Big tech accountability? Read how we got here in  The Closing of the Net 

Internet Threats

In 2022,  the open and neutral Internet is under threat more than ever as policy-makers seek to rein in the bit tech global platforms, some of which did not exist when I set up this website 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. It all started with copyright, but now many other lobbying interests are leading the charge. Many are non-governmental organisations representing vulnerable people or children, others are big industrial corporations whose motives are less likely to represent a public interest. A worrying development is how law  enforcement have themselves become a stakeholder in this debate, seeking to get the private corporations to carry out enforcement on their behalf. 

The issues also have moved on. Over the time that I've been writing on this field, we've seen  calls for Internet blocking arising in respect to libel and defamation, and  now there is very long list. One of the more worrying developments, especially in the UK since Brexit, is the matter of abuse of individuals. Those who oppose government policy tend to experience high volumes of very unpleasant abuse, and in some cases violent threats. This is not acceptable.  It does raise a very difficult question, from a policy and human rights perspective. How to balance the need to protect free speech against malicious or arbitrary restrictions against the need to tackle the those who engage in this unpleasant and anti-social activity. 

This section address  a range of threats to the Internet from 2008 to the present day. 

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.


Just as we in Europe are involved in a policy battle over the Internet and copyright, there is a similar battle taking place on the other side of the world around the Pacific Rim.  It is happening in the context of a trade agreement driven by the United States, and innocently entitled  the Trans-Pacific Partnership – or TPP. Buried deep within the TPP are proposals  that fulfil the wishlist of the American entertainment industries for ISPs to police copyrighted content.

Read more: Why Europe should worry about the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The US government is not happy about ACTA, and is already taking steps to introduce what it really wants by another back door. In a document leaked today by the European Digital Rights group (EDRi),  a new plan for intellectual property enforcement is revealed.  Where ACTA was vague, the new plan is explicit.

Read more: America ups the ante on ACTA – via the G8

The British  media has been excitedly reporting today that the government intends to bring in  a ‘snoopers charter’  with  ‘social network surveillance’. According to these media reports, based on leaked information from an unnamed source, the government will  allow the secret services and police access to  monitor our phone, email and web communications. It’s being positioned as some kind of master cyber-spy plan.

 There is no public detail of the plan itself.  However, it has been known for some time that the  government is working on something called the Communications Capabilities Development programme (CCDP).  Given what is known about this progamme, I think that the British government  is proposing  an extension of the data retention rules which the British Presidency  pushed through the EU in 2006. The question therefore arises – what will the European Union do about it?

Read more: UK’s email spy plan – what do you say, Mrs Reding?

panel.at.cdt.content.responsibilities.september2016.crop2.jpg

 

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.

Iptegrity in brief

 

Iptegrity.com 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

Iptegrity.com 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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