Save the Internet


Internet wins

This summer, hundreds of thousands of Internet users banded together to keep the Internet open and free. Together, we sent a loud, clear message to BEREC, the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications: protect net neutrality.

And it worked! BEREC’s final guidelines, which were published on 30 August 2016, offer some of the strongest net neutrality protections we could wish for. So long as these new rules are properly enforced by national telecom regulators, they represent a resounding victory for net neutrality.

The public has made clear that will not leave the future of its digital public space to big telco lobbyists, but wants to decide for itself. To that end, civil society has to stay watchful and observe that telecom operators don’t violate the new principles.

The consultation came as the final step of a legislative process that was launched in September 2013. During the ensuing three years, the coalition campaigned successfully for the Regulation on which the consultation is based. wants to thank everyone who participated in this outstanding effort to protect the free, open Internet! Thank you!

Version 1

December 2013 - February 2014

This is the first verison of which offered tools to contact Members of the European Parliament via fax, phone and e-mail to convince them to uphold net neutrality in the Telecom Single Market regulation. It was launched at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress on 27.December 2013 and followed the EU law through all committee votes.


Version 2

March 2014 - October 2014

This redesigned version offered the same content and contact tools and was created for the 1st reading plenary vote in the European Parliament. A broad coalition formed that included startups, academics, journalists, media associations and thought leaders like the inventor of the world wide web Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Barbara van Schewick and Lawrence Lessig. Together this strong coalition against the Telecom industry convinced the European Parliament to vote with a strong majority in favor of strong net neutrality safeguards that protect the free and open internet.


Version 3

November 2014 - January 2015

After the Parliament adopted its position the 28 EU member states had to negotiate their position. It is always very hard for public interests groups to influence this stage of the legislative process. Usually unkonwn negotiators appointed by the relevant ministries meet in secret without official documents. Still this iteration of the campaign tried to inform the public about what is happening and offered them the possibility to send e-mails to the permanent representation of their country in Brussels. The text that was adopted by the 28 EU member states was better than the commission proposal but much worse than the position of the European Parliament.


Version 4

February 2015 - October 2015

After all thee institutions have found their position on the dossier a law in the EU enters into a stage called "Trialogue". This stage is even less transparent than the previous one, but still SaveTheInternet tried to put pressure on the representatives of the political parties in the European Parliament. This version of the campaign used a timetable about all the meetings that we were informed about and offered users to send e-mails, call their representatives or write them on Twitter or Facebook. We gave analysis of all versions of the negotiated legal text, held a protest in Barcelona in front of the headquarter of one of the largest telecom companies and debunked the main arguments of the telecom companies in an animation video(original), but in the end the Trialogue agreement was an ambigous and contradictory legal text.


Version 5

October 2015 - November 2015

After the three EU instutitions agreed on a text it was approved by the European Parliament. For this 2nd reading plenary vote in European Parliament SaveTheInternet was redesigned in order to highlight the urgency of the final vote before the law was passed. The amendments which would have brought clarity to the text could not reach the necessary absolute majority and the law was passed without giving answers to the questions of net neutrality.


Version 6

April 2016 - June 2016

As the regulatory implementation The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communication (BEREC) was now tasked to write the Guidelines for the EU wide implementation. This version of the campaign allowed citizens to formulate their opinion on net neutrality in the form of a questionnaire and send it to all 28 NRAs. It was acompanied by an in-dept analysis of the legislation that showed how to deliver real net neutrality within the letter of the law, a professional explanatory video and a demonstration in Vienna around the plenary meeting were the draft guidelines text was decided.


Version 7

June 2016 - September 2016

The BEREC draft Guidelines were open for discussion in a public consultation that was held from 6. June 2016 to 18. July 2016. This version of the campaign allowed users to participate in this consultation and almost 500.000 people from all parts of Europe spoke up in support of net neutrality. The first 100.000 comments were delivered by us personally to the BEREC office in Riga. More protests follwed in Bonn, Brussels, and Barcelona. With this overwhelming support and constant advocacy from civil society, journalists, academics, librarians and startups we acheived this great success.