Since 2016 the principle of net neutrality is protected in the European Union. Half a billion people benefit from the protection against network discrimination by telecom companies. Net neutrality is a founding principle of the internet and one of the most essential digital rights. It ensures the protection of the right to freedom of speech, the right to assembly, the right to conduct business and the freedom to innovate on the internet. These protections came about in no small part due to the work of civil society.