Cheaper mobile calls and open internet: MEPs and ministers strike informal deal

An informal deal to ban surcharges (“roaming fees”) for making mobile phone calls, sending text messages or using the internet while abroad in another EU country from 15 June 2017 was struck by MEPs and EU ministers in the small hours of Tuesday 30 June morning. MEPs also inserted guarantees that all internet traffic is treated equally, without discrimination. To enter into force, this informal deal needs to be formally endorsed by the full Parliament and the Council of Ministers.
Below you will find links to audiovisual and editorial materials that you can use free of charge. To check the terms and conditions, click on the link to the right.  

Graphical illustrations
Roaming images

Photos of the last plenary debate on roaming

Videos - footage
Last video footage related to roaming negotiations

Cheaper mobile calls and open internet: MEPs and ministers strike informal deal (press release)

UCLA Radio: Keep the internet free and open

by Shane Emeis

We members of UCLA Radio understand the importance of free speech. We run programming based on the free expression of thoughts and ideas. Because we are an online-only radio station, we aren’t subject to regulations of the Federal Communications Commission, which censors and hinders some intellectual conversations and debate in other sources of media.

So naturally, when I saw a news article about a new FCC proposition that would affect the internet, I got curious.

Here are some must reads: first, this article from May 12th in the LA Times describing the general premise of the proposition set forth by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. It involves the costs of internet providers and the discrepancy between fast and slower internet service to be charged at different rates. Because it would need to gain some control over internet traffic in order to differentiate the internet “speeds,” the proposed regulation of this issue would inadvertently cause the FCC to gain some control over content put on the internet.

In response, this article was published in the LA Times the next day describing some of the immediate retaliation against the proposition. In response to Wheeler’s proposed regulation, 240 leading television showrunners and creators encouraged him to avoid any measures that would limit Internet freedom in a letter sent on Tuesday. The letter states, “The open Internet is the greatest technological catalyst to participatory democracy and free speech since the printing press.” Already, concern for what this action could have on the raw integrity of internet content is developing.

No decisive action has been taken by Wheeler and the FCC yet, but it is probably good to keep informed on the situation as it affects us UCLA Radio members and millions of others just like us.

Imagine a different world

Imagine a different world.
Where your mail carrier, fed ex, ups etc decide what mail you get.
They look at the senders address then determine by their rules how long it takes to get to you. Maybe a month? Maybe 6? A year? Maybe it never shows up at all.
Imagine a world where companies pay the postal services for priority on how fast their letter gets to you. And imagine if they looked at where you were sending, checked it against a stall list and it took 6 months for an important correspondence to get through.

Imagine a world like that. Now realize that’s exactly what might be happening with your internet.

The carriers or internet providers want to slow down your connection if you don’t go to their sites or partner sites. They want to charge companies to not have their sites slowed down.
Netflix has already paid after having been slowed down by certain internet providers.. Why in the world are we just letting it happen? Why should those who provide access, who carry the signal dictate where that signal/connection goes?
Why does the postal carrier have any damn right to hold back your mail because you’re not sending it to one of their address’? 

But the postal carrier isn’t doing that. Your internet company does.

Make sense now? (Canada)

Here at OpenMedia, we’re inspired every day by the passion that ordinary Canadians show about their digital future, free expression, and our fundamental rights to privacy. We feel privileged to be a part of this national conversation and to serve you, our community. Thank you for your support and happy Canada Day to everyone!

New Internet blocking laws in Lithuania

Today the Parlament has passed amendments to the law regulating gambling in Lithuania. One of them compels the ISPs to block the access to online gambling sites not registered in Lithuania. This is a result of a long and protracted (~7 years) wrangling between Lithuanian gambling companies on one side and ISPs/ICT industry on the other.

Our lawmakers either a) have no clue about how these series of tubes work and what they are doing b) don’t care how and if the laws they pass are actually implemented c) are defending interests of a single lobbying group and refuse to acknowledge the broader impact of such laws. Most likely, all of the three.

A worrying development in any case. The wording of the law is deliberately vague and the actual implementation of the access blocks has not been explained (they actually went out of their way to avoid specifying it). My guess is that the government will require (practically useless) DNS or IP-based blocking, or require hosting providers to remove the offending sites. Hopefully they will stop there. Otherwise ISPs will probably have to start inspecting and filtering packets, and I bet that the government, merrily aided by commercial entities, will not want to stop at limiting online gambling only. Censorship and surveillance tend to creep and expand if unchecked.

Lithuania is screwing the neutral web over for what? For online gambling? Is it really worth it? In 2015? It’s like blocking train rails because horse feeding bag sellers are going to go out of business.

Dominykas has made a short guide (in Lithuanian) on circumventing Web censorship.

Internet Neutrality and the FCC

This is kind of last minute, and I’m sorry I didn’t post this earlier. Tomorrow is the deadline for getting your comments sent in to the FCC regarding their proposals which would allow ISPs to give preferential delivery to some content through “fast lanes”. I’ve been an Internet user since the ‘80s. I’ve seen it grow into something absolutely incredible. I believe the Internet has so much potential for humanity as a whole, not just America. But if we allow corporations and governments to break the neutrality that it is built on, we could lose this incredible tool.

Here’s a link to an article with more information:

FCC’s net neutrality inbox is already stuffed with 647k messages…

This is the email to write the FCC and tell them what you think:

Finally, here’s a copy of what I wrote to them, just to share my thoughts:

The Internet is an amazing tool for information and free speech. It provides our citizens with access to their government’s services, opportunities for employment, commerce, financial services, a forum for airing opinions and so much more. The United Nations has even recognized unfiltered Internet access as a modern human right which must be protected to support people’s right to open expression. ISPs are the gatekeepers to this incredible resource, and they profit mightily from it. It would be detrimental to the people of our great country to allow these corporations to pick and choose who gets access via “fast lanes” or other filtering and preferential treatment. 

The FCC has a responsibility to oversee carriers of communications services and make sure that they are providing fair access at reasonable prices to all people.The Internet is the largest communications tool our world has ever known. It is time to clearly recognize ISPs status as common carriers and they must conform to the laws as such. Neutrality, competition, investment and innovation will not be served by allowing a handful of mega-corporations to happily slice up the country into their own little territories. What we have now does not look like competition to me - it looks like a burgeoning monopoly that is happy to buy it’s way into legality. Our government must serve the people’s needs, not the corporations’ desires. The FCC must be re-armed with the tools to enforce the fair regulations that it develops. Stand up to ensure our people will have fair and equal access to the Internet and all of the opportunities it provides. Thank you.

If the open Internet means something to you, take a few minutes and fire off an email today. July 15th is the deadline.

I wasn’t too clear on Net Neutrality and the implications of the FCC vote yesterday, but this video is COMPREHENSIVE.  It also shares lots of links for what you can do.  

Creative Technologies with Depth

I was fortunate to attend Evan’s talk this weekend at semi-permanent, and I was very impressed not only with Evan’s work (which you can see here: but mostly with his capacity to analyse, make connections, ask questions, raise issues, ponder over stuff, and base his ideas on what others have done, said, and written.

Evan’s work (some more, not all of course) is very much what I would call “Deep Creative Technologies”, a (bad) term to distinguish from all the other ‘eye candy’ crap that most people in this area arbitrarily generate and shamelessly present. 

One of the most ‘sticky’ ideas that Evan raised during his talk was how “corporate” is the Internet today. This is very clear for all of us who were around the early 1990′s using Mosaic to browse the web, Gopher to transfer files, Pine to read email, and Photoshop without layers, 3D CAD that took 10 hours to render a single scene, etc. Evan focused on the internet, and lamented how it turned to be very commercial and basically a place for users and consumers, rather than the early promises of makers and creators. It is true, even as I write this blog post, it “belongs” to tumblr, their aim is to monetise my writing (and your reading). Instead of millions of independent mini-owners of online content, we ended up with a dozen corporations owning everything.

The radio and TV sort of started with the same ‘indy’ philosophies, and we all know how those turned out, too.

And it’s not only the Web. Every corporate acquisition of a small and independent product or service, is great for the entrepreneurs, but terrible for the future of technology. The 3D printing world is today controlled by two corporations, the software industry is also highly concentrated with Google, Apple, Autodesk, Amazon, Adobe. Microsoft, Facebook swallowing every creative idea out there.

As with every complex system, there are many causes at play. One that I personally think is quite sad is how people make choices based on comfort and convenience. This goes from smoking to eating meat, and to using ‘user-friendly’ commercial platforms to read (and sometimes write) and share ideas. 

Many a yeas ago - far before instagram and whatsapp - I made this in the notebook of my art academy. I had no idea how right I would be. And still am. Mark my words. Same goes for IG. #markmywords #zuckerberg #wheresmymoney #advertising #advert #cash #cashcow #critic #owntheworld #globalization #openinternet #transparent #transparency

People may think the decision for the control of the Internet has been made, but the final statement isn’t going to be made until September. Reblog and express your opinion! Getting 1000000 comments would give open Internet guys like Bernie Sanders something to work with.

“We believe that a free and #openInternet can bring about a better world. To keep the Internet free and open, we call on communities, industries and countries to recognize these principles. We believe that they will help to bring about more creativity, more innovation and more open societies.”

- Preamble to The Declaration of Internet Freedom

As you may have seen from all the recent discussion around #NetNeutrality, we find ourselves at a critical crossroads for the continued development of an open Internet.

This Thursday, the #FCC will be unveiling their “Open Internet” proposal. If we all want to protect universal access to the communications networks that we all depend on to connect with ideas, information, and each other, then we must stand up for our rights to connect and communicate.

We must ensure that our representatives know how important the open Internet is, and that we demand nothing less that real Net Neutrality by having the FCC reclassify Internet Service Providers as Title II common carriers.

What is a common carrier? 

A common carrier is a company “forced to offer service indiscriminately and on general terms.”

Common carriers cannot engage in “individualized bargaining.”

If we as society believe there should be basic and open access to certain entities – telephone lines, trains, etc. – then how can that NOT extend to the Internet?

If the Internet is important to you personally or professionally, please take some time to review the information below and consider joining reddit, large and small tech companies, venture capitalists, young entrepreneurs, musicians & artists, religious groups, teachers, parents, and everyday citizens and take a stand.

The reddit community has been working hard to protect Net Neutrality with advocacy groups, companies and concerned individuals, and we are seeing real results at the FCC and the government.

Over last week, congressmen & even other FCC commissioners are asking the Chairman Tom Wheeler to not move ahead with the flawed “Open Internet” proposal. Now is the time for you to give voice to the great & open Internet. The rulemaking process can take up to a year so we need to be ready to protect Net Neutrality for the long haul.

It’s important to take action today and this week, but please know that protecting the Internet as we know it will be a constant and ongoing fight. 

Call the FCC
 - *please be courteous

1. Dial 888-225-5322
2. push 1, 4, 0
3. a person will answer.
4. they will ask for your name and address. you can just give them a zip code if you want.
5. “I’m calling to ask the FCC to reclassify Internet Service Providers as Title Two Common Carriers.”
6. They’ll ask if there is anything else you would like to add.
7. “No, Thank you for your time.”
8. hang up.

Call Congress

Go to  & type in your zipcode.

Pick up the phone and call each of the these folks. Believe it or not, someone will answer the phone, and phone calls make a difference.

Politely tell the congressional staff that picks up to “Have the FCC classify internet as a Title Two common carrier.”

Ask them to repeat what they wrote down.

You can also contact FCC & Congress at

There are lots more ways to get involved and do more research here: