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’

As we consider that the cost of the UK government's 3-strikes measures could be as high as £500 million*,  it is a salutory thought the the movie industry  - which the £500 million spend is designed to protect - is enjoying healthy profits which are greater than that in just 3 months. And those profits are far higher than many an ISP will realise, given the need to invest in super-fast broadband.


In the recent run of quarterly financial results, the movie industry seems to be fighting the recession rather better than most. Indeed, it is boasting of good profits  to its shareholders and investors,  and giving them increased dividends.  At the same time it is behind the scenes lobbying the UK and other governments to implement graduated response schemes which will cost tax-payers and consumers money, decrease the amounts that ISPs have for investing in future networks, and risk widespread survellance and censorship.

It is illuminating to see just how well some movie distributors are doing, at a time when some  IT companies are struggling, and even going out of business ( such as Nortel). 

Rupert Mudoch's News Corporation  reported a net profit for the last quarter of

Read more: 3-strikes to a profitable movie industry

The 3-strikes/graduated response measures in the  Digital Economy Bill entail State-sponsored measures to limit Internet access. They will  impact on fundamental rights. The government should fully justify why it wants to interfere with those rights.


A Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has examined the UK's proposed 3-strikes/graduated response measures,  which occupy the lion's share of the inappropriately-named  Digital Economy Bill.  The Committee's  report was released last Friday, and it contains a  serious and exhaustive criticism  of the Bill. 

 Although  many news media are drawing the obvious  conclusion that   the Bill breaches human rights, I think it is actually more complicated than that.


 In fact, the report highlights areas where there is a likely breach

Read more: Does the Digital Economy Bill breach human rights law?

Tom Watson and Don Foster have placed calls in the UK Parliament for information on the ACTA . But are they asking the right questions?


The UK Member of Parliament Tom Watson, who is courageously opposing his own party on the issue of copyright enforcment, has asked in Parliament for information on the ACTA process. ACTA is a proposed  international agreement which will impose new copyright enforcement measures onto Internet users worldwide, and it has serious implications for civil liberties and freedom of speech.  


Questioning one of the  Ministers from the Department of

Read more: UK politicians try to lever open ACTA

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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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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