The World Wide Web inventor has ridden into battle for, what might be, the last chance to preserve an open Internet in Europe.
Briton Tim Berners-Lee has gathered together nearly half a million online voices to guide European regulators in their advice for the European Union’s (EU) laws on net neutrality and to not favor big business.
The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) has to prepare a draft set of guidelines, which the EU will use to inform their laws and legislations on how the Internet is regulated. The BEREC had a four-day official consultancy period between July 14 and 18, during which Tim Berners-Lee launched a last effort to urge European regulators to support the everyday Internet user and not “cave into telecommunications carriers’ manipulative tactics.”
Along with lawyers Professor Barbara van Schewick and Professor Larry Lessig, Tim Berners-Lee wrote an open letter to European regulators on Thursday, published by the World Wide Web Foundation.
In the letter, they wrote: “We – the ordinary users of the Internet – don’t have expensive lobbyists. But we have millions of people – everyday Europeans, startups, investors, small businesses, activists, NGOs, bloggers, independent artists – who have experienced the power of the open Internet first hand and want to protect it.”
The letter concludes: “The Internet has become the critical infrastructure of our time – for our daily life, for our economy, for our democracy. Strong guidelines will protect the future of competition, innovation, and creative expression in Europe, enhancing Europe’s ability to lead in the digital economy. They will ensure that every European, no matter the color of their skin or the size of their wallets, has an equal chance to innovate, compete, speak, organize, and connect online.”
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