EU Parliament Net Neutrality Attack!

Argh! The reform of the “European law on electronic communications” (AKA the “Telecoms Package”) will be debated in the European Parliament on 7th July – Monday!

Why the sudden flap? Well, it seems they’re at it again. Here’s what’s going on: take one, large, boring piece of regulatory legislation up for routine amends that most MEPs have little interest in. Insert some clauses that bypass the rule of law to allow unregulated surveillance and denials of the right to privacy. Make sure nobody notices. Wait for it to get rubber-stamped by a snoozing bunch of representitives.

That, my friends is democracy at work in Brussles whether we like it or not. All we can do is get on the wires and pummel our representitives to do something.

More info here and here.

Here’s my letter just sent:

Dear Syed Kamall, Mary Honeyball, John Bowis OBE, Charles Tannock, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Robert Evans, Jean Lambert, Gerard Batten and Claude Moraes,

I am contacting you regarding the the reform of the European law on electronic communications (known as the “Telecoms Package”), on which I understand there is an important vote this Monday, 7th July.

The proposed reforms contain an extremely worrying set of measures that permit the monitoring and blocking of websites and peer-to-peer exchanges by ISPs, in a way that is currently not legally possible. This opens the door to surveillance of Internet traffic, to which I am opposed on the grounds that it attacks individuals’ rights to privacy, and threatens the neutrality of the Internet on which many depend. The fact that the proposals would make this possible without judicial or regulatory oversight is particularly worrying.

Regardless of your views on intellectual property and copyright protection, I hope you will agree with me that the proposed amends (to say nothing of the manner in which they are being introduced) are extremely disproportionate to the problems they address. Please vote against them.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Baker-Bates