Why is net neutrality important?

You could Pay More for Less Internet

The European Commission and Council want to adopt a regulation that would allow internet service providers (ISPs) to discriminate among customers and charge extra for different types of online services. Only those who pay more will have easy access to an audience online – killing the openness that drives the internet's social and economic success.

The internet as we know it today gives everyone the same freedoms and chance to succeed, but without net neutrality internet providers become gatekeepers that offer a premium fast lane internet for those can pay, and the slow lane for the rest of us.

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ISPs would be empowered to block and filter content without judicial oversight. They can decide what you can and cannot do online.

Such power in hands of private companies would greatly damage our freedom of expression online.

"I am taking care of your children now"

Member States are willing to allow ISPs to install "parental control" filters in the network, forced onto you without consent. Only parents can assess the needs of their children, but these filters give no control to parents. They are a "one size-fits-all" solution by ISPs.

Child rights organisations, such as the UK's Child Rights Information Network (CRIN), have raised concerns on this approach. Parents should be able to make the choice for themselves on what kind of online content is appropriate for their children, rather than ISPs choosing in their place. Youth of all ages will be treated exactly the same way, which could undermine children's protection, education, and personal development.

What is happening?

On 3rd April 2014, the European Parliament voted in favour of clear and binding rules for net neutrality. This victory was yours since many of you contacted MEPs to ask them to take a stand for the free and open internet.

After months of delay and hesitation, on 2nd March 2015, the EU Member States adopted an incoherent, misleading text that would undermine the net neutrality we've all been fighting for. This text would create paid fast-lanes, allow price discrimination in the EU, and authorise blocking of lawful content.

Now the negotiations have entered a phase called the "trialogue", where all three EU institutions gather to negotiate the final text of the new law. Now is the time to contact your MEP again and tell them to stand by their decision from April 2014 and not to let big telecoms companies destroy your freedoms online.

Net neutrality is the founding principle of the internet. It guarantees that all data packets are treated equally. This principle guarantees that the internet will remain diverse, innovative, and free. Telecoms companies want to change that. They want to establish new business models based on discrimination and restrictions. We cannot give up the economic and social value of the internet just to help a handful of companies to make more money.

We need your help to prompt Parliamentarians to protect the open and neutral internet - ask them to protect network neutrality!

What are the trialogues?

Take action now!

Contact the Members of the European Parliament (MEP).
Ask them to defend their strong position for net neutrality in Europe!



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How to Contact Your MEP

Act now to tell your representatives to protect our rights and freedoms. The best way to do this is by calling a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). But you can also send them a Fax, a letter or an E-Mail - we provide you with all the information and calling them is free of charge.

General advice

Stay polite and be yourself. Whatever happens, don't forget the basic rules of courtesy and common sense. Whether you agree or disagree with the individual answering you, and whatever the views of other members of her/his political group, don't say anything that would give a negative image of people who are advocating for net neutrality.

Most of the time, you will talk with a Parliamentary assistant, and not directly with an MEP. It's not a problem. Engage in the conversation. Assistants play an important role in the development of the MEPs' positions. If a question to which you don't have the answer comes up, don't panic.

You are not expected to be an expert, only a concerned citizen. Tell the MEP you will research the answer and contact him/her when you have more information. Contact us to help you out via info /at/ savetheinternet.eu.

Fax

With our Fax Tool you can send your message to an Member of the European Parliament (MEP). It will be printed out in the office of your representative. There will be a phyical token of your opinion and the chances of it being read are much higher. But even more so it is important that you personalize your message. Everything that we write about E-Mails also applies to Fax.

Mail

You can also contact your MEP by email. Their addresses are available in the mail widget above.

We prefer this approach than sending generic form emails to all MEPs. They know how to use a spam filter as well as you and those emails end up in spam folders quickly. Generic form emails give the impression that you do not want to take the time to get interested in the matter and do not reflect the number of people involved in it (a single person can send several messages). Worse, such emails increase the risk that MEPs do not read the personalized emails on the same dossier and finally hurting your cause.

The best solution is to send personalized emails based on your own approach and your knowledge of the matter (Remember: you are not expected to be an expert, only a concerned citizen) and, if possible, according to the positions of the MEPs political group.

Tweet your MEP

Sending a Tweet to an MEP is a very effective way of getting them involved with an issue. Twitter discussions are public, which helps you to get the politicians attention because MEPs don't want to lose a debate in public. 140 characters for one Tweet are easily written and do not take much of your time.

Facebook

If you make the effort to write a text it is also helpful to send this text to the MEPs via Facebook. You can either send them a private message or even write on their Facebook page if their privacy settings allow this. To post publicly on their page about net neutrality gives the issue more traction and can spark a public discussion in our favour.

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