EDITION: June - August 2015

Internet Freedom

Text:Jerry Browstein
Thus we have the Parliament on record in favour of net neutrality, while the majority of member governments (as represented by the Council) are against it. What will be the outcome? According to EU procedures, neither the rules adopted by Parliament nor the Council’s proposal can take effect until the Parliament and the Council work out a compromise. So it appears that all is not yet lost for the supporters of net neutrality in Europe… but they face an uphill battle. Some EU governments, particularly in Spain and Germany, are under great pressure from their big national telecommunication companies to suppress internet freedom. Consumer advocates fear that the demands of these powerful ISPs will overwhelm the rights of individuals. This would be detrimental to most people for whom the internet has become an essential part of their everyday life. It remains to be seen whether the governments of the EU will be able to resist the pressure of big business, and do what is best for the majority of their citizens. •