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’

Lord Mandelson says that he hears the concerns of Internet users. But he has not altered in  his determination to pursue the protectionist  demands of the music and entertainment industries.


Lord Mandelson has provided  his own reply to the criticism of his plans to take over direct control of  Internet copyright enforcement measures. Writing as a guest contributor The Times, in an article that looks like it was dashed off in a taxi between engagements,  Lord Mandelson makes it clear that he has already taken a decision in respect of

Read more: What Lord Mandelson doesn't get about the 'Net

Proposals to permit the UK Secretary of State, Peter Mandelson, to approve automated sanctions for file-sharers are now officially on the table.  UK government gives in to Hollywood and music industry pressure to use  deep packet inspection against Internet users.


A document quietly released today confirms my previous  report on that plans are afoot for the UK Secretary of State to be given the power to mandate "technical measures" against file-sharers. The document says that

Read more: Mandelson to sit in judgement on UK file-sharers

 A UK MP has spoken up in the online copyright enforcement debate, urging that  the policy-makers look into the possibilities for new business models before imposing draconian measures such as automated suspension of Internet access and throttling of peer-to-peer users. To which I have added a few  suggestions for the beleagured chaps at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.


Tom Watson, the Labour Member of Parliament for West Bromwich East, and Civil Service Minister, has entered the 3-strikes debate. He  suggests that instead of consulting on how to punish Internet users, the government's resources would be better spent on helping

Read more: UK 3-strikes - MP urges consultancy not censorship

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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