News

The European Commission (EC) public consultation on preservation of the open internet (net neutrality)

The EC launched a public consultation on transparency, switching and certain aspects of internet traffic management, with a view to its commitment to preserve the open and neutral character of the Internet. The questions of this consultation were raised as key issues in the "net neutrality" debate that has taken place in Europe over the past years, including the recent findings of the Body of European Regulators of European Communications (BEREC). Responses to the public consultation should be sent before 15 October 2012.

 

The EC consults on a future EU Network and Information Security legislative initiative

Until next 12 October 2012, the EC intends to have inputs from governments, businesses and citizens about EU possible responses to cyber incidents which cause disruption to essential Network and Information Systems (NIS), including the internet. This public consultation will help the EC preparing a legislative proposal on network and information security, a key element of the upcoming EU strategy on Cyber security.

 

The EMERG Plenary Assembly took place in Cairo, Egypt on 13-14 March, 2012.

The Plenary Assembly approved the annual report of 2011. Also, a Work Plan for 2012 was approved based on a Benchmarking report 2011.
In addition, EMERG approved a Strategy Document outlining its plans for future activity development and the need for external support to achieve this.
As part of the implementation of the Strategy Document, EMERG adopted a Charter describing and enhancing its internal organization structure.
These documents can be found here.

The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Egypt chairs EMERG in 2012. Vice-Chair is ANACOM, the electronic communications regulatory authority of Portugal, which will take the Chair in 2013.

A recent United Nations report states that disconnecting people from the internet is a human rights violation and against international law.

The report railed against France and the United Kingdom, which have passed laws to remove accused copyright scofflaws from the internet. It also protested blocking internet access to quell political unrest (.pdf).

While blocking and filtering measures deny users access to specific content on the Internet, states have also taken measures to cut off access to the Internet entirely. The Special Rapporteur considers cutting off users from internet access, regardless of the justification provided, including on the grounds of violating intellectual property rights law, to be disproportionate and thus a violation of article 19, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The report continues:
The Special Rapporteur calls upon all states to ensure that Internet access is maintained at all times, including during times of political unrest. In particular, the Special Rapporteur urges States to repeal or amend existing intellectual copyright laws which permit users to be disconnected from Internet access, and to refrain from adopting such laws.

Registerd users can download the report by going to the heading "reports" on the top of this page and then follow the links provided.