The European Parliament has voted against a set of amendments on Tuesday, Oct. 27, that would help preserve net neutrality in the EU, angering and disappointing supporters of the rejected legislation, and calling into question the future of a democratized web in Europe—and even the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, couldn't persuade them otherwise.

In a post published on the World Wide Web Foundation, Berners-Lee's own organization dedicated to preserving the equal and equitable digital terrain of the Internet, the computer science guru cautioned against dismissing the proposed amendments.

"If adopted as currently written, these rules will threaten innovation, free speech and privacy, and compromise Europe's ability to lead in the digital economy," Berners-Lee conveyed in his official statement after referring to the recent measures passed in the U.S. by the FCC, which nixed the likelihood of "fast" broadband lanes and "slow" broadband lanes, or paid subscriptions for fast and easy access. 

"Meanwhile, the Web belongs to all of us, and so it's up to each one of us to take action," Berners-Lee urged.

Advocates of the dismissed amendments are concerned that the current legislation in place is too ambiguous or ill-defined in its current state. Right now, EU net regulations allow for loopholes pertaining to practices that permit business agreements between content providers and Internet companies, which in turn lead to practices like throttling and other unfair traffic management practices.

Berners-Lee was not alone. In a letter to Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, companies and services such as Netflix, Kickstarter, Vimeo, Tumblr, and others also encouraged the European Parliament to adopt more stringent, precisely phrased legislation concerning what Internet service providers can and cannot do with access, streaming, and data managment for their consumers. The European Parliament is the law-making body of the EU and its 751 members are elected for 5-year terms.

Despite these attempts, the parliment members voted to keep the current legislation, instead opting to defer to the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), which will aide in taking the existing guidelines and form them into more permanent statutes. The European regulators have nine months to issue guidelines.

Via: BBC News

Photo: Thijs ter Haar | Flickr

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