EU Court Upholds Spirit of Net Neutrality

Recently it seemed that ISPs were being forced to limit

users’ freedoms more and more, with BT’s court-enforced blocking of Newzbin being but one example. While content theft and piracy are

genuine concerns, this kind of policing is a slippery slope – especially when

many sites tread a grey line.

Now, however, those who were worried by this trend can

breathe just a little easier, as the European Court of Justice yesterday ruled

that “EU law precludes the imposition of an injunction by a national court

which requires an internet service provider to install a filtering system with

a view to preventing the illegal downloading of files”.

Internet Plug

In other words, the UK’s High Court ruling forcing BT

to block access to certain websites (including Newzbin) is essentially unlawful,

as national law must operate within the confines of EU directives. Whether ISPs

can still implement such measures on their own initiative is another question.

With the Internet being the primary source of information, social

exchange and data consumption for so many, it’s an invaluable resource that

needs to be protected from exploitation. And while this works both ways,

ultimately it’s the freedom of its users that should – and indeed must – take priority. 

So are you happy with this development or were you cheering

the BT precedent? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Cnet