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

Internet Threats

There are many emerging threats to the open and neutral Internet. Since I began researching EU policy in 2007, we have seen several different groups of stakeholders lobbying for blocks to be placed on websites,  user access to be suspended or content filtering.  One of those groups of stakeholders is law enforcement. Another is concerned with protection of minors, and confuses the method of dealing with child pornography, which is a  criminal offence, with parental control of what children see. These are  quite different problems, and  the policy approach should be addressed in different fora. Other calls for Internet blocking are now arising in respect to libel and defamation, and we have seen this in the UK with the Twitter injunctions.  This section will address these issues in relation to policy and the EU.

If you like the articles in this section and you are interested in Internet policy-making in the EU, especially with regard to copyright policy, you may like my books A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms and The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’

If you are following  discussions around telecoms and technology policy and content blocking ,  you may like my book The Closing of the Net which covers the British copyright blocking orders, as well as the Megaupload case.


On the same day as the Queen’s Speech on 27 May, a  private members’ Bill was introduced to Parliament  that provides for wide-scale content filtering by network providers and device manufacturers.  Whilst the headline objective is to remove ‘adult’ content from the Internet, the Bill opens the door to  a much broader interpretation and in that regard, poses serious risks to freedom of expression.  If adopted, the proposed regime would  be implemented and overseen by private companies, outsourcing the government’s duties to corporate actors. It may never get on the Statute, but it does signal attempts by lobbying communities to pressure the government.

Read more: Online Safety Bill 2015– a back-door to Internet filtering?

This year is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the Great Charter that established the right to a fair trial and  put an end to arbitrary justice in private hands. What, you may ask, does this have to do with technology policy for the 21st century? It’s a strange twist of fate that this year, in Britain, we face calls for private companies to take on the role of  (secret) police-man, judge and censor all wrapped up in one.

Read more: Why Magna Carta matters to technology policy

 If the government were to mandate a privately-funded body to handle adult content blocking it would be ‘a species of censoring... without any obligation of prior judicial approval’  

A report on the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)  - a UK-based Hotline to report the most serious cases of child abuse on the Internet –  by the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken (now Lord) MacDonald, has a lot to say about the difficulties of a take-down regime for adult content, suggesting that the IWF drop such content from its remit. In the broader discussions around Internet content blocking, his rationale is  interesting. He concludes  that there would be  serious risks to free speech  rights "if" a privately-funded bodywere to be  given Internet take-down powers over 'sensitive' content. As Iptegrity readers will know, guarantees of fundamental rights under  EU law mean that a court ruling is required before governments can

Read more: Adult content takedowns need judicial ruling, says former public prosecutor

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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." ITSecurity.co.uk

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.

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Iptegrity.com 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

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The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review