The Netherlands - first EU country to launch net neutrality
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Deutsch: Niederlande: Erstes EU-Land mit Pflicht zu Netzneutralität
A broad majority in the Dutch Parliament voted on 22 June 2011 for a legislative proposal to safeguard an open Internet in The Netherlands. The proposal prohibits Internet access providers from restricting or charging end-users for specific services. In addition, provisions were launched protecting users against disconnection and wiretapping by providers. The Netherlands is the first country in Europe to launch net neutrality provisions in parliament. Dutch digital rights movement and member of EDRi Bits of Freedom calls upon other countries to follow the Dutch example.
Net neutrality means that Internet service providers may not hinder or block different kinds of applications and content online. Dutch telecom incumbent KPN recently received world-wide media-attention because of it plans to charge Internet users for the use of innovative and competitive services such as Internet telephony. The legislative proposal aims to prevent this, while still allowing for measures in case of congestion and for network security, as long as these measures serve end-user interests.
Another proposal regarding internet connection ensures that internet providers can only disconnect their users in a very limited set of circumstances. A third proposal restricts internet providers from using invasive wiretapping technologies, such as deep packet inspection (DPI).
The proposals are introduced by the Dutch parliament in the course of the implementation of the European telecommunications package. The proposals will also have to be adopted by the Dutch Senate (Eerste Kamer) before entering into force. English translations of the amendments can be found on the website of Bits of Freedom.
Press release regarding net neutrality of Bits of Freedom (22.06.2011)
Description of Dutch internet freedom proposals (22.06.2011)
English translation of Dutch internet freedom proposals (27.06.2011)
(Contribution by Ot van Daalen - EDRi-member Bits of Freedom Netherlands)