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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'

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 iptegrity.com 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

The UK is to cut users off the Internet for file-sharing, in a new move directed by the Minister, Lord Peter Mandelson. The move appears to follow a dinner with Hollywood media mogul, David Geffen, who has a personal fortune worth $600 million.

 

According to an article in The SundayTimes today, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills,  Lord Peter Mandelson, has personally intervened in the policy-making process on peer-to-peer

Read more: UK anti-filesharing plans get the Mandelson touch

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About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor, with expertise in online safety, technology and human rights. I am a published author, and post-doctoral scholar. I hold a PhD from the University of Westminster, and a DipM from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I cover the UK and EU. I'm a former tech journalist, and an experienced panelist and Chair. My media credits include the BBC, iNews, Times, Guardian and Politico.

Iptegrity.com is made available free of charge for non-commercial use. Please link back and attribute Dr Monica Horten.  Contact me to use any of my content for commercial purposes.  

The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review