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

Articles

  • 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.

    • European Union Tech Policy

      I have been logging EU policy since 2008. The information in these blog posts is deep background on the policy battles of the 2020s. What happens now, rests on what went before.

      It's often easy to forget the history of policy,  as we get embroiled in the latest lobbying scam or arguments between different sets of interests. It all seems new, and so urgent and important. In fact, many of the battles are re-runs of earlier ones. We've seen before how these things get resolved. We also see the mistakes of the previous legislation, as well as the successes.  

      What the  European Union does in tech policy matters on a global scale. It has led the world with its legislation on privacy (GDPR). It is now hoping to repeat that with new laws to regulate Internet platforms. In that regard, the jury is still out. 

      As a guide to my somewhat eclectic headings, the sub-section IPRED discusses  the IPR enforcement directive and other IP or copyright initiatives. The sub-section on Internet Threats looks at any  EU policy initiatives other than copyright which imply Internet blocking. The sub-section on Internet Freedoms has a focus on rights and freedoms and the European Convention on Human Rights.

      If you are interested in EU policy for IP,   you may like my book The Closing of the Net which discusses it in the light of influencing factors by States and industry stakeholders.

      If you are interested in copyright policy, you may like my previous books A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms and The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’

    • Copyright Business

      The other side of the copyright story - the so-called ‘new business models’ - receives far less attention at a policy level than the enforcement measures.  The industry lobbying is overweight with recommendations for way s that governments can impose restrictions in order to protect copyright material. Conversely, the debate is less about how changing a business model can overcome the issues around the online dissemination of infringing content.  

      This issue has, of course, moved on a lot since I began this blog in 2008. Streaming has become the music industry's favoured business model, and  streaming services like Spotify have blossomed. This has shifted the landscape. However, it is historically true that each time a new technology appears, the industries that have vested interests in copyright, increase the intensity of their lobbying. It is important for those engaged in copyright policy, to keep an eye on new developments and understand their implications and the opportunities for new ways to structure the entertainment and music businesses. 

       In this section, I have been logging information about the business of copyright.  The idea is to begin to get a feel for the financial issues of the copyright industries and how to link them to policy decisions. Thus, it may seem a bit disjointed and sketchy, but it may provide threads for further investigation and to see where it leads. My feeling is that what policy-makers should not be asking is ‘how big a problem is the downloading of copyrighted content?’ but rather, ‘what are the real problems in the copyright business?’. and not 'how can we protect copyrights?' but rather 'how can we achieve revenues for the copyright industries in the online environment?'

    • Net Neutrality

      Anyone involved in the industry today will know of the powerful technical capabilities now in the hands of those telecoms companies. Deep packet inspection and traffic management systems make blocking, prioritisation, discrimination of different types of traffic not only possible, but happening. The neutrality on which the Internet is based - and which is indeed essential for the proper functioning of a communications network - is under threat, and our policy-makers are spineless in the face of large commercial interests.

      When one writes about this subject of net neutrality, it is impossible to ignore these factors. Indeed, I believe that policy writing which fails to tackle them, would lack credibiility. This section will therefore discuss the threats to the Internet posed by these counter-neutral technologies, and their policy implications. And it will take a critical look at the politicking of the people in power in the EU.

      Until 2009, the European Union did not have a policy on net neutrality. The reason why net neutrality  is now on the EU policy agenda, is a direct result of events that occurred during  the 2009 Telecoms Package process. Pressure  from citizens groups forced the issue in the European Parliament. The rapporteur, Catherine Trautmann played a tight hand  with the other EU institutions, which resulted in an instruction to the Commission. 

      The outcome was a public seminar on net neutrality and  consultation process, which invited responses from citizen stakeholders as well as industry. So far, so good. However, the process was   criticised as a cosmetic exercise, and the Commission's response as a weak sop to the dominant telecoms  industry lobbyists.

      Since then the policy has moved on, and in 2014  the European Parliament adopted a series of provisions that sought to enshrine net neutrality into EU law. AS a consequence of those provisions,  a new political battle within the EU has begun. It won't end without bitter recriminations and some digital blood letting. This political battle that looks set to be the determining one fo rthis issue, and there are  many economic factors at stake.

      If you are interested in net neutrality and how it has been addressed by EU and US policy, you may like my book The Closing of the Net  .

      If you are interested in copyright policy, you may like my previous books A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms and The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’

    • ACTA

      The Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement or ACTA  was negotiated between 2008-2010. It was put to the European Parliament in 2012, and was rejected. But what was it? And why was it so controversial? 

      It was an attempt to create a trade agreement around a specific issue area of intellectual property rights. It was led by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the EU and Japan.  One of the key aims of its proponents was to establish in international trade law, a set of measures to address copyright enforcement online. To that extent it  incorporated  a chapter on enforcement of intellectual property rights  on the Internet, including copyright and trade marks.  This chapter is what grabbed the attention of lawyers, academics and activists around the world. There were two main areas of conflict. One of them was copyright enforcement, which at that time entailed the so-called "3-strikes" measures ( see my section on France) and which is covered extensively here in my posts on ACTA. The other issue was access to medicine ( which I do not cover). 

      If you like the articles in this section and you are interested in ACTA and copyright enforcement policy, you may like my book A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms  which discusses ACTA in detail. You may also like   The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’


       And you may like my book The Closing of the Net which discusses the issue of secondary liability in the context of the UK copyright blocking judgments and the Megaupload case in New Zealand.

      • IP in Trade

        ACTA showed us how intellectual property  and copyright policy may become embroiled in trade policy. Since the demise of ACTA in the European Union, following the European Parliament's rejection of it, there have been attempts to slide it in to other trade agreements. Notably, the US in its update of the NAFTA agreement known as USMCA, has an updated chapter on IPR enforcement. It was under discussion for the proposed US-UK agreement, but this has been put on hold under the Biden Administration. I have likewise put any posts on this deal on hold.

        If you like the articles in this section and you are interested in ACTA and copyright enforcement 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’

    • Telecoms Package 3rd Reading

      The Telecoms Package went to  a Third Reading in the European Parliament in the autumn of 2009. 

      The core issue related to the controversial Amendment 138, which was carried by the European Parliament, in the Second Reading vote on 6 May 2009.

      Amendment 138 sought  to protect the rights of Internet users in situations where governments or private operators might introduce measures which restrict their access to applications and services. Other parts of the Package, notably the Universal Services and Users Rights directive, contain provisions that were added as part of the "compromise" process, which will permit broadband operators to restrict users access to services and applications on the Internet. It also contains a provision which permits governments to order such restrictions.

      This section of iptegrity.com  monitored developments in the Third Reading of the Telecoms Package. 

       The text of the Parliament' Second Reading is available in all EU languages at the following URLs:

      Framework, authorisation and access directives (Trautmann report )

      Universal services and users rights directive (Harbour report)

      If you like the articles in this section and you are interested in the Telecoms Package and EU telecoms regulation, plus  copyright enforcement 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’

       And you may like my book The Closing of the Net which discusses the outcome of the 2009 Telecoms Package 3rd Reading in the wider policy context.

    • Digital Britain

      Britain was traditionally  influential in European policy for telecoms policy. It was a  British Commissioner, Lord Cockfield,  who established the Single European Market.  Britain led the way in the establishment of a competitive European  telecoms market.  However, in leaving the EU, Britain has  lost the ability to influence  European policy in the future, and in 2022, Britain sadly finds itself no longer a major power, but instead has become an embarrassment for  British representatives in international fora.  The government is sunk deep in corruption,  it blatantly lies, its law-breaking has led to mistrust among former allies.  There are multiple posts, articles, and tweets to support this claim. 

      It's in this context that the British government is preparing a law to address regulation of the Internet. It's a law that will have far-reaching implications  for the way the Internet will function in Britain, and will impact on web platforms overseas. I am referring of course, to the Online Safety Bill. As I write this, at the beginning of 2022, the Bill is only in draft form. How will it end up? Interestingly, in going through my old posts, I note that wrote in 2015 about a similarly -named Bill. It was the predecessor to this one. It never became law, but many of the provisions in it appear to have been taken forward into the 2022 version. 

      A number of the articles in this section discuss a previous policy, called   the Digital Economy Act 2010.  This was a law that mandated broadband providers to work with the music and film industries, in order to enforce copyright on the Internet. It was forced through in the dying hours of the Parliament before the General Election of  May 2010.  The measures  involved the use of network technology to sanction  users, with  implications for the neutrality of the network, and the  ‘mere conduit’ status of the network provider. The law was deemed unworkable and never implemented. That is a lesson that needs to be taken on board by all policy-makers in this field.

      If you like the articles in this section, you may like my book The Closing of the Net.

      If you are interested in the Digital Economy Act and copyright enforcement policy, you may like my previous books A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms and The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’

      • OnlineSafetyBill

        The Online Safety Bill is a draft Bill to be tabled in the British Parliament on Thursday 17 March 2022. It has been in gestation since 2014, when the government proposed introducing a mandatory parental control system. At that time, discussions between lobbyists for the various interests involved, including children's charities and vendors of Internet filtering systems, were in deep discussions with Ministers.  There was an Online Safety Bill in 2015, that was not adopted. It targeted broadband providers with filtering measures. This draft Bill targets social media platforms, and potentially anything else that enables users to communicate with each other. Any app with a share button could be in the frame. 

        As I write this in February 2022, the Bill is in draft form. The draft was released in May 2021. The date for the revised Bill has yet to be announced. 

        This section of my website is exclusively dedicated to the Online Safety Bill.  I will be posting analysis and commentary.   I've been through the Bill section by section, and issue by issue. I have a created chart of clauses. I look for the policy issues, and how the text of the law links up to support the measures provided for. I look for the actors - who is behind this law, who is lobbying the hardest, are there different factions, for example.  I ask difficult questions about what the measures would mean in practice, what does the opaque legal text really mean?  My analysis builds on my track record of research into online enforcement measures and the 'copyright wars'  since 2008.

        This research is written up in my books - feel free to check them out!   A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms and The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’

    • Telecoms Package 2nd Reading

      This section of iptegrity.com is devoted to analysing the Telecoms Package Second Reading in the European Parliament. In it, I have published articles, papers and analysis notes  which took a critical look at the proposed texts and what they might have meant for European citizens and users, with a particular focus on the Internet and content issues. 

      The Telecoms Package was  the review of European telecommunications framework legislation, (for full details  please see the other section on iptegrity.com labelled Telecoms Package). Over 800 amendments were originally  tabled to the two main directives involved - the so-called Better Regulation directive which incorporates the Framework, Access and Authoritisation directives - and the so-called Citizens Rights directive - which incorporates the Universal Services directive and the e-Privacy directive.

      With so many amendments, covering such a broad scope of legislation, it is almost impossible for anyone, even specialists, to have a grasp of their meaning in real life. Let alone members of the European Parliament, for whom this is just one of many subjects, and where they are reliant on their assistants, who in turn rely on lobbyists. This is especially true since the real meaning of many amendments depends on how they are inter-linked with others. Following the chain of links, to figure out, is a complex task. However, when one does so, some serious consequences are being revealed.

      The over-arching  problem is that this is policy being made by changes in the law. The scope of the telecoms framework is being altered via often subtle wording changes in the amendments. The changing scope is de facto establishing policy, and by-passing the correct policy processes which have been established in the European Union. 

       

      To give an idea of the scale of the problem, one telecoms lawyer complained to me that he had  250 pages of documents to read through,  in order to analyse the Package and  do the job properly. What did he have?  The Council compromise documents for the two main bundles in the Package - Better Regulation and Citizens rights - plus the Common position for reference.  For those of us who have been with the Telecoms Package  since the beginning, trawling through this amount of documentation  is strangely normal. It also puts into perspective the enormity of the job for the European Parliament, and begs the question whether MEPs can really do it justice in the time allowed. 

      If you like the articles in this section and you are interested in Eu telecoms policy and the 2009 Telecoms Package, especially with regard to copyright enforcement 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’

      You may like my book The Closing of the Net which positions the story of the 2009 Telecoms Package in the wider policy context. 

       



    • France

      I wrote this in 2008 when this website was first set up and I was in my early days of researching this policy. In 2022, it seems little has changed. Policy is still trying to use mass surveillance to enforce against users. The arguments are similar. The difference is the scale. 

      Way back in 2008, the French government brought in a law  for measures to enforce copyright, which was officially called the Creation and Internet law, but colloquially  referred to as the Hadopi law ( loi Hadopi), and which was dubbed "3 strikes and you're out!"  The idea was that warnings would be sent to thousands of users accused of copyright infringement (delivered by ISPs to their customers on behalf of the copyright owners) and penalties would include termination of Internet access. The proposals were first put forward  by the 'Mission Olivennes', and commission headed by Denis Olivennes, former head of the French retail chain called the Fnac. The law passed through the French Parliament in 2009.

      The Hadop was actually a government body charged with supervising the law.  It was mandating changes to computer security software which effectively entail  mass surveillance of Internet users. Those behind the measures were entertainment and music companies who own large libraries of copyright material. They sought to use online surveillance to look for users alleged to be downloading files without payment or permission.

      My paper The French law on Creation and Internet – using contract law to squash file-sharing is available here.

      If you like the articles in this section and you are interested in  copyright enforcement policy and what happened to the Hadopi law, 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’

      You may also  like my book The Closing of the Net which positions the story of the Hadopi law in the wider policy context.

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    • Telecoms package

      The Telecoms Package (Paquet Telecom) was a review of European telecoms law. Ordinarily, it would have dealt with network infrastructure and universal service and other purely telecoms matters. However, buried within it, deep in the detail, were important legal changes that related to enforcement of copyright. These changes represented a threat to civil liberties and risk undermining the entire structure of Internet, jeopardising businesses and cultural diversity.

      The bottom line is that changes to telecoms regulations are needed before EU member states can bring in the so-called "3 strikes" measures - also known as "graduated response" - of which France led  the way, but other governments, notably the UK,  followed. A swathe of amendments were tabled at the instigation of entertainment industry lobbying. These amendments were aimed at bringing an end to free downloading. They also brought with them the risk of an unchecked corporate censorship of the Internet, with a host of unanswered questions relating to the legal oversight and administration.

      The Telecoms Package was voted in the plenary session of the European Parliament on 24th September. It followed a brief debate on 2nd September, and a committee vote in July. In November last year it was  put to vote in the European Council. Now - winter 2009 - it is headed for a second reading in the European Parliament. The official start will be 18th February, but negotiations are underway now. The plenary vote was planned for 21 April.  It has been re-scheduled to 6 May.  This timetable has not left much time for public debate, and it reminds me of the rushed passage of the data retention directive (see Data Retention on this site). It is, if you like, regulation by stealth.

      I had originally planned  that this site would just highlight reports from elsewhere, related to my research topic. But at the time, it felt  wrong to me that such critical changes - which will infringe on people's freedoms and fundamentally alter the social and legal character of the Internet - should happen without at least the opportunity for a full and frank public debate. So I set out the issues as I see them, and reported on relevant public events.

      If you like the articles in this section and you are interested in EU telecoms law and the 2009 Telecoms Package, 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’

      I have written a series of  briefing papers. You are free to download them. They are released under a Creative Commons licence. You are free to use them, but you should attribute it to me as the author, and reference their publication on iptegrity.com.

      The first paper discusses why we should protect  the 'mere conduit' principle: 'The ‘Telecoms Package’ and the copyright amendments – a European legal framework to stop downloading, and monitor the Internet

      The second paper discusses network filtering:  Deep packet inspection, copyright and the Telecoms Package

      The third paper discusses copyright enforcement policy:  Packaging up copyright enforcement - how the Telecoms Package slots in the framework for a European policy to restrict Internet content 


      Finally,  you may like my book The Closing of the Net which contains a breif summary of the Telecoms Package story with regard to copyright, and moves the policy agenda on to consider other issues of secondary liability including,  the Megaupload case.

    • 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.


    • Internet Trials

      The policy debate doesn't always happen within the official policy fora such as  European Commission consultations, or Parliamentary committees. Especially when it comes to the Internet and online content. Certain interest groups  take it into other venues. The courts are being called on the interpret the law, and the caselaw is used by courts all around Europe in the context of their judgments.   This section looks at instances of legal action against Internet providers by private interest groups, or actions by Member States who are implementing laws and initiatives. Iptegrity's concern, as ever, is the protection of the open Internet and free speech. In the courts, this will be addressed in the context of the right to freedom of expression or privacy.


      If you are interested in copyright caselaw  you may like my book The Closing of the Net which discusses the UK copyright blocking judgments and the Megaupload case in New Zealand.

       

      If you are interested in copyright policy, you may like my previous books A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms and The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’

    • IPR Enforcement

      IPR enforcement on the Internet is highly contrversial as measures may entail some form of content blocking and  impose new liabilities on  ISPs and content platforms.  Blocking measures immediately engage the right to freedom of expression.

      This section  monitors  aspects of EU policy which relate to IPR and copyright enforcement from 2009. It covers a variety of industry-led proposals, including early moves against Internet providers. Iptegrity provided almost exclusive coverage of the European Commission's proposed Notice and Action Directive. It was  subsequently shelved - but will it re-appear? The section also logs industry moves which may influence the policy agenda and seeks to understand ways in which European  IPR enforcement policy could change or evolve.

      If you like the articles in this section and you are interested in copyright enforcement policy in the EU, 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’

      You might also like my latest  book 'The Closing of the Net' which examins corporate power and Internet policy, including 3 chapters on copyright.

    • Member States

      Now that there is a European Copyright Directive  (2017) this section may look out of date. At the time when most of these articles were written - 2008-2012 - matters were more fluid. Several Member States were look at how they could implement laws to address the problem of the day, which was peer-to-peer file sharing.  For those who are studying this area of policy, it's an important part of the context for the 2017 law, and indeed for subsequent developments that may not deal with copyright, but do seek to enforce against content using similar measures.

      This section of Iptegrity.com discusses Internet policy initiatives in the EU Member States, between 2008-2012, with the exception of France and Britain which are discussed in individual sections of the site.

      If you like the articles in this section and you are interested in how policy for Internet, copyright, and net neutrality is made in the EU Member States, 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 interested in EU policy on Internet governance,   you may like my book The Closing of the Net .

    • Internet Freedoms

      Since 2008, I've been concerned about how free speech and privacy rights can be protected when governments try to legislate for blocking or taking  content. The principles of protecting freedom of expression applied then, as now. 

      The right to privacy and freedom of expression apply online just as they apply offline. These are very precious rights because as well as protecting individuals, they also protect society as whole. Democracy, culture and access to knowledge are safeguarded because we have these two rights. These rights online are threatened by any proposals to block content or conduct surveillance.  Such threats can come from governments or from private corporations.

      This section is concerned with how human rights online can be valued and protected i the face of measures that threaten them.

      If you are interested in how Internet freedoms may be influenced by policy,   you may like my book The Closing of the Net .

       

      If you are interested in copyright policy, you may like my previous books A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms and The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’

    • Data Protection and Privacy

      The protection of personal data and privacy is an area where the  European Union is a global leader. In 2022, the US is looking at how to implement privacy legislation for online platforms, and the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is what they look to.

      I wrote about the legislative journey of the GDPR in my book The Closing of the Net. The rapporteur was German Green lawyer, MEP Jan Albrecht. He had a tough time and ultimately produced a compromise that was not entirely satisfactory for either industry of citizen advocates.

      But the undercurrent to privacy policy is all about surveillance, and nowhere more so, sadly, than in the UK. In 2022, the UK wants to force private platform providers to break encryption on communications between users. The policy battles around privacy did not stop with GDPR. They will continue for many years to come.

      If you are interested in data protection policy and the genesis of the GDPR,   you may like my book The Closing of the Net which discusses how the policy was influenced by State and non-State actors.

    • Brexit

      Just leaving this here... I wrote it in 2016. Six years' later, in 2022, we can now see hard evidence of the damage that Brexit is doing to the UK.  I rest my case. 


      Four and a half  years' ago I asked the question: "As Britain prepares to exit from the European Union,  will we find ourselves in two years' time stuck to the bottom of the pan and will Britain be toast? Or will we be smiling, and say byebye to EU regulations whilst   sitting down to a great British breakfast of British bacon, British eggs, British tomatoes, British marmalade and the quintessential British cup of tea?" 

      And I continued: "The bacon may come from a British pig, but its feed could be subject to new tariffs, and vetinary products that keep it healthy will fall out of EU regulatory regimes. Likewise the tomatoes and the marmalade. These changes will have implications for the price we pay and for food safety. Similarly, there will be implications for other industries, as Britain's business lobby, the CBI has said

      Brexit is not just about walking out of the house and slamming the door. It is about fundamental changes to the way our country operates. The EU is an integral part of an international system and breaking away means that a massive web of international business that supports our most basic needs like food, will rip in places we did not even know existed." 

      I think we now know the answer as we contemplate what it will mean to have 7000 lorries queueing in Kent, and a £15 billion bill to business for customs bureaucracy, in the full knowledge of Russian interference with our democracy and a government willing to break international law. Brexit was about emotive promises that were never going to be deliverable, for reasons that are systemic. The changes I predicted in the second two paragraphs  are now making themselves felt. 

      This blog will explore the ongoing process as the UK makes its final exit from the Single European Market and the policy challenges it raises.

       If you are interested in research on Britain's new relationship with Europe, please contact me via the Contact page on this website

      If you are following policy around telecoms and technology issues,  you may like my book The Closing of the Net.

  • About me

     

    I am an author, trainer & consultant specialising  in Internet governance & telecoms policy. I have a particular interest in  human rights issues, and I have written extensively on the balance between freedom of expression, privacy & copyright.  I am a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. 

    I have produced high profile research at European level, presented in European Parliament & expert groups, and served as a Council of Europe expert. I have in-depth knowledge of EU policy and institutions - process and procedure. My work addresses legislation, regulatory frameworks, trade agreements and human rights. I have strong qualitative research skills to support public policy advocacy, combined with an entrepreneurial ‘can do’ approach. I am experienced at public speaking, and I especially enjoy chairing round tables.

    I have conducted training sessions for UN & EU-funded capacity building projects in Georgia. I served as a Council of Europe expert on joint CoE / EU funded projects in Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and Albania. I was a member of the Council of Europe's Committee of Experts on Cross-border Flow of Internet Traffic and Internet Freedom. I authored an advocacy report for the Center for Democracy and Technology on intermediary liability.

    I  have served on a number of projects for Council of Europe,  including in the former Soviet states.  I served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on cross-border flow of Internet traffic and Internet freedom.

    I am available for training and consultancy projects, as well as for speaking engagements and  conferences.  Please contact me if you have a project or event you would like to discuss.

    I am the author of several academic papers and three books examining Internet-governance policy (including copyright) from a critical perspective. I have presented my research at universities and policy conferences in Brussels and around Europe.

    My book 'The Closing of the Net' (Polity 2016)  deals with the power politics and lobbying of the Internet corporations. I have written two other books.   A Copyright Masquerade How Corporate  Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms ( 2013  ZedBooks). The books discusses the politics of  copyright enforcement,  including the UK's Digital Economy Act and spain's Ley Sinde. It updates Drahos and Braithwaite's 'Information Feudalsim' with a discussion of intellectual property politics in the United States, and how it got into trade policy - of interest to those following the ongoing trade talks such as EU-US (TTIP) and the TRans-Pacfic Partnership (TPP).  It  follows this with a discussion of ACTA and the EU political outcome.  My other book The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet politics and the 'Telecoms Package'  was (2011 Palgrave Macmillan).  If you are interested, please  click through the link for more information, including a contents list.  

    As an academic researcher, I have a track record in producing  empirical studies of current policy issues. I emphasise the use of primary source material and original thinking, and a sound, rigorous methodology. My work is cited in a range of academic journal papers and books.

    I am happy to say that I successfully defended  my PhD thesis - entitled The Political Battle for Online Content in the European Union - on 7 September 2010, with no corrections I researched my PhD at  the University of Westminster  Communications and Media Research Institute (CAMRI), where I was a self-funded student.  I am currently a member of a Brussels working group on Internet policy and 'freedoms'. I have presented aspects of my research in Berlin, Washington. Barcelona  and Brussels, including in  the European Parliament. The details of these presentations are in the pages under 'Presentations'.  I've written two  papers  based on my PhD  research,  published  by the American University,  Washington College of Law  and JIPITEC (see Published Work).

    I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Australian National University (ANU), and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.  In 2006, I obtained a Masters Degree with Distinction, in Communications Policy, from the University of Westminster.

    I have a long porfolio career behind me. Some readers  may remember me from my days as an IT and telecoms  journalist, reporting on matters that are now regarded as 'historical', such as the libe

    • Published work

      I have over 20 years experience as a professional writer. listed here are my peer-reviewed academic papers as well as examples of my published journalistic articles.

      In my early career, I was a journalist covering the telecommunications and IT industries. I wrote about the deregulation of the UK and European telecommunications markets and the rise of the mobile networks and of course, the Internet. I was using modems to file copy before the World Wide Web had been invented - when the text seemed to go into a black hole and a sub-editor at the end of a phone line said "oh gosh, it's here, it's in the queue"! In those days, a recurring topic from commissioning editors was "mobile data - will it ever have a real application?"

      My first editorial role was at Emap on PC User and then Communications Management magazine, followed by a long stint as a freelance, and my work was published in  UK and international newspapers and magazines.

      I stopped writing to go and work at ICO Global Communications, and since then I've worked in web marketing and design, until I realised that it was the policy issues that interested me the most, and went back to university to study for my Masters degree.

      I used to lug around several chunky portfolios of cuttings, or I used send photocopies of them in the post, but I've discovered that some of my work has  appeared in online archives. Here is a selection from my portfolio.

      I've also noted that the Daily Telegraph - for which I wrote on a regular basis from 1989 to 1995 - does not publish its archive pre-2000, and that means there's also a large chunk of my published work that cannot be viewed, so I've scanned in a few examples.

      If you are interested in EU policy related to Internet governance,  you may like my book The Closing of the Net which discusses how policy has been shaped by State and non-State actors.

       

      If you are interested in copyright policy, you may like my previous books A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms and The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’

    • Media quotes

      Iptegrity creates Impact!

      Iptegrity's impact is measurable. It is widely referenced by the media throughout Europe,  and is used as a source for EU  communications and Internet policy. 

      Each of my postings achieves thousands of page views  and the website in total averages  around 200,000 page views per month. It is achieving this entirely on its  own merit, and I do not use any form of paid-for publicity or advertising.

      Here are over 60  instances where either Monica Horten or iptegrity  have been quoted or linked  by media sites.

    • My Citations

      My academic  research has measurable  Impact!

      I am proud of my record and proud to be contributing in a postive way to the academic  literature on Internet governance policy and copyright. Over  55 citations in peer reviewed journals and books!

      My work is also cited in  Masters or Doctoral theses or conference papers,  some of which have been put online, but I have not included those on this list. In addition, I've  dug up some citatons of my journalistic articles from the Daily Telegraph, Financial times, New Scientist and others.

       You can view them all  for yourself by clicking through the list below.

    • Presentations

      Professional speaking engagements - making an Impact!

      I have been an invited speaker at international conferences in many different policy venues, including in the European Parliament, where I also launched my book in 2012. I have spoken at academic conferences at leading universities, and in many different cities including  London, Berlin, Kiev, Washington and Barcelona.  I have presented on topics concerning Internet governance, including  copyright, privacy and human rights. 

      I am a trained public speaker, and a member of Toastmasters International (Advanced Communicator Silver). I am happy to act as panel chair or moderator. The skills I value in public speaking are the ability to craft a speech tailored for the audience and the ability to keep to time.

      Click through the list below to see some of my  speeches and presentations:

    • Academic research

      **See my  book 'The Closing of the Net' **

      My academic research is  interested in how we deal with the Internet at a political level in Europe.

      Notice that I do not use the word 'regulate'. Officially, of course,  the Internet is an open communications system and is not regulated by governments.  However, the reality is that there are several ways that governments can impose controls and restrictions onto this apparently 'free' resource. The Internet is  an economic resource and as such there are many powerful interests who would like to control it and who seek to influence government policy. The law can be applied to the Internet and to those of us who use it.

      I am  interested in how communications policy is made in the EU, and how the policy-making process  is or is not  adapting to a new media environment. I am also interested in  how the European approach contrasts with the way it has been handled elsewhere, especially in the United States.   In the course of my research, I have analysed the policy-making process in the EU legislature and in certain Member States such as Britain, France and Spain.  The cvorporate effort to shape policy forms the backdrop for all my books.

      My latest book 'The Closing of the Net' deals with the power politics and lobbying of the Internet corporations.

      I have written two other books. My first book, The Copyright Enforcement Enigma: Internet Politics and the 'Telecoms Package'  was  published by Palgrave Macmillan. The book tells you the full story of the Telecoms Package with exclusive  information  on the Third Reading. I believe it is the only comprehensive  academic account of the 2009 Telecoms Package and it remains relevant even in 2015 as the European Commission thinks about the next telecoms review. Read the reviews for yourself! My second book A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms , was  based on  overmatter from my doctoral research. I felt that I had enough to write a second book. It proved to be more work than I had hoped, but was well worth the effort.

       My PhD  research began with by investigating European policy for the Internet and online content. In very simple terms, it concerned  the content - news,  pictures, TV programmes, movies,  music - that we get over the Internet - or indeed, that we put there ourselves.  And how companies and governments are arguing over what  we are - and are not - allowed to do with it. That led me to exmaine the European Commission's Creative Content Online consultation, which  addressed the hot debate over copyright enforcement measures known as graduated response or 3-strikes - and downloading of music and film. And from there, I discovered the copyright amendments in the Telecoms Package.

      The  title of  my doctoral  thesis  was 'The Political Battle for Online Content in the European Union' which analysed the travaux preparatoire of the Telecoms Package for copyright issues.  In the course of my research, I spoke to policy-makers and industry stakeholders who lobbied in Brussels.   I spoke to  interests on both sides of this highly polarised debate.  I carried out my PhD research as a self-funded student, under the auspices of the University of Westminster.

      I completed an MA with distinction in 2006, also at the University of Westminster. My Masters dissertation discussed the politics of the EU Data Retention directive (2006/24/EC). I will be drawing on this research for a chapter in my new book to be published in 2016.

      Here are my research papers, published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences:

      Political Quarterly (2008) File-sharing, Filtering and the Spectre of the Automated Censor

      American University College of Law: Where Copyright Enforcement and Net Neutrality Collide

      IDP 2011 Proceedings: Copyright at a Policy Cross-Roads

      JIPITEC - The Digital Economy Act in the dock

      Internet Policy Review - The Aereo dilemma and copyright<

    • Books
  • Newsflashes

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  • Info

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 am on the Advisory Council of the Open Rights Group.  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. 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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