Platform responsibility? Get the backstory - check my book The Closing of the Net - only £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.

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?



States v the 'Net? 

Read The Closing of the Net, by me, Monica Horten.

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" essential read for anyone interested in understanding the forces at play behind the web."

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.

Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is a policy analyst specialising in Internet governance & European policy, including platform accountability. She is a 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 the Caucasus. In a voluntary capacity, she has led UK citizen delegations to the European Parliament. She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012.

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