Thousands of sites protest European Union’s proposed Internet slow lanes

CC0 Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash

More than 7,000 websites protest with a slow loading icon based on the EU flag, to demand that European Union regulator BEREC get serious about net neutrality. Their campaign has already helped over 50.000 users take action and respond to BEREC's  consultation.  The “EU Slowdown” protest runs until July 18th consultation deadline.

On Tuesday June 28th, more than 7,000 websites started 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 start-ups and smaller sites in a “slow lane”. 

To protest EU rules that would let ISPs slow down websites for profit, these sites are running a spinning “slow loading” version of Europe’s logo. It links to a form where people can submit comments to BEREC, Europe’s regulator. (In the US and India, massive responses to similar consultations were instrumental in winning net-neutrality victories.) The “EU Slowdown” protest will continue until the comment deadline, 2pm CEST on July 18th.

The “EU Slowdown” is being organized by Fight for the Future alongside other members of the coalition. The EU net neutrality campaign is also off to a promising start. Their coalition has already generated over 50.000 comments. 

Many of the thousands of sites that are participating are members of the Internet Defense League, a coalition of sites formed after the global protests to stop SOPA that stand at the ready to defend the open Internet against critical threats. Now, this global coalition has less than 20 days to convince EU regulators.

"It is now more important than ever that the EU stands for civil liberties and a discrimination free market for big and small companies. The legislator left the task to define Net Neutrality in Europe to the unelected regulators. ", says privacy activist Thomas Lohninger from AKVorrat. "This is a critical time for EU regulators to prove their worth. Everybody in the EU has now less than three weeks left to make their voices heard and demand a free and open internet that unities the continent instead of fragmenting it further." 

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