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Digital Britain

Britain has traditionally been  influential in European policy for telecoms and online content. It was a  British Commissioner, Lord Cockfield,  who established the Single Market.  Britain led the way in the establishment of a competitive European  telecoms market.  In leaving the EU, Britain has sadly lost the ability to influence EU communications policy in the future. 

This section looks at aspects of UK government policy in relation to digital systems and communications.

A number of the articles discuss a previous  policy attempt to ask broadband providers to enforce  copyright. This was  the Digital Economy Act 2010, which was forced through in the dying hours of the Parliament before the General Election of  May 2010.   The measures  involved the use of network technology to sanction  users, with  implications for the neutrality of the network, and the neutral ‘mere conduit’ status of the network provider. However, the law was never implemented, and  from what can be ascertained it is deemed to be unworkable.

If you like the articles in this section, you may like my book The Closing of the Net.

If you are interested in the Digital Economy Act and copyright enforcement policy, you may like my previous books A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms and The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’

The UK is ‘clearly a target for Russia’s disinformation campaigns’. Protecting our democratic  discourse from a hostile state is the role of the intelligence agencies. Integral to that process are the social media platforms, who are private actors.  What role should platforms have in a national security context? The Russia report, released on 21 July, exposes some of the issues.

The Russia report* confirms that the UK is a target for online political interference  by the Russian State (para 31), but it exposes a gaping hole in the ability of the UK authorities to tackle the problem.  It paints a worrying picture of the intelligence agencies abrogating their responsibility to  protect the discourse and processes of the UK against the activities of foreign powers. Despite the known interference on social media, including with the 2016 referendum, there seems to be 

Read more: Russia Report: how to balance social media and national security?

Iptegrity deeply regrets the British decision to leave the European Union. I feel that - far from being Indpendence Day or a liberating moment- this decision is a bad sign for democracy in Britain.

The referendum campaign was dominated by propagandist,  manipulative  and bullying commentary from powerful media owners, who sought to silence their critics, and they succeeded in  muffling  the voices of those who believed Britain would have been better to stay in Europe.  We do not know how

Read more: Brexit: a sad day for free speech in Britain

Is fibre to the premises based on a false premise?


 The UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, is proposing a strategic shift to fibre optic networks to carry our broadband services. A key plank of the strategy is that British Telecom (BT ) should open up its ducts to competitive broadband providers in order to get fibre to the home. This post argues that there is a serious flaw in this reasoning.

Read more: Out for a duct: what chance for fibre to the home?

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States v the 'Net? 

Read The Closing of the Net, by me, Monica Horten.

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" essential read for anyone interested in understanding the forces at play behind the web." ITSecurity.co.uk

Find out more about the book here  The Closing of the Net

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

In 2012, I presented my PhD research in the European Parliament.

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Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is a policy analyst specialising in Internet governance & European policy, including platform accountability. She is a published author & Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet Freedom. She has worked on CoE, EU and UNDP funded projects in eastern Europe and the Caucasus. In a voluntary capacity, she has led UK citizen delegations to the European Parliament. She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012.

Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy (and related issues on Brexit). Iptegrity has a core readership in the Brussels policy community, and has been cited in the media. Please acknowledge Iptegrity when you cite or link.  For more, see IP politics with integrity

Iptegrity.com is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

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The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review