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’

Ministerial talks with rights-holders and ISPs. Ed Vaizey hints at web blocking in Parliamentary debate. Is the Minister just an industry pawn?

 UK Communications and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has come in for quite a bit of criticism for suggesting a two-tier Internet. A closer examination of his Parliamentary speeches reveals that he is organising secret talks between the entertainment and Internet industries.

 It is not exactly clear what the talks were about, but it seems that the agenda may have slipped from

Read more: DE Act: Minister hosts industry talks on web blocking

Google has used economic pressure to get a review of UK copyright law. This unexpected  deal was  announced by the Prime Minister, David Cameron,  last week.


In an announcement on Thursday, where he outlined  government support for a  new centre of high technology and innovation in East London, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, slipped in a surprise for copyright and intellectual property.  He gave a pledge that the UK government ‘will change laws where necessary so we break down the barriers to innovation.'  Specifically, he said that the UK government will review IP laws to make

Read more: Google pressures UK into copyright review

Rights-holder tactics bending the legal position have been exposed following a major data breach involving  thousands of emails on the website of UK law firm ACS law. The large ISPs in the UK are withdrawing "co-operation" following the breach,  which has revealed false allegations and a pure  profit motive for ‘scaring' alleged infringing file-sharers. 

It is reported that the ACS Law website was the subject of a denial of service attack last weekend, and as a result of this attack, when the website went back online, an error in the technical set up caused thousands of emails to be made visible online.  According to a news agency report from AFP,  the breach  is understood to include a database of more than 5000 users of Sky's broadband services who were alleged to have downloaded pornographic material, as well as a further 8000 Sky users and 400 PlusNet users alleged to have downloaded music or film.  

What is interessting is to see how the rights-holders tactics have

Read more: Rights-holder tactics exposed in ACS Law leak

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.

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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."

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.

The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review


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