Fight for the Future (FFTF), a non-profit FFTF organization which works to protect the Internet from rules from which impede on individual rights, said today that more than 7,000 websites are joining the “EU Slowdown” to protest loopholes in Europe’s new net neutrality guidelines.
These loopholes would let European ISPs sell Internet “fast lanes” to large companies while putting startups and smaller sites in a “slow lane”.
In protest of the EU rules, FFTF says these sites are running a spinning “slow loading” version of Europe’s logo, linking to a form where people can submit comments to BEREC, Europe’s regulator.
The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC), which represents national telecoms regulators from across the EU, recently followed the EU’s direction and published their first draft of new Net Neutrality guidelines that will require ISPs to maintain an open Internet.
“In the US and India, unprecedented coalitions of activists and small startups came together to win net neutrality,” said Fight for the Future co-founder Holmes Wilson, “Now it’s Europe’s turn to win. Everything is on the line right now, and we have just weeks to make sure regulators don’t sell out Internet users to please the big ISPs.”
“If European regulators don’t close these loopholes, telecom giants will be able to roll out paid fast lanes across Europe,” said Fight for the Future co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng, referring to loopholes in traffic management and specialized services that allow such practices in the current draft guidelines.
“European users will suffer the most—as sites they love are forced to pay for special treatment—but the impact on the open Internet will be felt globally, as telecom giants conspire with tech giants to silence competing voices,” she added.