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EU's net neutrality stand-off is tomorrow

A bunch of giants in the technology industry have signed a letter which urges European Union to stop the new EU internet legislation, which would give ISPs enormous power and would effectively kill net neutrality.

The legislation, for which the EU actually says will 'protect net neutrality', is set to go before the EU Parliament tomorrow (Tuesday).

However, Stanford Law Professor Barbara van Schewick, who is also Director of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, thinks the legislation will do more harm.

The proposal before the Parliament contains four major problems that undermine network neutrality and threaten to undermine the EU technology industry by giving ISPs enormous new powers, Tech Crunch (opens in new tab) writes in a report.

Those powers include: Fast Lanes for content chosen by ISPs; Zero-rating content determined solely by ISPs; Class-Based Discrimination determined solely by ISPs; and Impending Congestion Management, once again, determined solely by ISPs.

In the examination, titled “Europe Is About to Adopt Bad Net Neutrality Rules. Here’s How to Fix Them,” Schewick explains:

"Contrary to some claims, the proposal is weaker than network neutrality rules in the US. European citizens deserve the same free and open Internet that Americans can enjoy.

The good news is that members of the European Parliament will introduce amendments that would fix these problems. For the amendments to be adopted, the majority of the members (376 of the 751 members) need to vote for the amendments.”

Signatories include major investors Union Square Ventures, Felix Capital, Etsy, EyeEm, Foursquare, Kickstarter, Meetup, Netflix, Sunstone Capital, Earlybird Ventures, SoundCloud, Vimeo and many others.

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.