By privileging, slowing down or blocking certain kinds of online services, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) across Europe continue to undermine a free, open and competitive web. To raise awareness about such manipulations, RespectMyNet.eu is collecting reports of net neutrality violations. We want to show you one of them, and explain how you can find out whether your ISP is messing with internet traffic.
Net Neutrality is the principle that every point on the network can connect to any other point on the network, without discrimination on the basis of origin, destination or type of data. Disregarding this principle endangers our rights to freedom of expression and privacy as well as free choice, competition, and innovation. Therefore, any interference with our access to the internet must be provided for by law, and has to be necessary and proportionate.
On the RespectMyNet.eu platform, you can report how ISPs are violating your freedoms online. Since its relaunch in March 2016, users have reported 39 cases of short-term, anti-competitive strategies, with the number of unreported cases probably being much higher – visit the platform to tell the world about irregularities you find!
One of the allegations keeps appearing. Users complain that Deutsche Telekom and its mobile subsidiary Congstar interfere with their customers’ online communications. It has been reported that they delay the delivery of WhatsApp messages and lower the quality of phone calls via WhatsApp as well as Skype. If correct, these allegations point to an activity which would constitute a clear violation of net neutrality (see Recital 6 and Article 3 of the EU Regulation that deals with net neutrality).
With the tools listed on the campaign website, you can start monitoring your internet access right now, find out whether your ISP is manipulating or restricting your traffic, and share your insights. For example, you can use the free and open source tool called “neubot” to automatically perform tests. If neubot finds irregularities and violations of network neutrality, you can use the test results to report on the RespectMyNet.eu platform. It’s very simple. Just try!
RespectMyNet is a project launched by La Quadrature du Net, EDRi member Bits of Freedom and individual contributors in 2011. The project has grown, and it now includes other civil society organisations like EDRi and some of our members. We hope this platform will help the EU Regulators to sanction companies that violate net neutrality.
The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) is currently preparing guidelines for the implementation of the Regulation on a Single Market for Electronic Communications, which includes provisions on net neutrality. You can help BEREC adopt strong guidelines guaranteeing net neutrality by responding the public consultation until 18 July.
EDRi: Respect My Net: online platform to report net neutrality violations (03.03.2016)
RespectMyNet.eu: Deutsche Telekom blocks Whatsapp messages
EDRi: SAVE THE INTERNET: Good work by BEREC undermined by industry lobbying (06.06.2016)
Save The Internet
(Contribution by Fabian Warislohner, EDRi intern)