Hands of a guy on laptop keyboard

Save the Internet

Published on 28 February 2014
Updated on 05 April 2024

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!



2 replies
  1. Stephanie BP
    Stephanie BP says:

    No result of that vote yet,
    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.

    • Mary
      Mary says:

      Thanks Stephanie – will be
      Thanks Stephanie – will be interesting to see how it goes

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