Following what is widely regarded as a victory for strong net neutrality in the US, the battle to maintain a level playing-field online has now moved to the European Union, with the relaunch today of the campaign site “Save the Internet: Defend Net Neutrality in Europe.” Its aim is to head off an attempt by a majority of the 28 EU Member States in the Council of the European Union to derail earlier proposals to enshrine Net neutrality in European law, as Ars reported last month.
The EU’s net neutrality bill began as a 2013 proposal from the European Commission. It contained a number of major loopholes. In particular, it would have allowed “specialized services” that had privileged access to the Internet—and thus broke net neutrality. The proposal also explicitly allowed the discriminatory blocking of websites, applications, and content, a clear threat to freedom of expression in Europe.
Those loopholes and discriminatory measures were removed when the 751 MEPs in the European Parliament voted in favor of a modified version of the text in April 2014. Last month, the third EU institution, the Council of the European Union, made up of representatives of the Member State governments, revised the text again, re-instating many of the original problems.
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