Looking for help with the Online Safety Act  - Ofcom consultation & guidelines? Please get in touch. 

Digital Britain

Britain was traditionally influential in European policy for telecoms policy. It was a British Commissioner, Lord Cockfield, who established the Single European Market. Britain led the way in the establishment of a competitive European telecoms market. However, in leaving the EU, Britain has lost the ability to influence European policy in the future, and in 2022, Britain sadly finds itself no longer a major power, but instead has become an embarrassment for British representatives in international fora. The government is sunk deep in corruption, it blatantly lies, its law-breaking has led to mistrust among former allies. There are multiple posts, articles, and tweets to support this claim.

It's in this context that the British government is preparing a law to address regulation of the Internet. It's a law that will have far-reaching implications for the way the Internet will function in Britain, and will impact on web platforms overseas. I am referring of course, to the Online Safety Bill. As I write this, at the beginning of 2022, the Bill is only in draft form. How will it end up? Interestingly, in going through my old posts, I note that wrote in 2015 about a similarly -named Bill. It was the predecessor to this one. It never became law, but many of the provisions in it appear to have been taken forward into the 2022 version.

A number of the articles in this section discuss a previous policy, called the Digital Economy Act 2010. This was a law that mandated broadband providers to work with the music and film industries, in order to enforce copyright on the Internet. It 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 'mere conduit' status of the network provider. The law was deemed unworkable and never implemented. That is a lesson that needs to be taken on board by all policy-makers in this field.

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'

Talks held by the UK Home Office over the summer with Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion were originally said to be about web blocking, but altered to be merely 'constructive discussions'. What was really going on? Did the Home Office really do a U-turn as was reported?

My take on this is a little different, and based on the

Read more: Why the Home Office won't block the web

1st post in a series on the government's response to Hargreaves

U-turn, what U-turn? The government was praised for doing a U-turn on web blocking measures in its response to the Hargreaves Review at the beginning of the summer. But closer analysis of the documents reveals there was no such turning. Indeed, buried in the documents is a veritable witches brew of IPR enforcement measures. Were British citizens deceived?

The British government's response to the Hargreaves review was released at the beginning of the summer. It accepted his proposals to permit format shifting and set up a digital copyright exchange, earning the government much positive media coverage. Thus, it comes as more of a shock when

Read more: Hargreaves response: The sharp under-belly of enforcement

2nd post in a series on the government's response to Hargreaves

Will Hargreaves call for better evidence in IP policy-making result in more questioning of rights-holder data? Or more surveillance?

The Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth was praised for demanding better 'evidence' in IP policy-making. In particular, Hargreaves was very critical of rights-holder substitution rates in making claims for lost revenue. However, the government's official response to Hargreaves, quietly

Read more: Hargreaves response: what is effective evidence?

dr.monica.horten.moldova.ict.summit.april2016.crop.jpg

Find me on LinkedIn

About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor, with expertise in online safety, technology and human rights. I am a published author, and post-doctoral scholar. I hold a PhD from the University of Westminster, and a DipM from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I cover the UK and EU. I'm a former tech journalist, and an experienced panelist and Chair. My media credits include the BBC, iNews, Times, Guardian and Politico.

Iptegrity.com is made available free of charge for non-commercial use. Please link back and attribute Dr Monica Horten.  Contact me to use any of my content for commercial purposes.  

The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review