Digital Rights in Bulgaria

Bulgarian version is available here.
Dear Member of the European Parliament, dear IMCO member,

The future of Internet in Europe lies, once again, in your hands. For Internet’s fantastic growth, root for the future of Europe’s societies, innovation and wealth, depend on key principles that were upheld since its beginning: Non-discrimination over content, application and services accessed or imparted through the network, and freedom for everyone to innovate.

This form of innovation “at the edge” is not of the interest of established players. This is why telecoms operators, backed by the UK government, are pushing hard for obtaining more control on what is done on their network. Choosing and prioritizing which content, applications and services can be accessed over their network would give them control over their competitors and maximize their revenue by turning them into unavoidable gatekeepers.

Such a return to centralized and controlled networks would mean the end of the Internet as we know it, which growth model is based on openness and equity. It could also have dreadful consequences on freedom of speech.

Competition law is fundamentally inefficient in face of such practices because it fails to prevent them and comes too late when harm is done and can not be corrected. Examples such as mobile operators’ discrimination over Internet access, roaming fees, or the stronghold of Microsoft over key European IT systems have demonstrated this failure of a purely corrective approach. Issues such as freedom of speech and freedom to information can not be left to such a fate.

The European Parliament has proved already it could stand for protecting citizen’s rights and innovation when they were threatened. Are you ready to sacrifice the benefits Internet brings to EU citizens to strengthen companies such as AT&T? You will have an occasion to answer this question with your vote on on March 31st.

We therefore urge you to :

* Vote against the amendments authorizing “net discrimination” and guarantee it is not put in place, by :
o rejecting amendements 136=137=138 pushed by AT&T (and the related recitals 116, 117=118)
o voting for amendment 135 bringing protection against “net discrimination”
o as a default, if the first ones were all rejected, vote for ams 139+141

* Vote for positive protection of EU citizens’ fundamental rights in amendements 72=146
* Vote for protecting EU citizens’ privacy by rejecting amendement 85 and voting for am. 150.

?You will find our complete analysis and voting recommendation on:

We as citizens respectfully thank you for your consideration, and for the protection you will bring to our fundamental rights.

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