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Make the Internet Neutral Again (33c3)

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    33C3 preroll music
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    Herald: "On the internet
    you decide what you do, right?"
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    This is a question that I found on
    your website respectmynet.eu.
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    And well, I don't know what you
    think, it sounds quite plausible.
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    But the answer that they give is:
    "Maybe not!" So, who that is,
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    who actually decides what
    you do on the internet and
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    what consequences that has,
    and what you can do against that -
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    these two men will tell you now.
    They are Thomas Lohninger
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    who fought against data retention
    in Austria - and successfully -
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    and he has been very active
    in that politics ever since.
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    He is here with Christopher Talib,
    Campaign Manager for LaQuadratureDeNet,
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    the French NGO fighting
    for civil rights. Welcome!
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    Together they say: Make
    the Internet neutral again!
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    Please give them
    a warm applause!
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    applause
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    Thomas Lohninger: Thanks, everyone!
    Is the microphone working? Yeah, great.
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    So, first I have to say something
    for that title,
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    if the slides could come up?...
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    Okay, we don't have slides so far.
    Talib: Yes we do!
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    Lohninger: So. "Make the internet neutral
    again". When we decided to have this title
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    for our talk this was of course
    before Donald Trump became elected.
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    Most of our talk will be about how to
    enforce net neutrality, how to really
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    keep the internet free and open. But
    of course we also have to talk about
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    what will happen in the US. We both worked
    on the savetheinternet.eu campaign.
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    This common effort of various NGOs
    around Europe started three years ago
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    when the Commission proposed a very
    disasterous law on net neutrality
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    that would basically abandon the
    principle. And we followed this law
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    throughout the legislative process on
    all stages, and then even through,
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    with the regulatory implementation.
    And this...
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    you can all see on savetheinternet.eu
    there's now an archive page. Because...
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    let's talk a little bit more about this
    campaign. What is unique here is
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    that we really open-sourced every line of
    code that we wrote for this campaign.
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    Including the tools that we used
    for contacting your representatives,
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    the Members of the European Parliament
    as well as the regulatory agencies.
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    And here you see the traffic graph because
    we also have visitor statistics from pivik (?)
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    throughout these three years. And there
    you can see that we had huge success
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    from various players around Europe.
    From the Netherlands, from huchara (?)
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    to the Reddit community. They were
    awesome. And also change.org,
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    netzpolitik.org, and Alexander
    Lehmann (?) helped us a lot.
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    As well as Firefox which ran a snippet
    for savetheinternet in the last parts
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    of the campaign. And in the final stages
    of this fight for net neutrality in Europe
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    we really brought the protests to the
    streets. There were demonstrations
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    in Barcelona, Riga, Bonn, Brussels
    and Vienna. And this was really
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    a group effort. At the end this coalition
    grew more and more, and we had 23 NGOs
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    from 14 countries that joined us
    in this. And, ultimatively, we
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    achieved almost half a million submissions
    to BEREC, the "Body of European Regulators
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    for Electronic Communcations". And this
    is really a historic number. Because
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    all previous consultations of the regulators
    in Europe had a maximum of around
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    100 comments. So, no, in all that (?) process
    they had so much public interest
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    and engagement. And this really changed
    the landscape within the regulators
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    because suddenly they were observed by the
    public, and before that they were basically
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    hiding behind some processes, and
    not really having to engage with
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    their own constituency (?). If you look at
    the submissions by country you can see
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    that Germany has the largest share.
    This is of course because the debate
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    here in Germany is a little bit
    more nuanced and widespread
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    than in other countries. But still we also
    had the UK and France, and Spain and Italy
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    that contributed a lot through this
    campaign. But I also, being an Austrian,
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    want to point out that a few small
    countries disproportionately contributed
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    with submissions. Austria, Sweden, Denmark
    and Belgium really kicked ass, and that's
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    probably because they had very good NGOs
    that, although most of them only run
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    with volunteers could really mobilize in
    their local language to get the word out,
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    and get people engaged for net neutrality.
    So. We now have this law.
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    And we also have the regulatory
    implementation. So what does it
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    actually say? What type of net neutrality
    do we have now in Europe
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    for half a Billion people?
    It is no longer possible to just
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    block or censor content based on
    commercial reasons. So you can
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    no longer prohibit users the use of
    VOIP, or messaging, or file sharing
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    in the Terms of Services. There can still
    be blocking for legal reasons. If you have
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    a law, if you have a Court order. But an
    ISP can not arbitrarily start blocking
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    parts of the internet. This is clearly
    prohibited. We have a new right.
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    We have a 'device freedom' now. That means
    that you can connect any type of device
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    to your internet connection. And your ISP
    can no longer charge you e.g. for using
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    your phone's internet on your laptop,
    tethering. That's really cleared (?) and
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    absolutely clear. Also on "specialized
    services". I'm particularly happy
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    that we reached this result because this
    was maybe 60% of the whole debate
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    in the European Parliament and throughout
    the legislative process: what should we do
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    with "specialized services"? And
    originally, they were intended to be
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    the loophole for net neutrality, to
    circumvent the whole net neutrality
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    by just making some service
    a specialized service. But now we really
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    limited this danger to something that is
    handleable, and now a specialized service
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    can only be something which could
    technically not work over the open internet.
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    And you can see this clear here, I mean,
    that's a picture from the video
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    that Facebook shows you when you have
    your birthday. And I found this so telling,
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    because this power plug with a Facebook
    sign is exactly what a specialized service
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    in the bad reading would be. It is
    no longer a universal connection
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    that allows you to use every device
    with this network. Instead, it's just
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    for one service. And if we go down that
    road we lose the universal character
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    of the internet which allows us to do
    everything with it. Every invention,
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    every idea on equal footing (?).
    With this model it is one Facebook plug,
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    one Google plug and so forth. Another
    important issue that's still ongoing,
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    and not as clear as the previous ones is
    Zero-Rating. Zero-Rating is the practice
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    of excempting certain services from
    your data cap. So you have your 2 GB
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    but Whatsapp does not count towards
    those 2 GB. The new rules say
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    this has to be handled on a case-by-case
    basis. So it's quite dubious to see
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    how this will play out. We have a few
    rulings now, from Austria, Sweden
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    and one from Hungary. But this
    is really an ongoing process.
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    What is clear is that you can not technically
    discriminate stuff with Zero-Rating.
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    So you cannot, say, after you used up
    your data cap and the rest of the internet
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    is blocked, you can still use the zero-rated
    application. This is clearly prohibited.
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    But about the Zero-Rating itself
    - it's an ongoing process.
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    Traffic Management - the last issue -
    is the day-by-day operations of a network.
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    So what do you do when you have a
    congestion, when there is too much traffic
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    and the pipe is not big enough, how do you
    handle these? And we have a principle
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    that says Traffic Management has to be
    application-agnostic, so everything
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    has to be treated the same,
    but you can have exceptions,
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    for class-based traffic management, based
    on Quality-of-Service characteristics.
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    But the burden of proof here lies with
    the ISPs. If the ISP wants to manage
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    their traffic they have to really have
    a justification why this is necessary
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    and in line with the new law. And
    we will closely monitor how ISPs
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    make this transparent and how NRAs
    will handle this. We're not really happy
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    about the result on this one,
    but it's still a workable text.
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    And now I'm gonna
    hand over to my colleague.
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    Christopher Talib: Thank you Thomas.
    You hear me well? Okay.
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    Basically, Respectmynet is
    a grassroot tool we use for campaigning
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    for net neutrality. It was built to try
    to see what kind of infraction (?)
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    and violation you could see on net
    neutrality. It's an old tool, it has already
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    a few years. We rebooted it
    for the last campaign for the BEREC
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    that Thomas told you about. And, basically,
    what it does... what we will use it now
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    is to try to see how ISPs and operators
    are going to implement net neutrality
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    regulation in Europe. So, you know
    what we have it's a law, we have,
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    as Thomas could say, different concepts
    that allows good things and also
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    bad things. However, the question is that,
    to know how those things are going to be
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    implemented. So what it is now we
    like (?) crowdsourced the search
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    for net neutrality violation.
    Basically, this tool allows you to input
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    and to see if there are net neutrality
    violations, or in your country,
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    or by your operator.
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    It could have crowdsourced documents
    of all types of net neutrality violation
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    in Europe. And also it could be... we have
    a "Me, too!" button that allows you to say
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    if you experienced this as well. And
    so you don't feel alone in front of your
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    internet connection, having problems
    and wondering if this is your connection,
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    or if this is a contract-based or general
    complication from the operator.
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    You could see that if other
    people already have it.
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    But cowdsourcing most of the net
    neutrality violations is not enough.
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    What we'll do if all those violations,
    when you just say: "Ah, they're doing
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    bad stuff, well." As you say in
    French: "That makes a good leg."
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    But yeah, that joke, that cannot
    be translated, really. laughs
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    Basically, we will be using that to fix
    those violations. And to arouse people
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    to actually see... that's... pinpointing
    and to notice all types of violations
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    with our laws (?) and to fix them. When
    the BEREC will review the regulation
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    on net neutrality, and he will do that,
    periodically. We can go and arrive
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    with huge documents, saying, there are
    problems here.. here.. here and there.
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    So, I'm already skipping (?) in front of my
    clicking 'Next Slide'. And it's a huge
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    documentation, and in our activist world
    of internet where everything is very,
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    very quick, and we are very quick on
    new information, it's hugely important
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    to have good documentation and to
    remember what happened before, and
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    so it does not happen again. Especially on
    net neutrality, as this campaign has been
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    ongoing for several years now.
    The second thing that's interesting
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    for that type of tools is to allow telecom
    regulators to be accountable. So e.g.
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    French National Regulation Agency really
    likes this tool because they can see
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    what private companies are doing more or
    less behind their back. To give an example:
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    Belgium Telecom operators, e.g. Belgacom
    or Proximus (?) waited for the publication
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    of the net neutrality regulation. And when
    they saw that Zero-Rating was more-or-less
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    accepted but only will be blocked
    on a case-by-case decision
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    they published and they issued a lot of new
    contracts on subscription with Zero-Rating.
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    So e.g. you have that one also in Germany,
    if I recall well, that you can use
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    your data caps on your mobile device
    until a certain amount. But when you
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    reach that amount everything is down-speed
    except Whatsapp. And that's seen
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    as a net neutrality violation. And
    that's a really good example of
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    what Zero-Rating is. And that actually
    should be illegal. And that's why we have
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    RespectMyNet. It's fairly easy to use and
    very low cost of time because when you see
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    what issues you have on your computer
    and you can check it out if you have
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    a violation. Usually you can see that
    already in your contract. And that's why
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    we created a fairly easy form.
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    As you could understand this is a very
    complicated issue and that involves
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    a lot of different elements, especially
    when there are elements from law,
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    there are elements from telecom regulation...
    But we try to make it as simple as possible.
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    And so you can see the different points
    on country, type of operator, the contract
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    you have, is it a fixed or mobile line you
    have, and also the type of discrimination
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    you can see. Here you have just Zero-Rating
    because that would be the biggest type
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    of discrimination we will experience in
    the next years. However, you still have
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    throttling, class-based,
    contract-based etc.
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    When you input that kind of
    discrimination on RespectMyNet.eu,
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    behind the scene on the backstage we have
    a team that will review cases, and to see
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    if there is enough information to use that
    as a good case. E.g. if you just tell us:
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    "My internet is slow", that is not enough.
    That's why we try to make enough questions,
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    enough place for you to describe, to give
    as much information as you could
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    to develop that. And that have to return (?)(?)
    on the web page. And after that
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    we gathered all that information which is
    no personal identification information,
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    that were just identification on the type
    of cases. RespectMyNet.eu is a tool that
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    has been ongoing development because
    we're trying to use it for something
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    that it has not been programmed for. And
    now we're using dee (?) to be fixed. E.g.
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    to have a fixed type of sign flag,
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    let's say, on that it is searching
    a violation (?). We are going to develop
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    linguistic admin groups because e.g.
    I don't speak German, and when you have
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    an input from a German speaking
    it's difficult to understand what it is.
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    Especially when it's linked to the countract.
    And we're trying to develop visualization
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    of cases, so if you are a graphic designer
    or data visualizator, (?)(?)(?) you're
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    welcome to help us. Basically,
    RespectMyNet, as everything most of us do
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    it's free like in Free Speech and
    like in free beer. It's easy to use,
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    it's crowd-sourced database. So if you
    like databases come play with us
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    and really get involved with that because
    there is a tremendous amount of work
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    on a subject that does not involve
    terrorism which lately very scares.
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    We have everything of the information on
    our Git lab. You have the address here
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    at git.laquadrature.net. You'll have,
    anyway, that on the front page
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    and you have information on our wiki,
    it's wiki.laquadrature.net. Now, we'll
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    speak now on the future thing,
    and I'll let... steam (?) to Thomas.
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    Thomas: Thank you Chris. So, how can we
    use this tool? How can we use RespectMyNet
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    because we now enter a stage
    on net neutrality as well as with
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    the new general data protection regulation
    in Europe where we have quite good laws
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    but now we have to deliver them to the
    people. Because it's now of much value
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    if you have privacy in principle but your
    data actually is in the hands of someone else.
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    And the same with net neutrality:
    it doesn't matter if you are not allowed
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    to block services when, in fact, your
    internet is restricted by your ISP.
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    And what we will do, particularly as
    epicentworks (?) is our organization
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    we have the high priority to really work
    on delivering net neutrality to the people.
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    There is this concept of strategic litigation
    which is well in place in the U.S.
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    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
    as well as the ELectronic Frontier Foundation
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    pick their cases really litigate for
    fundamental rights in a strategic way.
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    And we want to apply these concepts now to
    net neutrality. And we've already done that
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    in one case. We looked at the violation of
    an Austrian mobile operator, 3/Hutchinson
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    and dated exactly this type of zero-rating
    that I explained earlier as clearly prohibited
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    where you have this one graph [curve],
    which is the violet one, which is
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    the public broadcaster in Austria,
    and when you reach the data cap,
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    the 2130 seconds, it goes down to
    a flat line. But free mobile TV service,
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    their inhouse television service,
    continues to run without interference.
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    So that's a classical technical
    discrimination between applications
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    which is clearly prohibited. We submitted
    a case, it was successful, they cancelled
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    this type of violation for all new
    contracts and they changed the landscape
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    of all their contracts. Because they could
    no longer give their own services
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    a competitive advantage, they
    quadrupled up to 17 times the amount
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    of volume that you can buy with this operator.
    And this is not a singular phenomenon.
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    We have similar cases in the Netherlands
    as well as with Slovenija. Once an ISP
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    is no longer allowed to give preferential
    treatment to their own service
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    they start giving more volume to all
    their subscribers which is, of course,
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    a really good thing. But, as I said,
    zero-rating is one of the biggest problems
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    that we have and if you want to put it in
    numbers: ca. 40% of all internet providers
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    in Europe currently zero-rate at least
    one application. So this is really
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    an endemic problem that you can find
    in almost every network and country,
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    and so we really have to do something
    about it. Because there are drastic scenarios
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    that are in front of us. Mark Suckerberg
    announced two times already that he wants
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    to bring his walled garden, called 'Free
    Basic', previously 'internet.org',
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    also to Europe. He recently also announced
    that he wants to bring Free Basic
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    to the U.S. and in the U.S. we
    have quite a hard time ahead.
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    Donald Trump is not really a fan of net
    neutrality, from the few comments that
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    we could analyze so far. And if you look
    at the three people that he appointed
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    to his Transition Team for the regulator,
    the FCC in the U.S., there is
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    a quite horrible outlook. Jeffrey Eisenach
    as well as Mark Jamison and Roslyn Layton
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    are hardcore telecom lobbyists. And you
    can really get a picture of what's coming
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    in the U.S. if you look at the paper
    "Beyond net neutrality" from Mark Jamison
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    and Roslyn Layton from June of this year.
    What they propose here is to basically
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    replace all net neutrality rules with
    a multi stakeholder concept.
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    But they have a very unique interpretation
    of what 'multi stakeholder' means.
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    They only limit this multi stakeholder
    group to the 20 biggest industry players.
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    They explicitly say: "No civil society, no
    consumer protection, no scientists".
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    So it's basically the industry making their
    own rules. They also propose new barriers
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    for every type of ex ante regulation (?)
    of the FCC. So that's basically
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    putting net neutrality in the bin
    in the U.S. which would also risk
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    their competitive advantage that the U.S.
    has right now as the power house
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    of all startup innovation. If this really
    comes through then only the startups
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    that partner up with existing monopolies
    have a chance to compete.
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    In Europe we also have a quite
    worrying proposal. Part of the legacy
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    of Guenther Oettinger. He proposed in
    September of this year a new regulation
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    for BEREC. Who here knows what BEREC is?
    Hands up!
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    Oh! Actually quite a few, that's good.
    BEREC is the umbrella above the European
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    regulators for the internet. And it's an
    agency that has done quite a good job
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    on various occasions. They are voice of
    reason, they have quite a good model
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    to really incorporate different views and
    what the Commission is proposing
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    with this new law is basically replacing
    this agency, making it into an independent
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    legal personality, and having that complete
    control on all levels from the Commission.
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    So in this law you can find the Commission
    writing itself into this independent agency
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    on many, many occasions. And
    the most obscure outcome of this is
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    the Executive Director as well as the
    quite powerful Board of Appeals
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    they will be chosen by regulators, but only
    from a list precompiled by the European
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    Commission. And that's quite a communistic
    tradition of democracy. And we have
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    to follow this dossier (?) closely. It is
    now entering the legislative process
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    in the EU and if this would go through as
    it was proposed this would basically mean
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    that the agencies in task of enforcing net
    neutrality are under complete power grab (?)
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    of the European Commission which has
    proven, times and times again, that
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    it is mostly interested in industry policy
    but not really in the citizen's interest.
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    For all of that we need you to put the
    violations that you come across
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    in your daily internet experience into
    RespectMyNet.eu as well as write to
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    team@epicenter.works because we are
    also very interested in learning about
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    the violations that are out there.
    And about really finding partners
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    in various countries before we can submit
    cases to the regulators in that country
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    and really keep the internet free
    and open. You can put it like that:
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    With this new net neutrality law we
    now have a tool box to really keep
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    the internet open. And with RespectMyNet
    we have a crowd-sourced todo list
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    of all the violations that we have to get
    rid of. Thanks for your attention!
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    And the last word: we were previously THIS
    organization, now we are THIS organization,
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    we changed our name. Thanks!
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    applause
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    Herald: I think we have time for a few
    more questions. So please step up
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    to the microphones if you have
    one and I'll call your number.
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    Nobody so far, is there a question
    from the internet?
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    Also not. So you answered all open
    questions exhaustively. That is great.
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    Chris: No, there's a question there...
    Herald: There is a question?
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    Oh, up there! Well, number 5.
    Please, go ahead!
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    Question: Hi, my question as an IT guy is:
    do you think about automating the process
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    to file these complaints? So, I'm thinking
    about people who run out [of] their quota
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    per month and, say, can easily start an app
    which checks about 50 different services
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    to see which service is performing good,
    and which not, and automatically do
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    a complaint on your side?
    Something like that?
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    Chris: If I understand well your question
    that if we are planning to automate
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    the system of inputting subscriptions...
    input in[to] RespectMyNet?
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    Question: Yeah!
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    Chris: The thing is that that would only
    cover a certain type of violation.
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    It won't e.g. - don't think in what
    I understood - it won't be able to cover
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    e.g. contract-based violations.
    But that could be an idea, why not.
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    Thomas: Maybe, if you go to RespectMyNet.eu
    you'll find a list of the measurement tools
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    that are out there right now. The software
    that you can use on your own computer
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    to test if your internet connection is
    open and neutral. But most of the software
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    is abandonware. Sadly, it has not been
    updated in quite a few years. And then
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    we need more developers to actively engage
    in those software tools. And I hope now
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    that more people will do that because
    the threat in the U.S. is quite real and
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    we need better software. Automated testing
    happens as part of some Bittorrent clients
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    e.g. which upload their data to
    measurement lab. And there are
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    some programs like that but
    none really on wide scale.
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    Herald: Okay. So, the next one is the
    personon microphone no. 3, please.
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    Question: Yes, have a question regarding
    the regulation to reform BEREC.
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    Are you planning to fight this regulation,
    and if so, and if not, are there any ways
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    to fight it for the rest of us?
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    Thomas: Thanks for being eager! Yes,
    we are now... this is just the beginning
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    of this dossier. So it has been proposed
    September 14, 2016. And now the Parliament
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    and the Counsil are just slowly starting
    to work on it and it's part of
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    a much bigger package of legislation
    called the telecom call (?). And we are
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    in ongoing conversations with the
    legislators, so, the various
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    political parties, to see what is the best
    strategy. And if we think that there is
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    a reason to really have a compatant
    we will have one. But right now it is
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    too early to say.
    Question: Thanks!
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    Herald: Okay, thank you very much! And
    the next person on microphone no.3!
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    Question: Thank you very much for
    an excellent talk. For Savetheinternet
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    there was a lot of national NGOs active.
    And with this proposed power grab of BEREC
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    how can we at a national level help
    support the telecom (?) regulators nationally
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    to save the net neutrality?
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    Thomas: The best thing to do right now
    would be to speak with your telecom
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    infrastructure ministry, whoever is
    responsible of this in the European Counsil
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    because they are the ones that are now
    forming their opinion. And I know from
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    quite a few countries where this is really
    an open situation, so they are welcoming
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    input from citizens. And they, of course,
    speak with the members of the European
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    Parliament from your country. They are
    the ones ultimatively voting on this.
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    I'm not aware if we already have
    a Rapporteur on that but there will be one
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    soon, and...
    Christopher: On the telecom package?
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    Thomas: Yeah!
    Christopher: (?) del Castillo.
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    Thomas: Del... Oh my god. laughs
    The worst Rapporteur that we could
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    possibly have. It's the same that
    we had for the net neutrality law.
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    But speak with your local ministry and
    your Members of the European Parliament.
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    That's the right answer for that. And
    I hope that also a few countries and
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    as well as the regulators will see this
    power grab as what it is. Because the
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    Commission is not really in the position
    to insert itself on all levels of government.
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    That's just the wrong approach.
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    Herald: Okay, there's time for one last
    question. Please, a short one! No.4.
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    Question: Thank you very much for the
    talk. I was wondering, do you think
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    it's possible to actually convince telecom
    companies to be on our side, so to say,
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    and to get rid of all of those Zerorating
    things, and convince them that
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    net neutrality can be a good argument for
    customers. Or do you think the only way
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    is through litigations (?) and (?)?
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    Christopher: I think, both. The problem
    with telecom operators is
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    that you go against their business model.
    Zerorating can increase their sales,
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    (?) percentage etc. and net neutrality
    can not, or at least not in the way
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    they see it. There is two things: on one
    hand you have customer protection,
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    on the other hand you have private
    profits. So I think we'll be very welcoming
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    any type of arguments of (?) I see
    that could link both, and saying
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    that we're making a better world, but
    also we're contributing to capitalism.
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    So, that's a tricky one. But,
    you know, we can discuss it.
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    Thomas: But it's doable. I mean there
    are a few ISPs that are fees(?)
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    pro-net neutrality advocates. Because
    they've realized that net neutrality
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    is good for their business model. Because
    this open platform creates the demand
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    for the only product they really have,
    which is internet access.
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    About... it is really a question of their
    understanding of their own business model.
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    And for the most part, they would either
    cannibalize the revenues of other companies
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    that run on their network, instead of just
    being mere pipe. But please try
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    to convince them. We do as well.
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    Question: I will.
    Chrisopher: If you want to discuss more,
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    we'll be around the tea house of
    LaQuadrature upstairs, so
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    you're welcome there.
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    Herald: Thank you very much,
    Christopher and Thomas.
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    applause
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    postroll music
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Title:
Make the Internet Neutral Again (33c3)
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
32:00

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