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[liberationtech] European Net Neutrality letter by SLS's Prof. van Schewick -- seeking academics to sign on

Morgan Weiland mweiland at stanford.edu
Sat Jul 16 11:07:27 PDT 2016


Hi everyone,

I'm writing to invite you to *join me in signing on to a letter from
academics encouraging **European regulators to develop pro-net neutrality
guidelines* for implementing Europe's net neutrality law.

Details about the regulatory process and letter are below, and the letter
is attached. The letter was co-authored by Stanford Law School Professor
and Director of the Center for Internet & Society Barbara van Schewick --
with whom I've worked closely on domestic net neutrality issues -- and Luca
Belli, Senior Researcher, Center for Technology & Society, FGV Rio de
Janeiro and Head of Internet Governance.

The *deadline* to sign is *this Sunday, July 17, 8pm Pacific time / 11pm
Eastern time. *

*To sign, **e**-mail Elaine Adolfo*, Associate Director at the Stanford Law
School’s Center for Internet and Society, at eadolfo at law.stanford.edu with
your name, title and institutional affiliation (institutional affiliation
will be listed for identification purposes only).

Thanks for your consideration!

Morgan Weiland
PhD candidate, Stanford Communication Department
JD '15, Stanford Law School
Junior Affiliate Scholar, Stanford Center for Internet & Society


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Barbara van Schewick <schewick at stanford.edu>
Date: Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 5:45 AM
Subject: [CIS-affiliates] Sign-on letter on net neutrality in Europe from
academics around the world / DEADLINE THIS Sunday, 8pm Pacific time / 11pm
Eastern time / Monday, 5am Central European time
To: CIS Affiliates <cis-affiliates at lists.stanford.edu>


Dear all,

I’m writing to share a sign-on letter on net neutrality in Europe for
submission in the European public consultation on the topic. The letter is
attached. The letter is open to academics from around the world, regardless
of subject area. The consultation closes this Monday, July 18, at 2pm
CEST. *The
deadline for signing on to the letter is this Sunday, July 17, 8pm Pacific
time / 11pm Eastern time / Monday, July 18, 5am Central European time.*

The letter was written by Luca Belli
<http://policyreview.info/users/luca-belli>, Senior Researcher, Center for
Technology & Society, FGV Rio de Janeiro and Head of Internet Governance
there, and me
<http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/about/people/barbara-van-schewick>. Over the
past year, I have been deeply involved in the net neutrality debate in
Europe and in the process leading to the draft version of the guidelines.
The letter is in line with and complements submissions from other
stakeholders such as the European digital civil rights organizations, the
Save the Internet coalition in the EU, consumer rights watchdogs and
organizations, start-ups, and many more.




*It would be great if you could sign on (details below) and help us spread
the word by sharing this e-mail and the letter with your networks,
including colleagues in Europe. We don’t have a lot of time, so everything
you can do to help will make a difference. What the letter is about *European
regulators are working on guidelines that will determine how Europe’s new
net neutrality law will be applied in practice. These guidelines could be
used to secure net neutrality in Europe – if regulators use them to close
potential loopholes in the law. The letter urges regulators to adopt three
key changes, listed below, that are necessary to preserve meaningful net
neutrality in Europe.


*Why you should care, even if you are not in Europe *The guidelines will
affect all of us, regardless of whether we are in Europe or not. As
academics, an open Internet is critical to our work. We use the Internet to
publish and share our work with other academics and the interested public,
teach students at our institutions and around the world, engage with
others, and collaborate with researchers around the world. Depending on the
outcome, the European net neutrality guidelines currently up for
consultation will either preserve or frustrate that ability.

Here’s an example: European telecom companies are pushing regulators to
allow them to use a legitimate exception in the law to do an end run around
the law’s prohibition on fast lanes on the normal Internet. They want the
power to offer so-called fast lanes to any application or website that’s
willing to pay an extra fee to reach people faster. According to filings
and public statements by major European telecom companies and equipment
makers, this includes everyday services like online telephony, online video
conferencing, or online video – services we use all the time for our work.

But if some companies can pay to so that their content reaches people
faster or works at a better quality, those who can’t pay don’t have a
chance to compete and be heard. Most of us won’t be able to pay to be in a
fast lane, and most of our institutions won’t be able to do so, either.
Wherever we are physically located, this will make it harder for us to be
heard by Europeans and to collaborate and connect with people in Europe.


*Why it’s important to speak up now *So far, the consultation has received
little public attention. That’s a big problem. The carriers are lobbying
furiously to get regulators to adopt weak guidelines that will undermine
net neutrality in Europe. Their latest move: Last week, the 17 largest
telecom companies in Europe threatened *not *to invest
<http://www.theverge.com/2016/7/10/12139700/telecom-companies-5g-service-european-union-net-neutrality>
in the next generation of 5G mobile networks unless regulators water down
the guidelines. Their efforts are getting traction: EU commissioner
Oettinger, the commissioner in charge of this proceeding, published
<http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/dae/document.cfm?action=display&doc_id=16579>
the manifesto on the Commission’s website and lauded it on Twitter
<https://twitter.com/GOettingerEU/status/751299158590550017>.



*Unless those who benefit from an open Internet speak up now, regulators
will not be able to withstand this pressure and we will lose net neutrality
after all. *Speaking up makes a difference. In India and in the US,
widespread public participation, including from academics and academic
organizations, were key factors that led to the adoption of strong net
neutrality rules in the US and of strong rules on zero-rating and
differential pricing in India.

Thanks a lot for reading. More info below.

Best,
Barbara van Schewick
---

*What:* *Sign-on letter on net neutrality in Europe from academics around
the world*
*Who can sign on:* Academics from around the world, regardless of subject
area. For purposes of this letter, academics include everyone who has a
position at a university or other research institution. Thus, the letter is
not restricted to professors.
*When:* The deadline for sign on is this Sunday, July 17, 8pm Pacific time
/ 11pm Eastern time / Monday, July 18, 5am Central European time
*How to sign on: *E-mail Elaine Adolfo, Associate Director at the Stanford
Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, at eadolfo at law.stanford.edu
with your name, title and institutional affiliation (institutional
affiliation will be listed for identification purposes only)

*Background*
Last fall, the European Union adopted a net neutrality law that was widely
viewed as the end of net neutrality in Europe. Now regulators are writing
guidelines to determine how the law will be applied in practice. *What most
people don’t know: These guidelines could still secure net neutrality in
Europe — if regulators use them to close potential loopholes in the law.*

Until July 18, the public has an opportunity to comment on the draft
guidelines in a public consultation. *While the draft guidelines are
promising, they need to be improved in three key areas, described in the
letter, to provide meaningful net neutrality in Europe. The letter urges
regulators to make these changes.*

*1. Zero-rating: Regulators need to ban three harmful forms of zero-rating:
zero-rating for a fee and zero-rating of select application or classes of
applications, even if there is no fee.*
*2. Traffic Management: Regulators need to prevent carriers from
discriminating among classes of traffic to manage their networks.*
*3. Specialized Services: Regulators need to close a loophole that could
allow carriers to offer special “fast lanes” to normal websites and
applications for a fee.*


*Read more *You can read more about the problems with the guidelines in
this open letter that Tim Berners-Lee, Larry Lessig, and I published last
week:
http://webfoundation.org/2016/07/four-days-to-save-the-open-internet-in-europe-an-open-letter/
(in English) and
https://netzpolitik.org/2016/offener-brief-vier-tage-bleiben-noch-um-das-offene-internet-in-europa-zu-retten/
(in German)

The problems with fast lanes, zero-rating, and discriminatory traffic
management are described in more detail in this Medium piece that I
published last Fall in the run up to the vote in the European Parliament:
https://medium.com/@schewick/europe-is-about-to-adopt-bad-net-neutrality-rules-here-s-how-to-fix-them-bbfa4d5df0c8.
These are the problems regulators are now trying to fix through the
guidelines.

If you are interested in something that is more in-depth, you could read:
*On the problems with fast lanes and discriminatory traffic management:*
van Schewick, Barbara. 2015. *The Case for Meaningful Network Neutrality
Rules.* Attachment to Barbara van Schewick's Ex Parte in the Matter of
Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet submitted February 20, 2015 to
the Federal Communications Commission GN Dkt. No. 14-28.
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=60001031682

*On net neutrality and zero-rating:*
van Schewick, Barbara. 2016. Comments to Canadian Radio-Television and
Telecommunications Commission. File number: 1011-NOC2016-0192. June 28.
https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/DocWebBroker/OpenDocument.aspx?DMID=2647611
---
Barbara van Schewick
Professor of Law and (by Courtesy) Electrical Engineering
Helen L. Crocker Faculty Scholar
Director, Center for Internet and Society
Stanford Law School

Author of "Internet Architecture and Innovation," MIT Press 2010
URL: http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/about/people/barbara-van-schewick
Twitter: @vanschewick <https://twitter.com/vanschewick>
E-Mail: schewick at stanford.edu
<schewick at stanford.edu%0b>Phone:  650-723 8340

Crown Quadrangle
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA94305-8610

--++**==--++**==--++**==--++**==--++**==--++**==--++**==
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-- 
Morgan Weiland
JD, Stanford Law School
PhD candidate, Stanford Communication Dept.
Junior Affiliate Scholar, Center for Internet & Society
morganweiland.us
@morganweiland
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