Digitale Gesellschaft promotes net neutrality with Vodafail actions

By EDRi · December 19, 2012

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Deutsch: [Vodafail: Digitale Gesellschaft setzt sich für Netzneutralität ein |]

There are only a few telecom operators in Germany which offer mobile
Internet. The two largest, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, harm net
neutrality in numerous of their tariffs – deeply hidden in their
contract terms. The federal government does not care to do anything
against it, and many consumers don’t even notice anything about it.

To create an awareness of the insidious violation of net neutrality and
to make politicians aware of obvious consumer fraud by large telcos,
EDRi member Digitale Gesellschaft e. V. has started online actions
against Vodafone. These take place in the context of a campaign called
“EchtesNetz” (RealNet) and are aiming for a legislative codification of
network neutrality in Germany and the EU.

On behalf of the entire industry we use Vodafone as an example how
tariffs are sold as Internet, though parts of the Internet are
prohibited in the general terms and conditions of many providers.

On the campaign’s page “” we advertise (existing!) Internet
tariffs with elaborate names like “Vodafone Superflat Internet”, which
ironically prohibit VoIP, instant messaging and peer-to-peer. According
to Vodafone’s own definition, peer-to-peer connections are
“computer-to-computer connections”. So, it seems like the entire
Internet is banned using this “super flat” tariff – although consumers
have to pay full price and are only informed about the restrictions in
small print.

The Vodafail remixer calls for a creative examination of the topic.
Using Vodafone billboards, consumers can write their own opinion about
Vodafone’s consumer deception and create fitting banners to explain
their views in a simple statement. So far, almost 1000 pieces have been
generated (see

What do we want to achieve?

Politics needs to secure net neutrality – Only a full-scale internet
access should be allowed to be sold as Internet. Everything else is a
sham. Users must have the freedom to use every hardware and software and
any application they want. This is what consumers perceive as the
Internet. Politicians like to point to the market and promise
transparency. Actual transparency is obviously not practised and
apparently rejected by some telecommunications service providers. We
need a simple and straightforward solution for this problem. Since
politicians like to propose that consumers should complain when they
have a problem with their current “offer”, we offer a solution with our

At the same time Digitale Gesellschaft e. V. has published a
comprehensive manual about net neutrality in a beta version. By now, we
are still in need of donations to print the manual in a larger edition
and to distribute it to decision-makers and multipliers.


Vodafail Remixer

Launch of a new Vodafone campaign: That’s the freedom we take! (29.11.2012)

Launch of a new Vodafone campaign: That’s the freedom we take!

Digitale Gesellschaft Guide on Net Neutrality (12.2012)

Jetzt neu: Unser Handbuch Netzneutralität

(Contribution by Markus Beckedahl – EDRi member Digitale Gesellschaft – Germany)