Open letter to the European Parliament.

To co-sign this letter as an NGO or company, send an email to signature@laquadrature.net

Net neutrality has been an indispensable catalyst of competition, innovation, and fundamental freedoms in the digital environment. A neutral Internet ensures that users face no conditions limiting access to applications and services. Likewise, it rules out any discrimination against the source, destination or actual content of the information transmitted over the network.

Thanks to this principle, our society collectively built the Internet as we know it today. Except in some authoritarian regimes, everyone around the globe has access to the same Internet, and even the smallest entrepreneurs are on equal footing with the leading global enterprises. Moreover, Net neutrality stimulates the virtuous circle of a development model based on the growth of a common communication network that enables new uses and tools, as opposed to one relying on investments in filtering and controlling. Only under such conditions is Internet continuously improving our societies, enhancing freedom — including the freedom of expression and communication — and allowing for more efficient and creative markets.

However, Net neutrality is now under the threat of telecom operators and content industries that see business opportunities in discriminating, filtering or prioritizing information flowing through the network. All around Europe, this kind of discriminatory practices, detrimental to both consumers and innovation, is emerging. No court or regulator seems to have adequate tools to counter these behaviors and preserve the general interest. Some provisions introduced in the Telecoms Package could even encourage such practices.

We who have signed this open letter urge the European Parliament to protect the freedom to receive and distribute content, and to use services and applications without interference from private actors. We call on the Members of the Parliament to take decisive action during the ongoing negotiation of the Telecoms Package in order to guarantee a free, open and innovative Internet, and to safeguard the fundamental freedoms of European citizens.