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Digital Economy Act 2017

The Digital Economy Act 2017 contains sections relating to content filtering by “Internet Service Providers” (ISPs) and “Internet Access Providers” (IAPs). However both terms are derived from (and subsets of) the European definition of Public Electronic Communications Services, so will not apply to Janet or customer networks that are not available to members of the […]

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Protecting Users and Systems in 2015

The steady growth in the use of encrypted communications seems likely to increase next year given recent announcements on both web browsers and servers. That’s good news for security people worried that their users may be sending sensitive information such as passwords and credit card numbers over the Internet. However it may also require an […]

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Law Commission on Contempt of Court and the Internet

The Law Commission have published an interesting consultation paper on how the law of contempt of court is affected by the internet. Anything that “tends to interfere with the course of justice” may be considered contempt: the Contempt of Court Act 1981 deals in particular with communications addressed to the public at large or a […]

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Presentations

Wild West or 1984?

[This is the approximate text of an internal company talk, which I’ve been asked to make more widely available] One of the odd things about how people talk about the Internet is that you’ll hear it described both as “the Wild West” where there are no rules and unlawful behaviour is rife and as a […]

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IWF Awareness Day

October 24th is the annual Internet Watch Foundation awareness day. Discussion of the IWF often highlights, and rightly so, its success in reducing the availability of indecent images of children on the internet. But the most important result of reporting images to the IWF is when the police, notified by the IWF and its peer […]

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Responsible ISPs in Latvia

Earlier in the year I wrote about the German ISP Association’s scheme to remove the economic disincentive for ISPs to inform their customers of botnet infections on their PCs by providing a centrally-funded helpdesk. In Latvia a different approach has been taken: providing a “responsible ISP” mark that consumer networks can use on their websites […]

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Ofcom report confirms risk of IP address over-blocking

Ofcom’s 2010 report on “Site Blocking” to reduce online copyright infringement concluded that using IP addresses to block infringing sites “carries a significant risk of over-blocking given that it is common practice for multiple discrete sites to share a single IP address” (page 5). They have now published a report commissioned from CMSG that shows […]

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Ordering hosts to prevent repeat infringements

Article 15 of the European Ecommerce Directive states that Member States shall not impose a general obligation on providers … to monitor the information which they transmit or store, nor a general obligation actively to seek facts or circumstances indicating illegal activity. However recital 47 says that “this does not concern monitoring obligations in a […]

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“Blocking” and Anti-blocking

Given the outcome of previous hearings on copyright infringement, the court’s conclusion this week that the UK’s major ISPs should be ordered to block access to The Pirate Bay was no surprise. However the judgment raises an interesting technical issue. In a previous hearing, it had been pointed out that there was a way to […]

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Copyright blocking – recent UK cases

The latest case brought by rightsholders under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 has found that bittorrent tracker site The Pirate Bay does infringe copyright according to the Act. Following this decision it seems likely that rightsholders will seek injunctions under s97A of the Act requiring ISPs to “block” access to the site, as […]