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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'

The most draconian law on copyright since the time of Henry VIII. Mandates infrastructure for wide-scale censorship. Removes Parliamentary scrutiny.  

In other words, it is more than  3-strikes.

 

The Digital Economy Bill, which gets its second reading in the House of Lords today,  is the most draconian law to regulate access to information and cultural works  since the introduction of the printing press in the 15th century. It threatens to re-introduce a regime of censorship not seen since the time when England was ruled by Kings and Queens. The only difference is that then it was religious censorship, now it is commercial.

 

ISP sources say it gives the UK government

Read more: Digital Economy Bill: Internet risk in 'Henry VIII clause'

Her Majesty the Queen is to announce 3-strikes measures against filesharers on Thursday. It raises some awkward questions. Just how should one fill one's iPod? And what happens if one of the Corgis downloads a song,  will the Royal Broadband be throttled? Which ISP will dare cut off ‘by Royal Appointment'?

 

The Queen is set to announce the British  government's proposals for  technical 3-strikes mea\sures, which will include suspension of Internet access,  when she opens the Westminster Parliament on Thursday this week.

 

It is widely anticipated that her speech (written by the British government and which outlines the legislative agenda for the year)  will contain  the

Read more: The Queen to announce Internet cut-off law

As the UK continues to oppose users rights in the Telecoms Package, opposition is gathering at home and  rifts  in the government line are appearing.  

Culture Minister says no disconnection without a court order. But he  is dismissed by Department for Business, Innovation and Skills under pressure from the copyright lobby. Parliamentary Committee calls for all work in the policy area to halt pending the outomce of Amendment 138 And top ISP Carphone Warehouse has launched a public campaign against the government's proposals.

 

The UK government is divided on its so-called P2P policy, which seeks to use hi-tech means to get the broadband providers to enforce copyright on the Internet. Ben Bradshaw, the Culture Secretary, speaking to a Parliamentary

Read more: UK discord on P2P anti-filesharing policy

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About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor: online safety, technology and human rights. In April 2024, I was appointed as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on online safety and empowerment of content creators and users. 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