For the backstory to the upload filter check my book The Closing of the Net - PAPERBACK OR KINDLE - £15.99!

Digital Britain

Britain has traditionally been  influential in European policy for telecoms and online content. It is not as loud as France, but in a quieter way, lets its views be known. British  policy was the point from which the EU has taken  its lead, notably in trying to establish a competitive telecoms market, where  the British influence on telecoms policy has been markedly  evident. Britain's competitive telecoms policy was established in the 1980s and 1990s, and has subsequently been implemented by successive governments. Britain now arguably has the most competitive telecoms market globally. It risks losing this influence if we leave the EU.

The current Conservative government has set a policy goal for universal broadband access. However, the structures that govern the industry are problemative for achieving this goal. This makes for some interesting policy analysis.

The government also supports a policy of content filtering, which is problematic.  Content filtering  is contradictory to the government's  aim of leading the world in digital and creating a new industrial strategy.

This section primarily  discusses a previous  policy attempt to amend telecoms law for copyright enforcement in Britain. This was  the Digital Economy Act which was forced through in the dying hours of the last Parliament in May 2010.   These measures  involved the use of network technology against the users, with  implications for the neutrality of the network, and the neutral ‘mere conduit’ status of the network provider. In 2016,  this law has not been 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’

5th post in a series on the government's response to  Hargreaves

Did the DE Act intend private companies running (Indian?)  call centres to be the Appeals Body?

Under proposals  published in August, Ofcom plans to privatise the  Appeals  process for the Digital Economy Act copyright enforcement measures.   Ofcom plans to run a commercial tender for a private company  to run the new Appeals body, which will sit in judgement on allegations of downloading copyrighted material and ultimately on whether people are cut off. Effectively, the Appeals Body, which will perform a quasi-judicial function, will be outsourced,

Read more: Ofcom invites private bids to run Appeals Process

British Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt, having been wined and dined by the copyright industries,  has said tonight that he wants to bring in a regime of blocking for websites, search engines, ISPs and hosts. The primary reason is to protect the interests of the copyright industries.  However, he includes a proposal which is tantamount to censorship for ‘protecting children’. His proposals suggest blocking  on a  scale that has not yet been introduced anywhere except China.

Read more: Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt’s Chinese-style web blocking plans

4th post in a series on the government's response to  Hargreaves

This article was written before the leaks of Jeremy Hunt’s speech tonight at the Royal Television Society convention. If those leaks are correct, then understanding Ofcom’s proposals becomes  all the more pertinent.

Having advised that Section 17 and 18 of the Digital Economy Act are not appropriate, Ofcom is now working on how fast it can put web blocks  in place. But its its proposals are unlikely to be consistent with EU law and are almost certainly not consistent with a country which prides itself on a free media. Ofcom says the process in the DE Act

Read more: Madame La Guillotine 2.0 – designed by Ofcom


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


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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

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

Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is  a trainer & consultant on Internet governance policy, 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 beyond.  She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012. Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy (and now 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 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