June 15, 2010

European Parliament – Open Internet essential for EU homeland security

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Strasbourg defends an internet governed by openness principles and expresses its concerns over technological dependencies on dominant market solutions. Today the European Parliament sitting adopted a report “Internet Governance – the next steps” from rapporteur Francisco Sosa Wagner. The report directs the European involvement in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) process at the United Nations. The European Parliament wants the internet to stay an open, vendor-neutral infrastructure.

“The European Parliament demonstrates its deep understanding of the internet governance issues at hand”, explains FFII general secretary André Rebentisch. The FFII participated as an NGO observer in the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and has been involved in the Internet Governance Forum(IGF) follow-up process at the United Nations.

The European Parliament took a clear position on politicised aspects of internet governance and technology development. MEPs call upon European member states to implement the principle of “respect for an open, interoperable, technologically neutral and ‘end-to-end’ nature of internet infrastructure” and put three “critical policy issues” on the European task list for the IGF process. The list targets:

  • “(i) protection of internet infrastructure to safeguard openness, availability, security and resilience against cyber attacks,
    (ii) European dependencies on dominant market solutions and associated public security risks, and
    (iii) protection of data and privacy, in particular as regards the establishment of effective international mechanisms for dispute resolution.”

“A potential link between technological market dominance and homeland security deserves more attention and debate, now that the internet is widely recognised as critical infrastructure for our societies”, adds Rebentisch. “I found it quite remarkable how the European Parliament took a firm stance on internet openness and brushed vested interests off.”

Furthermore the European Parliament recommended to “build capacity for genuine European civil society representation in international internet governance fora and internet standards organisations or consortia.”

“We highly appreciate a positive recognition of civil society contributions to internet governance”, adds FFII vice president Rene Mages. “Independent players keep the internet governance open and vivid. A vendor-neutral and open internet benefits our societies at large.”

Links

Plenary report – Internet Governance – the next steps
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A7-2010-0185&language=EN

Permanent link to this press release:
http://press.ffii.org/Press%20releases/Europarl%20-%20Open%20internet%20essential%20for%20European%20homeland%20security

Contact

FFII Berlin Office
Malmöer Str. 6
10439 Berlin
Germany
Phone: +49-30-41722597
Fax service: +49-721-509663769
Email: office at ffii.org

About FFII

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) is a not-for-profit association active in twenty European countries, dedicated to the development of information goods for the public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 1000 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.