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Dutch To Introduce Net Neutrality By Law 228

Posted by samzenpus
from the levy-playing-field dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Big news out of the Netherlands this week, where a government minister announced plans to guarantee network neutrality by law. If Parliament approves the amendment to Dutch telecommunications law, and it expected to do so, it would become one of the first countries in the world to legislate against Internet providers who want to charge more for using particular applications or services."
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Dutch To Introduce Net Neutrality By Law

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  • Go Net Neutrality!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I just copied and pasted the first paragraph from the link in the article when submitting, but I didn't think it would be posted this way. I think some more information is required for a proper news article/discussion. Therefore, a short summary of the law in question.

      For Dutch readers, here is the amendment in Dutch: https://www.bof.nl/live/wp-content/uploads/Amendement-van-het-lid-Verhoeven-c.s..pdf

      Summary for English readers:

      It will be forbidden by law to block or induce a bandwidth limitation on select

  • Wonderful. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zedrick (764028) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @02:29PM (#36379082)
    The Netherlands is truly a developed country. Too bad it's so overcrowded.
    • Re:Wonderful. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ironhandx (1762146) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @02:32PM (#36379128)

      I'm seriously considering moving there asap. Find a decent town with low crime rate and ik vil nederlandse les het goed!

      • by Xiph1980 (944189)
        Well, not knowing where you're from, but compared to most countries I've visited, we just don't have the same crime rate. Really, the worst areas in the Netherlands aren't even close to shady areas I've seen in Paris, New York, Philadelphia or.. where-ever really, apart from Denmark and Sweden. Be prepared to pay a decent dime for housing though. Real estate isn't cheap at all in the NL..
        • I come from Newfoundland. The last murder we had was in international news. That's how often it happens.

          • by Xiph1980 (944189)
            Well, I have no idea how many murders you've got annually, but on a country of 16.7 million inhabitants, we had the following numbers of murders from 2010 to 2005: 170 / 178 / 161 / 143 / 149 / 201 so that's not too bad I think :)
            • Population of 800k, less than 1 annually. We had a freak year with two murders back in 99/00 which threw our average off. Otherwise... 20 years, 5 murders. Total.

              Those numbers are pretty good though :)

            • Well, I have no idea how many murders you've got annually, but on a country of 16.7 million inhabitants, we had the following numbers of murders from 2010 to 2005: 170 / 178 / 161 / 143 / 149 / 201

              And about half of these have been vendetta's, criminals killing other criminals. I think you can safely say we have a pretty safe country, crime-wise (don't leave your bike unattended for too long though ;-)

      • ...before you move over here we expect you to learn Nederlands goed ;=) (you even have to do an exam in a Dutch Embassy of your choice)

        Dumb idea though. But the good news is: as long as you are higher educated and have a good income nobody gives a f... if you only talk English.
        • by FST777 (913657)
          The exam is only for non-"western world" immigrants. That includes Japan but excludes Mexico and our former colony Indonesia. Basically, "western world" is defined based on wealth.

          Live is good here, but immigration laws are highly discriminatory.
        • by mcvos (645701)

          But the good news is: as long as you are higher educated and have a good income nobody gives a f... if you only talk English.

          Let's be honest. We speak English (or something we think resembles English) to everybody. Dutch is practically impossible to learn because no Dutchman will speak it to you.

      • by mcvos (645701)

        Don't be too quick to celebrate. This is a rare positive decision in Dutch politics. For the most part of the past 10 years, Dutch politics have been going down the drain, becoming more polarized, more populist, and more focused on short term silliness. It's still not nearly as bad the the US, but I'd seriously consider moving to Sweden if I wouldn't leave so many friends and family behind.

    • Re:Wonderful. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Squiddie (1942230) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @02:34PM (#36379156)
      Yeah, but you would think that the "Land of The Free" would have guaranteed internet freedom much earlier than anyone else. Instead, they are busy trying to lock it down.
      • Re:Wonderful. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @02:43PM (#36379282)

        The US has always been behind the times.
        Heck we didn't even invent the Bill of Rights concept. It was taken from the British, after we won the civil war. Or the concept of natural rights (invented by the Greek Stoics and Roman Senator Cicero). We're all just a a bunch of plagiarists. ;-)

        • And if we adopt this from the Dutch, I'll continue to think that even if we're stealing ideas - at least we steal some of the good ones.
          • Re:Wonderful. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @03:57PM (#36380172) Journal

            I'll continue to think that even if we're stealing ideas - at least we steal some of the good ones.

            Good ideas should be stolen with pride!
            That was one of the things we learned during a week-long "team-building group brainstorm" (I jest not).

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Ideas can't be stolen. They can be copied and you can [falsely] claim to be the inventor. But the original creator is not deprived of the idea; merely the credit.

      • by kosty (52388)

        "Land of The FEE..." FTFY.

      • by Xtifr (1323)

        Given that the "Land of the Free" was heavily influenced by the Dutch Republic [wikipedia.org] (1581-1795), maybe it's not so surprising. Note that this was the period when, despite the lack of rule by royalty or church, the Dutch became a major world power, confounding all expectations at the time. Since the Republic was still a going concern at the time of the American Revolution, I think that there's little doubt that it was a major influence on the Founding Fathers' decision to try something similar. Of course, there

      • by msh104 (620136)

        The Netherlands is the second country in the world to do so. ( Chili was the first ) I'd say that counts as "much earlier than anyone else".
        It is however true that at the same other people are considering putting quite dangerous infrastructure in place ( mostly under child pornography banner )
        Nevertheless, this is still a move in the right direction.

  • by Hermanas (1665329) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @02:35PM (#36379172)
    I'm moving to the Netherlands!
    • by erroneus (253617)

      You do realize that's where Peter Pan lives right?

    • Uh Oh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @03:07PM (#36379568) Journal

      You won't like it you yank. Our beer got taste, our cheese is not just a barely edible plastic, our food isn't genetically manipulated, the soda contains real sugar, the women are the easiest in the world, the pot is so cheap just anyone can smoke it... eh... oh wait, I got it. We are SOCIALIST. You got to pay taxes here. Sales tax? 21%. (might 20% they keep on raising it recently).

      That should scare of the Americans... well apart from the beer having taste etc etc. America is an interesting place to visit, just don't eat or drink anything that wasn't prepared by a first generation immigrant.

      • by Hermanas (1665329)
        Thanks for sharing. Too bad you assumed I live in America! But since you've scared off all the Americans, now I'm definitely coming, thanks!
        • by Bucc5062 (856482)

          Not me, not scared off at all. After my first visit to Germany I was hooked and upon return, could not drink beer back home. The EU drove me to hard liquor except when I get to go back and visit. I'd move there in a moment if I could figure out how to bring my horses over, own enough land to keep them, and get to work from my home from time to time. Alas, even the EU is not that progressive.

      • by keytoe (91531)

        Our beer got taste

        Oakshire Brewery [oakbrew.com]: 5 minutes away.

        our cheese is not just a barely edible plastic

        Rogue Creamery [roguecreamery.com] and Tillamook [tillamook.com]: Both 3 hours away.

        our food isn't genetically manipulated

        Horton Road Organic [hortonorganics.com]: Just one of many CSAs in town.

        the soda contains real sugar

        I cut out soda at the same time I cut out GMO food and other 'fake foods'. So high five to you on that one :)

        the women are the easiest in the world

        Debatable. [uoregon.edu] There's something about 9 months of rain that causes promiscuity when the sun finally ar

        • I cut out soda at the same time I cut out GMO food and other 'fake foods'. So high five to you on that one :)

          Nope. We can easily get soda from Mexico that uses real sugar.

          And I mean the main ones, Coke, Pepsi, etc. not some dicey thing like "ElPunumbrianOke".

          Great point about lumping all of the U.S. into the same bucket being like applying any rule to all of Europe based on state.

        • by daid303 (843777)

          Rogue Creamery [roguecreamery.com] and Tillamook [tillamook.com]: Both 3 hours away.

          You do understand that if you drive in the same direction in The Netherlands that there is a 90% chance that you left the country? Saying that something is "only" 3 hours away makes it long distance for the dutch.

      • by houghi (78078)

        Yeah, your beer got taste compared to US beer. Compared to real beer Heineken is still piss.

        Oh, I live in Belgium where the REAL beer comes from.

        • by mwvdlee (775178)

          Real beer is brewed all over the world, even in the US, in small breweries run by talented enthausiasts.
          But as far as "mass consumption" beer goes, The Dutch and German beers are by far the best. (though you are free to send me a few bottles and try and prove me wrong ;)).

        • Hei**ken (sorry, I'm not allowed to curse) is not "real beer", it misses the crucial ingredient "taste" and they replaced it with "headache".
          I do agree Belgium has way better beers (no contest) but please compare with a decent Dutch beer like Hertog Jan. Not as good as a decent Belgian beer, but it gets closer. For a good beer the special types are way more interesting anyway, and Hei***en doesn't have many.
      • Unfortunately, the new Dutch govt vowed to make selling pot illegal, even to Dutch citizens.

        • by Anspen (673098)
          No, they want to make it illegal to sell it to foreigners (to do that they want to make it a requirement to be a private club, where only members can buy pot. Presumably non residents wouldn't be allow to become a member).
      • by Yaa 101 (664725)

        You are wrong, Dutch women are not that easy but mostly arrogant and stuck up into their status thing.

  • I like it.

    (sits back to see how many recognize this 'toon)

  • US congress, I pray that you pay attention to this. Your constitutions actually WANT this type of legislation!
    • While I totally agree with you, I want to point out that the Dutch are terrible offenders when it comes to phone/connection tapping.
    • That is why the US has invasion plans for Holland ready and had them ready for a long time.

      Nothing to scare the US like a country that isn't following US doctrine all the way. Note there are no invasion plans for say North-Korea or other places that are blot on humanity but they do have invasion plans to "liberate" Americans from the International Court in The Hague by invading a friendly country.

      Dear US voter, if you want your country to stop sucking, stop voting for the kind of people that let this pass.

      • by Duradin (1261418)

        Canada had plans to invade and capture North Dakota up until a decade or so ago.

        You might want to look up WWII as to why America has had plans for how to invade Europe.

        • by CCarrot (1562079)

          Canada had plans to invade and capture North Dakota up until a decade or so ago.

          Take Minot? Why not!

  • Sounds like somebody forgot to pad their campaign checks to make up for the politicians' increased bills. Those are not the people you want to piss off with your anti-competitive money grabs.
  • chile was the first (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/07/13/2056218/Chile-First-To-Approve-Net-Neutrality-Law

  • Unfortunately, they also introduced a plan [cnn.com] to make pot bars illegal for tourists.

  • What a novel idea! I am sure others have thought of this already. It has frequently been pointed out that there is already law in place which prohibits telecoms from violating neutrality principles. Why not amend that law to include ISPs? Fundamentally, I already believe those laws apply to net neutrality as I don't see enough difference between the networks to justify different laws and precedent.

  • It highlights exactly what is wrong with the United States. The US has become corrupt and full of special interests. In the US, profits trump freedom and it is a sorry shame. Good for the Dutch for doing the right thing instead of the money-making thing.
  • by MonoSynth (323007) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @03:10PM (#36379610) Homepage

    This idea comes frome one of the most corporate-friendly governments the country has had in a long time. The three ruling parties are all right-wing:
    1. VVD: liberal, capitalist, pro privatization of state-run companies;
    2. CDA: christian democrats. They're the initiators of this law;
    3. PVV: anti-muslim, anti-immigration, populist. Not really part of the government, but they promised to agree on most things (except for their anti-Muslim stance).

    The opposing parties are labour, socialist, environmentalist, liberal and two small christian parties.

    I can't imagine why any of those parties would vote against this law (except for one or two small ones), so I would be very, very surprised if this law won't be passed.

    • by MonoSynth (323007)

      Correction:

      The law was initiated by the opposing left-wing parties (as I expected). The (CDA)minister is very supportive, but the two biggest parties both say that they will await EU research on the matter. So it's not done yet.

      The telco's are not happy.

      • The law was initiated by the opposing left-wing parties (as I expected).

        And will end up benefitting only the companies. When the internet is regulated, you'll find wonderful controls can be implemented on it, say for the movie industries.

        I give you five years at the outside. Probably more like three.

        I'll keep my freedom thanks, and chuckle as I watch your decline.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      That being said, all but the most extremist right wing parties in the Netherlands would still be considered far left wing when positioned in the US political spectrum. (though this may partially be because the left-right distinction doesn't easily translate between different countries)

    • You have been smoking too much my friend (Dutch here, politically involved, I hope I know what I am talking about): The law *addendum* to save Net Neutrality was instigated by D66, a liberal progressive party, supported by GroenLinks (left-wing libertarian progressive green), PvdA (left-wing social democratic), PVV (far right wing). CDA and VVD actually oppose this addendum to the law: they did propose a change to the law but it was soft and not very helpful in saving Net Neutrality. But, as CDA+VVD consti
      • by mvdwege (243851)

        I think he's just a bit confused. It is common for proposals to come from the governing parties, and it is exceedingly uncommon for proposals that actually have a majority to come from the opposition.

        So to a naÃve viewer, it might seem that the current coalition proposed this amendment.

        Mart

  • by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @03:53PM (#36380110)

    Legalized prostitution -and- net neutrality? Immigrating to another country has never been quite so attractive.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      And as a result they have serious problems with human trafficking in sex slaves. The idea behind it wasn't to legalize prostitution so much as improve the lives of prostitutes. They recognized that it was unlikely that they would managed to stop it so they tried to ameliorate the situation. Unfortunately, that's just caused problems with human trafficking.

      I realize that this is libertarian /., but let's not kid ourselves about the real consequences of legalized prostitution in that sense. It's not a bunch o

      • Whooooosh!

      • One of the reasons for the legalization was to prevent the human trafficking. Now all the work environment law's apply. The cops are quite busy trying to remove the illegal establishments and the prostitutes in the legal ones are protected by law (from physical abuse, long hours, getting beat up when quitting and stuff like that).
        dunno if it actually works (didn't check on that), but the idea was good.
  • Actually, if it goes through it might be a good test bed. We'll get to see the implications of such a law, positive or negative. Although, the implementation may vary in the States and there may be different social and economic forces in play. Still, could be informative.

  • The apparent cause of the amendment is interesting. Net neutrality has of course been an issue for some time. The reason the Dutch Parliament (and the relevant minister) are making a move now seems to be the result of the discovery [telecomtv.com] a few weeks back that (at least) one of the mobile network carriers used deep packet inspection to block the use of Skype and Whatsapp. The company argued that they had to since people where making significantly less calls and send far fewer text messages.

    So while the Dutch par

    • Which is a far worse argument than the one that has been used by many US opponents of net neutrality, e.i. "Google/youtube/etc. are using soooo much bandwidth we have to make them pay for itâ. Which is a bullshit argument, but easier to hide behind.

      Part of the difference might be that european countries are far less forgiving when companies don't behave ( just look at the reaction when Microsoft failed to comply with EU competition law ), and the last thing a company wants is to piss off the people who

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