Defend our right to an Internet open and Universal

On May 6th, pressure from EU citizens has meant that the Directives that attempted to privatize Internet were not passed in the vote in the European Parliament.

This Autumn the Package will be negotiated again.

IN THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS ON JUNE 6TH DO NOT VOTE FOR THE PARTIES WHICH WANT TO GIFT OUR RIGHT OF ACCESS TO THE INTERNET TO PRIVATE INTERESTS.

After checking the votes of the Members of the European Parliament in the vote of the so called “Telecoms Package” (explained below) is basic that we remember that the parties that voted against it, both Parties of Government and the Opposition equally, are willing to gift our right to a free and egalitarian communication through the Internet to private multinationals.

Citizens can remember and check it in this graphic where they can find the vote of all the  Members of the Parliament in the Telcoms’ Package vote (100% is the vote more favorable, 0% to private lobbies)

We suggest you send this simple questionnaire to the main candidates  in your country to know the their Parties’ position about Internet. and the future of the Telecoms Package.  Click here

Internet access is not conditional

Everyone who owns a website has an interest in defending the free use of Internet… so has everyone who uses Google or Skype… everyone who expresses their opinions freely, does research of any kind, whether for personal health problems or academic study … everyone who shops online…who dates online…socializes online… listens to music…watches video…

ÍNDICE

1-WHAT THEY WANT TO ENFORCE
2- CONSEQUENCES FOR ALL OF US
3- OUR VOTES
4- HOW POLITICIANS ACT

The internet as we know it is at risk. The new rules in the EU (the Telecoms package) voted on May 6 and will be negotiated again in Autumn propose that broadband providers will be legally able to limit the number of websites you can look at, and to tell you whether or not you are allowed to use particular services. It will be dressed up as ‘new consumer options’ which people can choose from. People will be offered TV-like packages – with a limited number of options for you to access. It means that the Internet will be packaged up and your ability to access and to put up content could be severely restricted. It will create boxes of Internet accessibility, which don’t fit with the way we use it today.

This is because Internet is now permitting exchanges between persons which cannot be controlled or “facilitated” by any middlemen (the State or a corporation). This possibility improves citizen’s life and makes access to knowledge easier to everyone, but force the industry (telecommunications, entertainment…) to lose power and control. Access providers have now learned that controlling access they can control the Information Society development. That is why they are pushing to act those changes.
The excuse is to promote competition, offering choices to users which better fit their behavior on the Internet and, by collaborating with sectors interested in the promotion of lawful content (aka the entertainment industry), to control the flow of music, films and entertainment content against the alleged piracy by downloading for free, using P2P file-sharing. However, the real victims of this plan will be all Internet users and the democratic and independent access to information, culture goods.

2- CONSEQUENCES FOR ALL OF US

Think about how you use the Internet! What would it mean to you if free access to the Internet was taken away?
These days, the Internet is about life and freedom. It’s about shopping, booking theatre tickets … holidays, learning, job-seeking, banking, and trade. It’s also about the fun things – dating, chatting, invitations, music, entertainment, joking and even a Second Life. It is a tool to express ourselves, to collaborate, innovate, share, stimulate new business ideas, reach new markets – thrive without middlemen..

Tim Berners-Lee, father of the World Wide Web  talks about the USA,….but in Europe the same is happening the same.

Just think – what’s your web address? (the one in your blog, your web…) If the Members of the European Parliament agree to the measures proposed in the Telecoms Package, unless people have that address in their “package” of regular websites – they won’t be able to find you. That means they can’t buy, or book, or register, or even view you online. Your business won’t be able to find niche suppliers of goods – and compare prices. If you get any money at all from advertising on your site, it will diminish. Yes, Amazon and a select few will be OK, they will be the included in the package. But your advertising on Google or any other website will be increasingly worthless. Skype could be blocked, (as it is already happening in Germany with the iPhone,). Small businesses could literally disappear, especially specialist, niche or artisan businesses.
If we don’t do something now – we could lose free and open use of the internet.

Our freedom (of choice in information, market, culture, pleasure) will be curtailed.

3- OUR VOTES

They have to remember that they are servants of citizens who vote them, not of  the big companies. Internet still gives us the tools to be watching and judging what they are doing!. In the website http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Telecoms_package_directives_2nd_reading you may consult the vote of each MEP.
You must know that you are not alone: hundreds of organizations and citizens are lobbying on politicians. To avoid the Directive being passed, last May 6th thousands of letters were sent. As a result the amendments which intended to limit and privatize the Internet were avoided, at least for the moment.

4- HOW OUR POLITICIANS ACT

The EU proposals hold an enormous risk for our future. If they become Law, it will be virtually impossible to reverse. People (even the members of the European Parliament who are voting on it) don’t really seem to understand the full implications and the legal changes are wrapped up in something called “Telecoms Package” which lulls people into thinking it is just about industry, that it will not affect them.
However, in reality, hiding from public view, the amendments are about the way the Internet will operate in future. Text about your rights to access and distribute content, services and applications, has being crossed out. And the text that has being brought in, says that broadband providers must inform you of any conditions limiting access, or restrictions to your access. It has seriously being proposed that you will be told the conditions of use of Internet services. This is made to sound good – it is dressed up as ‘transparency’ – except that of course it means that the broadband provider will have the legal right to limit your access or to impose conditions, otherwise why would they need to tell you? If the Telecoms Package as it reads now is finally agreed, the changes will not be reversible.

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