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As European lawmakers debate how to keep access to the Internet free and equal — so-called network neutrality — they are inundated, not unsurprisingly, by lobbyists.
But the corporate envoys roaming the halls of Brussels trying to make their case, more often than not, do not represent the Continent’s myriad telecommunications and Internet companies, but rather those from the United States. Europe has become the world’s technology regulator. So the AT&Ts and Verizons are pitted against the Googles and Yahoos to shape European law in the hopes that American regulators will follow suit.
“The U.S. companies see the outcome of the fight in Europe as key,” said Jeremie Zimmermann, a lobbyist for La Quadrature du Net, an Internet advocacy group based in Paris. “Each side is hoping to score points on the issue here so they can take it back to the States to influence the outcome there.”
It is most important to keep the web open and neutral or we have reverted back to the old days of media monopolies. Until this growing pain is passed we must remain vigilant for net neutrality since most of us here have interests that depend on it.
Europe does set some of the international standards but so do others. There is not a cut and dry way of producing international standards. It is an organic process and is debated openly amongst professional standards organizations. It generally winds up being a good international standard all can agree on.
If it is a high stakes game that does not involve technical standards, like net neutrality, and it is in the early stages of developing then the lobbyists and politicians move in. Ages old process.
"Give me Internet neutrality or give me death." or something like that.