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Telecoms package will uphold internet user's rights


07 May 2009



May 6, 2009, 5:11 pm

Today the European Parliament adopted a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services. This new regulation aims to enhance competition and fair access to new entrants. European Liberals and Democrats were concerned that internet users would be cut off from the internet without a ruling from a judge.
Luckily the European Parliament approved an ALDE amendment that stated "no restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of end users, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities".

Alexander ALVARO (FDP, Germany), co-rapporteur responsible for the revision of the e-privacy directive, is satisfied with the result:
"Through enhancing data protection rules, we have significantly raised consumer protection within the internet. By including social platforms and extending the scope of the directive, we adjusted the e-privacy directive to the demands of a modern information society. In particular, the newly added duty to report security breaches gives consumers, especially internet users, a maximum of protection."
"I am particularly pleased that -as Liberals- we insisted that no restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of internet users, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities. Internet users must not be denied access to what is today one of their main sources of information and social interaction. Arbitrary national legislation blocking users' access to the internet is not the way to strengthening European society"- he added.

Sophie in ´t Veld (D66, Netherlands) said: "I am very pleased that the EP did not bow to the attempt of the Council to use the back door to insert a rule restricting the access to the internet. Access to the internet is very important to a lot of people and only in extreme cases people should be expelled from this vital source of information. I am proud that the Liberals and Democrats have paved the way for a more reasonable approach in the fight against internet piracy."
The telecoms package will now have to wait for the reaction of the Council of Ministers to Parliament's vote and possibly begin conciliation in the autumn with a newly elected parliament.
For more information, please contact:
Neil Corlett: +33-3-88 17 41 67 or +32-478-78 22 84
Neringa Gaidyte: +33-3-88 16 40 83 or +32-486-03 73 75
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