Carsten Agger on Tue, 5 May 2009 02:22:06 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> URGENT: Ask MEPs to adopt Citizens' Rights Amendments on May the 6th.

See also:

La Quadrature du Net - For immediate release

*** Paris, May 4 2009 - Threats to citizens' basic rights and freedoms
and to the neutrality of Internet could be voted without any safeguard
in the EU legislation regarding electronic communication networks
(Telecoms Package). EU citizens have two days to call all Members of the
European Parliament (MEPs) to ask them to vote for the "Citizens' Rights
Amendments", in the second reading of the Telecoms Package. These
amendments include all the safeguards that were removed in the
"compromise amendments", as well as provisions protecting against "net
discrimination" practices and filtering of content. ***

On Wednesday, 6 May at 12:00, both reports from Catherine Trautmann (PSE
- - FR) and Malcolm Harbour (PPE/ED - UK) will come to a vote in the
second reading of the Telecoms Package. In last minute opaque
negotiations with the EU Council, both rapporteurs agreed to water down
in their reports the crucial safeguards for fundamental rights and
freedoms of EU citizens:

    * In the Harbour report, amendment 166 was replaced by an empty
version that has no more protective value. Some very light protection
against "net discrimination", where operators can choose what content,
services and applications may be accessed or used through their
networks, was also completely neutralized. The only protection left is
now customer information through the contracts, which is a scam because
customer and competition law cannot regulate fundamental rights (and
they failed to regulate mobile communication networks, which are still
agreed as cartels in most member states).

    * In the Trautmann report, amendment 138/46 was turned down into a
weaker version (yet still a clear political sign and legal reminder
against the French "three strikes" HADOPI bill), that may require
interpretation from an EU court of justice, and years of challenge, to
counter "graduated response"/"three strikes" schemes.

The Citizens' Rights Amendments [1] correct all these problems. They
restate amendment 138/46, article 32a (amendment 166 from first
reading), they remove any open door to "three strikes" policies and
protect against abusive "net discrimination" practices by operators.

"All MEPs must vote for the 'Citizens Rights Amendments', because
safeguarding EU citizens fundamental rights and freedoms is the most
important mission of the European Parliament. Protecting basic rights
must not be left to consumer and competition laws. There can be no
compromise on basic principles, certainly not merely to make the EU
procedure go faster. The image of the Parliament, a few weeks before the
elections, is at stake" explains Gérald Sédrati-Dinet, analyst for La
Quadrature du Net.

It is urgent to contact ALL Members of European Parliament (MEPs) to
inform them about these issues, and advise them to follow La
Quadrature's voting lists [2]. They must understand that a few weeks
before the elections, EU citizens are watching and scoring their votes
in Political Memory [3].

"Call your MEPs and tell them to vote to protect Citizens rights. Direct
opposition to the Council of EU is preferable to steps backwards on
fundamental rights and freedoms, especially concerning Internet, which
is so vital in structuring the future of our societies. Moreover the
Citizens' Right Amendments do not directly oppose to the compromise
negotiated with the Council, they strengthen it." concludes Jérémie
Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.

A dedicated campaign page has been put on the wiki,
including arguments, counter-arguments, and advice on how to contact MEPs.

* Références *

1. Citizens' Rights Amendments are mostly:
   On Trautmann report: am. 3=7: guarantee of access and distribution of
any content/application/service, am. 1CP=2=5=6=9: original am.138/46
   On Harbour report: am. 101=111=117: no discrimination in traffic
management policies, am. 102=112=118: regulatory powers against
discriminated traffic management policies, am. 62=94=104=119: original
am. 166, am. 96=106=120: deleting cooperation between ISP and copyright
holder about lawful content

2. voting list for the Harbour report and voting list for the Trautmann
report :

3. Political Memory is a web-based tool for finding and better knowing
MEPs. It records their public positions and scores their votes on La
Quadrature's topics:

** About la Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net (Squaring the Net) is citizen group informing about
legislative projects menacing civil liberties as well as economic and
social development in the digital age.

La Quadrature du Net informs citizens, public authorities,
organizations, corporations.

It works with everyone to elaborate balanced alternative solutions.

La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, european and international
NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society
Institute and Privacy International.

List of supporting organisations :

** Press contact and press room **

Jérémie Zimmermann,, +33 (0)615 940 675

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