'EU Slowdown' campaign protests net neutrality loopholes

Over 7000 websites in the European Union have joined together to launch a protest called 'EU Slowdown' that aims to promote the principle of net neutrality and hopefully make it a permanent part of Europe's laws.

The protest is being organised and backed by the Fight for the Future foundation in addition to a number of other non-profits. Their argument is that Europe is moving towards a divided internet where the amount a user pays an Internet Service Provider (ISP) dictates where their traffic is directed.

Last year, the EU agreed to net neutrality and proposed that it be added to the union's laws. However, what was agreed to did not do nearly enough and only really supported the idea of net neutrality. Companies were left with numerous loopholes to exploit and take advantage of. The situation of Internet users in the EU has not improved and now the public has decided to take a stand against the way their traffic is being handled by ISPs.

Currently EU law gives companies the right to manage internet traffic and limit some of it in order to “prevent traffic congestion”. ISPs are only required to ensure that “the general quality of internet access services” does not deteriorate. Since both of these concepts are quite vague, ISPs could easily find a way to manipulate internet traffic to their advantage.

The EU Slowdown protest will run until 18 July. Websites that are partaking in the protest will display the EU Slowdown logo, an EU flag with a loading sing, on their sites.

Image Credit: Sébastien Bertrand / Flickr