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#31c3 net neutrality: days of future past

Talk at 31st Chaos Communication Congress at Hamburg 2014.

Our talk will highlight the current debates surrounding net neutrality in Europe, the United States and other parts of the world. We will look at the results of the campaign which was lunched a year ago on 30c3. We will discuss various legal protections for net neutrality, look closer at the experience of the Netherlands and we will give an overview of all important open ends of the debate.

Since two years net neutrality is on the agenda of politicians world wide. These are important debates, as net neutrality became one of the central questions about our freedom on the internet. With different faces around the globe we see a trend towards more violations of the neutrality principle which the internet was founded upon. The efforts of telecommunication companies to find new ways to monetize their networks and us users within them are countered in some countries with legislation preventing this new business models.

In 2010, after two years of preparation and a fierce battle, the Dutch
parliament accepted a change to the Telecommunications Act which made net neutrality a principle that was protected by law. In this talk we will take stock after two years of legal protection of net neutrality in The Netherlands. Did it work and do the Dutch now have undiscriminated access to all services on the internet? Has the doomsday scenario of the providers, that subscriptions would become outrageously expensive, become reality? In which cases was the Dutch law enforced?

Are there any loopholes in the Dutch implementation? If others are to
fight for net neutrality, what are the pitfalls to avoid? And, on a more
meta-level, is it enough? Will net neutrality protect your freedom to
access websites and services, or do we need a broader type neutrality?

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#31c3 net neutrality: days of future past

  1. 1. Net neutrality: days of future past? Thomas Lohninger | Initiative für Netzfreiheit Rejo Zenger | Bits of Freedom
  2. 2. Thomas Lohninger Rejo Zenger
  3. 3. Remember Ordinary citizens put net neutrality on the political agenda before. We need to do that again.
  4. 4. Remember There are unsolved issues and civil society needs your expertise.
  5. 5. “Net neutrality requires that the internet be maintained as an open platform, on which network providers treat all content, applications and services equally, without discrimination.”
  6. 6. Three principles ●End to end ●Best effort ●Vertical intregration
  7. 7. “The [article] aims to maximise choice and freedom of expression on the internet for end users.” explanatory memorandum Telecommunications Act
  8. 8. “End-users should be able to decide what content they want to send and receive [...]” explanatory memorandum Telecommunications Act
  9. 9. “Providers of [internet access services] do not hinder or slow down applications and services on the internet, unless [...]” Telecommunications Act
  10. 10. “a) to minimize the effects of congestion, whereby equal types of traffic should be treated equally” Telecommunications Act
  11. 11. “b) to preserve the integrity and security of the network and service [...] or the customer premises equipment” Telecommunications Act
  12. 12. “Providers [...] do not make the price [...] dependent on the services and applications which are offered or used [...].” Telecommunications Act
  13. 13. So, how does that compare?
  14. 14. sources (mostly unofficial translation): and Global Net Neutrality Coalition
  15. 15. Specialised Services
  16. 16. Managed Services
  17. 17. sources (mostly unofficial translation): and Global Net Neutrality Coalition
  18. 18. .eu
  19. 19. Campaign facts ●40.374 faxes send (21.794 delivered) ●translated in 9 languages ●266 git commits from 12 contributors
  20. 20. Making the speeches talk
  21. 21. Vote in European Parliament● Adopted with S&D, ALDE, Greens and GUE ● We got real net neutrality! ● Text is still not perfect ● And enforcement is weak
  22. 22. source:,, and others
  23. 23. Summary ● Their goal: market consolidation ● We suck at the Council ● National fallbacks are necessary
  24. 24. The Dutch Experience [tm]
  25. 25. “[The NRA] believes that in this case [...] blocking and delaying services that require a large capacity, is necessary to minimize the effects of congestion on mobile connection.” Dutch NRA to Dutch Railways and T-Mobile
  26. 26. “Vodafone will end this violation by offering the Sizz-app as a seperate service, which can be used independent to the internet access service.” Dutch NRA to Vodafone and RTL
  27. 27. Open debates
  28. 28. Wikipedia Zero
  29. 29. Letter from Wikimedia to Chile
  30. 30. “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share the sum of all knowledge. That is our commitment.” Wikimedia Foundation Vision Statement
  31. 31. Remember Ordinary citizens put net neutrality on the political agenda before. We need to do that again.
  32. 32. Support digital civil rights
  33. 33. Remember There are unsolved issues and civil society needs your expertise.
  34. 34. Day 3 | 17:00 | Noise Square Net neutrality: what about interconnect?
  35. 35. Now: question everything. Thomas Lohninger | Rejo Zenger |