[fyeg_gen-l] Amendment 138/46 adopted again. Internet is a fundamental right in Europe.

carolina at jovenesverdes.org carolina at jovenesverdes.org
Wed May 6 20:28:32 CEST 2009

Amendment 138/46 adopted again. Internet is a fundamental right in Europe.

Strasbourg, May 6 2009 ? The debates on the Telecoms Package, thanks  
to a remarkable citizen mobilization, led to an extremely strong  
recognition of the access to internet as a fundamental right with the  
re-adoption of amendment 138/46 in second reading by a qualified  
majority. It is the final blow against three-strike laws such as  
Nicolas Sarkozy's HADOPI bill, which are explicitely banned. The  
European Parliament nevertheless adopted a soft compromise on issues  
of network equity: no strong protection against ?net discrimination?  
was adopted.

La Quadrature warmly thanks the numerous European citizens who have  
contributed to the possibility of this new and stronger than ever  
statement for fundamental rights. Even on issues connected to network  
offers, the worst provisions introduced since the beginning of the  
legislative process were not adopted. Thanks to the public debate, the  
ill-intended co-operation between ISPs and right holders and  
discrimination of Net services and contents will not be forced, even  
though doors are still open for introducing it in Members States.

?A formidable campaign from the citizens put the issues of freedoms on  
the Internet at the center of the debates of the Telecoms Package.  
This is a victory by itself. It started with the declaration of  
commissioner Viviane Reding considering access to Internet as a  
fundamental right1. The massive re-adoption of amendment 138/462  
rather than the softer compromise negotiated by rapporteur Trautmann  
with the Council is an even stronger statement. These two elements  
alone confirm that the French ?three strikes? scheme, HADOPI, is dead  
already.? explains Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du  

To safeguard these provisions, the European civil society will have to  
be strongly mobilized during a conciliation phase3 that would proceed  
with a newly elected Parliament and a new Presidency. Furthermore,  
some provisions in the compromise amendments to the Harbour directive  
adopted today allow telecoms operators to alter the Internet as we  
know it. Nothing will forbid them to turn the Internet away from a  
neutral zone where people have equal access to all content  
applications and services.

As these provisions have been negotiatied with the Council, they are  
likely to become law. Citizens will have to be particularly attentive  
to the transposition and implementation of the adopted provisions. It  
would be disastrous for the Internet to stop being a space where all  
can create innovative services and contents without permission from  
gatekeepers. In order for consumers to be in a position to endorse  
equitable network offers and reject the discriminatory offers, it is  
essential for at least some of the offers to be non-discriminatory. We  
will call the regulatory authorities and the Commission to ensure it  
by all policy means.

?The strong statement for the access to the Internet as a fundamental  
right demonstrates that the Parliament can be courageous and reject  
the pressure to compromise when essential values are at stake.  
Unfortunately, on issues that appear more technical such as the  
absence of discrimination of services and contents on the Internet,  
the Parliament did not take the full measure of what it is at stake  
yet. Citizens must remain mobilized on these crucial questions.?,  
concludes Gérald Sédrati-Dinet, analyst for La Quadrature.

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