Platform responsibility? Get the backstory - check my book The Closing of the Net - only £15.99!

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.

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?

What does the Schrems case mean for UK post-Brexit data flows? At the heart of the Schrems case is a conflict of laws - a conflict between EU  privacy  law and US surveillance law.  After 31 December, the question about surveillance law turns around to point at the UK.  Whichever way one looks at it, deal or no deal with the EU, UK surveillance law will be the determining factor. 

Overnight on 31 December 2020, the rules governing data flows from the UK to other countries will change. As the UK pulls out of the pan-European GDPR regime, it simultaneously rips

Read more: Schrems ruling puts a spoke in UK data flows from 2021

The UK is ‘clearly a target for Russia’s disinformation campaigns’. Protecting our democratic  discourse from a hostile state is the role of the intelligence agencies. Integral to that process are the social media platforms, who are private actors.  What role should platforms have in a national security context? The Russia report, released on 21 July, exposes some of the issues.

The Russia report* confirms that the UK is a target for online political interference  by the Russian State (para 31), but it exposes a gaping hole in the ability of the UK authorities to tackle the problem.  It paints a worrying picture of the intelligence agencies abrogating their responsibility to  protect the discourse and processes of the UK against the activities of foreign powers. Despite the known interference on social media, including with the 2016 referendum, there seems to be 

Read more: Russia Report: how to balance social media and national security?

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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.

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Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am a policy analyst specialising in Internet governance policy and European policy, such as platform accountability. I am a published author & Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. I served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet Freedom. I have worked on CoE, EU and UNDP funded projects in eastern Europe and the Caucasus. In a voluntary capacity, I have led UK citizen delegations to the European Parliament.  I was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012. Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy (and related issues on Brexit). Iptegrity has a core readership in the Brussels policy community, and has been cited in the media. Please acknowledge Iptegrity when you cite or link.  For more, see IP politics with integrity

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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