Big tech accountability? Read how we got here in  The Closing of the Net 

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’

UK government plans to restrict the Internet have become clear. And how it is using the Telecoms Package to launder policy through Brussels. Without Amendment 138, the Telecoms Package would offer no obstacle to Internet  filtering, blocking peer-to-peer file-sharing, or restrictions on any other web-based service or application.


The UK government's peer-to-peer consultation  has slipped on a virtual banana skin and in the process let its Internet restrictions plans jump right out of the bag.


The consultation has printed a version of Amendment 138 in the EU Telecoms Package using a wording hitherto unknown:  it includes the words ‘or for other legitimate reasons' which would give governments the get-out clause they need to apply 3-strikes and

Read more: What are 'legitimate reasons' for the UK to block the Net?

The UK government has put an anti-filesharing law on its legislative programme commencing this autumn. The law is based on the Digital Britain report, which includes proposals to make the regulator, Ofcom, oversee protocol and website blocking. Will it contravene the Telecoms Package and how should it be seen in light of the French Conseil Constitutionel decision?


The  proposed law  will be called the Digital Economy bill. It will create changes in the regulatory framework for network providers, and Internet Service Providers. Of particular significance is the proposed change to Ofcom's mandate. Where Ofcom currently has a duty to protect citizens, based

Read more: UK anti-filesharing law proposed for 2009/2010

The British regulator, Ofcom, could be asked to order broadband providers to block websites, protocols and ports,  as well as throttle users. It is  part of a plan to make Ofcom oversee anti-filesharing measures, under the Brown government's Digital Britain proposals, released today. But will they go against EU law? 

The British government's Digital Britain proposals released this afternoon, set out a plan for broadband providers to be asked to block Internet users using 'technical measures, if anti-filesharing warnings do not prove effective. The regulator, Ofcom, is to be given a "duty' to take steps aimed at reducing copyright infringement." The first steps will be make broadband providers

Read more: Ofcom to mandate Internet blocking

Iptegrity in brief is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I’ve been analysing analysing digital policy since 2008. Way back then, I identified how issues around rights can influence Internet policy, and that has been a thread throughout all of my research. I hold a PhD in EU Communications Policy from the University of Westminster (2010), and a Post-graduate diploma in marketing.   I’ve served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe  Committee on Internet Freedoms, and was involved in a capacity building project in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. I am currently (from June 2022)  Policy Manager - Freedom of Expression, with the Open Rights Group. For more, see About Iptegrity is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

Contact  me to use  iptegrity content for commercial purposes


States v the 'Net? 

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

"original and valuable"  Times higher Education

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

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


FROM £15.99

Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

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

The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review


Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark