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Policy matters

Policy does matter. We may think that the Internet is a free digital environment, where no laws apply but there are many cases which contradict this notion.

In this section of Iptegrity.com, I  report on EU policy related to the Internet and online content, in particular, where policy intiatives affect   access to film, music and television, and I highlight issues for the  policy debate in relation to the Internet.  For 2008-2009, copyright enforcement has been the hot topic, with net neutrality emerging as well, in 2009.   My focus is on the European Union and  its member states - for example,  I am currently covering Internet  policy - specifically copyright enforcement intiatives - in France and the UK.

I am most interested in the citizen's perspective. However, the issues I cover will affect the Internet and telecoms industries, as well as the media and entertainment industries.  

Iptegrity.com offers  original reporting from the EU, as well as comment and opinion on issues raised in other media, including non-English language media in Europe. Iptegrity.com is the main English-language news source for the Telecoms Package review of EU telecoms law.

Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State, 4 November 2021, screenshot from Parliamentlive.tv

Tl;DR The Online Safety Bill is a major piece of legislation intended to tackle the very difficult and troubling issues around social media. However, in its desire to remove the bad stuff, the Bill is setting up a legal and technical framework that mandates and enforces the automated suppression of online content and social media posts. The lack of a precise aim has enabled it to be moulded in a way that raises a number of concerns. Government Ministers will have unprecedented powers to define the content to be removed. They will be able to evade Parliamentary scrutiny through the use of Secondary Legislation. Social media platforms will have a wide discretion to interpret the rules and to determine whether content stays up or goes down. These factors, combined with the overall lack of precision in the drafting and the weak safeguards for users, means that the Bill is unlikely to meet human rights standards for protecting freedom of expression online.

UPDATED to reflect the Bill as Introduced to the House of Commons on 17 March 2022.

Read more: What's the point of the Online Safety Bill?

Will border safety be at risk if the UK loses access to a vital EU database of wanted persons and police alerts?

Parliamentary Committees heard last week that instantaneous border security checks via the vital Schengen Information System (SIS II) database are likely to cease from 1 January. Evidence given to Parliamentary committees reveals a lack of preparedness and no alternative system on the same scale. Is losing access inevitable or is it a political decision?

Read more: UK border safety alert - mind the capability gap

Theresa May's exclamation of 'what?' as Michael Gove effectively dismissed the idea of an EU security co-operation agreement, was a moment of truth.

The former Prime Minister has expressed her concern that the government is ignoring security issues in its hardened drive to leave the EU without any agreement - and indeed, without honouring the Political Declaration that she and her team negotiated. Official communications from the government, fail to mention security, including a letter from

Read more: What? Will UK government ignore security as it walks away from EU?

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May 2024: Iptegrity is being re-developed to upgrade the Joomla software.

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About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor: online safety, technology and human rights. In April 2024, I was appointed as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on online safety and empowerment of content creators and users. 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.