy posts exhorting me to be a better person. It's not that I have anything against either of these; it's just that there are so many of them.

Occasionally I actually stop and click. Out of curiosity. Today was one of those days. 

SAVE THE INTERNET it screamed. How could I ignore it? No matter how much I might decry how Facebook and its ilk suck time and energy from the world on a 24/7 basis, I still want the option to engage.

I was taken to a red website with white type and was immediately consumed by a sense of dread. The opening lines had me clutching my beating heart:

Your freedom online is threatened by an EU proposal.
The fight for an open Internet is happening right now in Brussels.

So I read more. This is what the website holders have to say:

  • We don't want a two-tiered Internet, all data should be treated equally. Article 19 of the European Commission’s Telecoms Single Market proposal must be deleted.

Yes, I agree with this. My data is just as good as anyone else's.

  • Private companies cannot be judge, jury and police over online content. Article 23.5.a. of the European Commission’s Telecoms Single Market proposal must to be deleted.

mmmm... would I want some faceless entity deciding whether my online content was up to scratch (assuming of course that I'm not inciting violence or racial hatred)? I don't think so.

  • Europe won the Nobel peace prize – The European Commission’s credibility on human rights issues shouldn't be jeopardized by engaging in the same type of internet censorship that Europeans critique elsewhere in the world.

I stopped buying anything made in China because of its censorship laws (like my few cents will affect its bottom line - but hey, I sleep easier at night). I'm against censorship of any sort (assuming I'm not inciting violence or racial hatred).

  • The current definition of "specialized service" (Article 2.15) increases costs and risk to internet users, and must be changed or deleted.

Last week, in Ireland, I paid €50 for five hours of Internet (I'm embarrassed to admit that) but I certainly don't want to pay more.

  • Article 23, “Freedom to provide and avail of open internet access,” must replace "shall be free" with "have the right" to protect internet users from online discrimination.

This one, I don't understand. I'll have to dig deeper.

Then I scrolled down and saw that leaders were voting on February 24th. But for the life of me I can't find the result of that vote anywhere. Did they vote it in? Or did they see reason? Facebook - help me!




  • Stephanie BP (not verified), 08/11/2020 - 12:59

    No result yet, Mary. The vote of the European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee has been postponed to 18 March. It is actually good news: the ITRE Committee now has more time to re-think the proposal on net neutrality.

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