“Same Sanctions Online as Offline”

Questions to Gunnar Hökmark, Member of the European Parliament

The European Commission recently announced its Connected Continent policy proposal, focusing on roaming and network neutrality – at least in the latter case an ambigious term. Netopia asks members of European Parliament who took part in the plenary debate on the proposal about their view. This week is Gunnar Hökmark (EPP).

Per Strömbäck: Is transparency of subscription terms by telecom carriers a reasonable implementation of net neutrality? (Should they be allowed to discriminate against for example Voice over IP-services as long as they inform subscribers?)

Gunnar Hökmark: A free and open Internet is key feature of the Internet ecosystem. All providers should be obliged to provide unhindered connection to all content, applications or services on the Internet. Blocking of services on the Internet protects outdated business models such as roaming at the expense of new innovative services and applications with high growth potential.  Individual operators should not pick and choose what content or services end users should access.

PS: How do issues of illegal and/or harmful content relate to net neutrality?

GH: Illegal content online such as child pornography should adhere to the same sanction system as in the offline world.  Operators should have the right to act following a legislative provision or court order.

Per Strömbäck
Editor Netopia