EU opens public consultation on website blocking and net neutrality

EU opens public consultation on website blocking and net neutrality
Blocking websites is like yanking out the cable so this picture is totally relevant

The EU wants to know what joe public thinks of proposed plans for website blocking and web transparency.

It has launched a consultation following an investigation into what processes are already in place across Europe, with blocking of P2P websites emerging as the most popular way of restricting web traffic.

The survey, which you can fill in online, asks how necessary you think traffic management is (that's the prioritisation of traffic, blocking or throttling certain kinds of data packets etc) as we use more bandwidth-hungry applications like streaming video.


It asks when you're happy for ISPs to restrict access – e.g., should heavy web users be restricted at peak times?

The most interesting element is that of the monitoring practises involved in these processes – how much of what you're doing online is being unwittingly witnessed by ISPs and other bodies?

As well as the practicalities of web traffic flow, the consultation asks for your opinion on ISP transparency and how you feel about ISPs having the technical ability to stop you from visiting certain sites.

If you're at all concerned about website blocking as an anti-piracy measure (like the largely-failed attempt to have UK ISPs block access to The Pirate Bay), or the softly-softly-censor-monkey filtering of the web, then this is the time to have your say.

You can find the online survey here, which you need to fill in and submit by October 15. The European Commission suggests regular citizens ignore the technical questions intended for industry types.

Once the consultation has closed, the European Commission will publish all responses and use them to inform future Eurpean-Union-wide web policy.

From EC

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.