06 November 2009 ~ 9 Comments

EU adopts provisions to allow net neutrality laws from member countries

In a breakthrough in negotiations among the major governing institutions of the European Union, a new “Internet freedom provision” has been agreed upon. Ars Technica reports on the negotiations and implications:

The Internet freedom provision was the final sticking point for the massive Telecoms Package, a body of reform laws that will give national regulators greater authority to pass network neutrality rules, will allow mobile and landline telephone users to change operators in a single day while keeping their old numbers, and requires the mandatory notification of consumers when their personal data has been breached.

The new agreement has been signed off on by the Council of Ministers, the negotiators from the European Parliament, and the European Commission, and looks to go into effect next year.

The new Internet freedom provision still allows “graduated response” laws and even Internet disconnections, but it does set down a baseline that all countries must follow. According to the new provision, Internet sanctions may “only by imposed if they are appropriate, proportionate, and necessary within a democratic society.” In addition, they can only “be taken with due respect for the principle of presumption of innocence and the right to privacy. A prior fair and impartial procedure shall be guaranteed, including the right to be heard of the person or persons concerned… The right to an effective and timely judicial review shall be guaranteed.”

Read more at ArsTechnica.com.

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