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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.

OneWeb satellite in orbit

Last week, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee called in satellite industry experts to probe the government's £400m purchase of a share in the OneWeb low earth orbit (LEO) system and its potential in comparison to what we have lost in the European Galileo system. Some commentators describe it as a 'gamble' and space industry experts politely say it is 'risky'. Is this a good use of public money?

The BEIS Committee Chair, Darren Jones, Labour MP for Bristol North West, established fairly quickly that One Web

Read more: Betting on a costly space race: MPs probe OneWeb satellite deal

New rules incompatible with the AI-driven supply chain systems that support our modern life will cause an industrial splutter. Lorry parks at the border are merely a symptom of systemic dysfunction. Expect price rises and goods shortages. Strawberries and salads may fall off the menu. Prompt action could alleviate the situation, but ignoring it will result in long term damage.

When the UK finally quits the Single Market on 1 January, rule changes will come into effect for businesses. With or without a 'deal', new trade barriers will be erected. Customs declarations will be needed for goods going in or out of the country, traders will have to demonstrate compliance with standards and 'rules of origin', and depending on the outcome of the negotiations with the EU, a tariff payment will be required. The latest UK -EU discussions about 'cabotage' - rules for pick up and drop off in the EU27- underscore how deep the changes will run. In all likelihood, it will lead to uncertainties of supply, price hikes and

Read more: Disrupting supply chains: how leaving the Single Market means systemic breakdown

As policy-makers on both sides of the Atlantic seek to curb the power of the 'big tech' leviathans, is anti-trust the best tool to address speech online?

When the four titans of tech testified at a recent hearing in the US Congress, it was meant to be about anti-trust and market abuses. The technology companies were indeed put on the defensive about their monopolistic practices, but some of the most difficult exchanges were about content and censorship. It raises the issue about their power over speech, which presents a far more complex question for lawmakers than

Read more: Big tech and anti-trust: an ill-fitting suit?

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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.