Tech Giants Sign Letter Against EU Laws To Hand Huge New Powers To ISPs

New European legislation which threatens net neutrality is set to go before the EU Parliament Tuesday. The EU is planning new rules it claims will ‘protect’ Net neutrality, but a leading legal expert says it will in fact do the exact opposite.

Stanford Law Professor Barbara van Schewick, also Director of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, has collated signatures from almost 50 tech giants, startups and investors for an open letter which will be sent to EU legislators today.

Signatories include major investors Union Square Ventures, Felix Capital, Etsy, EyeEm, Foursquare, Kickstarter, Meetup, Netflix, Sunstone Capital, Earlybird Ventures, SoundCloud, Vimeo and Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and Larry Lessig.

The proposal before the Parliament contains four major problems that undermine network neutrality and threaten to undermine the EU technology industry by giving ISPs enormous new powers: Fast Lanes for content chosen by ISPs; Zero-rating content determined solely by ISPs; Class-Based Discrimination determined solely by ISPs; and Impending Congestion Management, once again, determined solely by ISPs.

Additionally a group of campaigners called is targeting both the EU President Jean-Claude Juncker and Günther H. Oettinger, the EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, (@EP_President and @GOettingerEU), asking startups and investors to contact an EU representative directly warning them about the dangers of the legislation.

Some members of the EU Parliament have proposed key amendments that could address the problems outlined above. But that’s only if the amendments are included.

The full list of signatories is below:

Allied for Startups
Automattic, Inc. (
Brad Burnham, Union Square Ventures
Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec)
Frederic Court, Felix Capital
Engine Advocacy
Etsy, Inc.
Brad Feld, Foundry Group
Founders Forum
Nick Grossman, Union Square Ventures
Hussein Kanji, Hoxton Ventures
Innotech Network
Kickstarter, PBC
Seth Levine, Foundry Group
Meetup, Inc.
Jason Mendelson, Foundry Group
Ryan McIntyre, Foundry Group
Dr. Maximilian Niederhofer, Sunstone Capital A/S
Ciarán O’Leary, Earlybird Venture
David Pakman, Venrock
Federico Pirzio­Biroli, Playfair Capital
Roma Startup
Silicon Allee
Marta Sjögren, Northzone
SoundCloud Limited
Sitar Teli, Connect Ventures
Tumblr, Inc.
Ubertweek GmbH
Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures
Jeppe Zink, Northzone