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European rights groups back net neutrality

European civil society groups have relaunched ‘Save the Internet’, a European wide campaign aimed at defending net neutrality in Europe. The campaign calls on concerned Internet users in Europe to contact their representatives in the European Parliament to ask them to maintain their strong position on net neutrality.

Internet users will lose the freedom to choose the internet services they want if the EU fails to guarantee real net neutrality. The European Commission and some large EU Member States want to adopt a Regulation that would allow Internet providers to charge extra for online services. Instead of the open Internet that has been such a boost for the economy and free speech worldwide, we would have a broken internet, with fast lanes and slow lanes. Internet providers should not be allowed to decide what content internet users can and cannot access.

Jim Killock, Executive Director of Open Rights Group said:  “The USA have recognised the need to prevent vested interests from controlling the free flow of information. Europe needs to put citizens before big business and ensure the internet remains free and open.”

Joe McNamee, Executive Director of European Digital Rights, one of the civil rights organisations behind the Save the Internet campaign added: “It is remarkable that governments have been lobbied into experimenting recklessly with the functioning of the internet. The implications for the economy and society will be enormous.”

Over the coming weeks, closed-door meetings between representatives of the European Parliament, European Commission and Member States will be used to negotiate an agreement on this regulation. That agreement will then be formally approved by the Member States and the European Parliament. This is why it is important that internet users act now and ask their representatives to save the Internet.

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