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

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.

As Victoria A. Espinel,  the White House co-ordinator on copyright enforcement prepares to  speak in the European Parliament next week, we learn of new powers being sought by the US government to impose IPR rules on other countries, including the EU. The Stop Online Piracy Act (also sometimes referred to as E-parasite) in the US congress seeks to impose the most draconian measures against Internet users and websites. But from an EU perspective, it contains a  poison pill.   American academics and NGOs who have studied are warning that it contains dangerous provisions which would empower US Embassies to force other countries to adopt  the same anti-Internet measures.

Read more: How America could impose Internet censorship on the EU

Is it the role of the telecoms regulator to assist with extra-judicial punishments on behalf of private companies?

The decision of the UK government’s premium rate services referee to assist in the blocking of payment services on behalf of the IFPI raises serious questions as to the role of the telecommunications regulators in copyright enforcement. It also exposes actions by the British music industry to use payment services as a new – and possibly illegal – way to enforce copyright on the Internet.

Read more: The UK regulator, the police and the IFPI – is it out of line?

The G8 Deauville Declaration is positioned as ‘ A new step for liberty and democracy'. But whose liberty?


Last week's  inter-governmental summit of the heads of the so-called G8 group of nations took place in the fresh air of the French seaside resort of Deauville. But the sea air does not appear to have had a beneficial effect on  final communiqué, which  incorporates a call for stronger enforcement of intellectual property online.

The call is positioned as an economic priority for governments worldwide, and it is a coded demand for 3-strikes and website blocking.

The  so-called Deauville Declaration, in the context of 'a new step for liberty and democracy' wants to see  national frameworks to improve ‘respect' for

Read more: G8 Deauville Declaration - Sarkozy's web of threats



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."

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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