» ISP News » 

UK Government to Finally Repeal ISP Website Blocking Powers

Posted Friday, August 9th, 2013 (8:11 am) by Mark Jackson (Score 4,095)
parliament house of commons uk

Hidden deep within the text of the government’s new Draft Deregulation Bill 2013, which proposes to abolish UK regulation that’s “no longer of practical use” or is a threat to the economy, can be found a small line that would finally repeal the controversial Digital Economy Act 2010’s powers for enforcing mandatory website blocking upon ISPs.

The Digital Economy Act (DEAct) was originally designed to tackle online copyright infringement (internet piracy) through public File Sharing (P2P) networks by, among other things, imposing “technical measures” upon broadband ISPs (service disconnection etc.) and issuing warning letters to customers. But after endless delays the first letters will now not be sent until “the latter half of 2015” (here).

As a result it’s often easy to forget that, in the dying days before the last May 2010 General Election, the previous Labour government managed to rush a controversial new measure through parliament that would have required internet providers to block websites (aka – “blocking injunction“). The move caused surprise and in 2011 Ofcom was ordered to review the solution (here).

The telecom and media regulator’s review, which concluded later that same year (here), broadly recognised that ISP’s have no control to physically remove or block content that does not exist within their own network and found that “the provisions as they stand would not be effective“.

The measures would have also needed secondary legislation before they could be introduced and so the government (DCMS) agreed “not [to] bring forward the Act’s site-blocking provisions at this time.” Since then some legal tweaks have allowed Rights Holders to use Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act for effectively the same purpose (e.g. blocking The Pirate Bay and many other piracy sites).

Draft Deregulation Bill 2013 Extract

Repeal of power to make provision for blocking injunctions

In the Digital Economy Act 2010, omit sections 17 and 18 (which confer power on the Secretary of State to make regulations about the granting by courts of injunctions requiring the blocking of websites that infringe copyright).

The long expected repeal will do little to change the current use of court orders, not to mention the new network-level filtering (Parental Control) requirements, that both require big ISPs to block websites. Related measures remain incredibly easy to circumvent and have arguably made online piracy even harder to track by pushing people further underground. Meanwhile terms like VPN and Proxy Servers have become common knowledge.

The Bill, which was published last month, is now expected to be formally introduced to Parliament during early 2014 and it will then be subject to the full Parliamentary process. Credits to Oxford University researcher Ian Brown and James Blessing for bringing this to our attention.

Delicious
Add to Diigo
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. hamish

    uk government know jack shit like all the mps and cmareon and clegg and the rest of the @ss of the so called government .

  2. weeman

    you are exactly right hamish the retards running the country need to be in the real world instead of been on cloud 9 thinking of themselves and feck everyone else the uk is a shit place to live because all these think of is Tax Tax And more bloody Tax plus if they block every fecking thing whats the internet going to be used for emailing,shopping ,and browsing WOW the Tit for brains government

  3. demon

    GOVERNMENT WHAT THATS AH THE MICKEY MOUSE PARTY RUN BY SCAMERON AND HIS NO NOWT CLANG LOL I SAY YOU FECK THE GOVERNMENT THE BLOODY DOYLES

  4. winner

    I hope this digital ecomany act doesn’t become law they need to stop this act it is a disgrace copyright holders just want to sue people I think people who infringe are also the biggest spenders than people who don’t copyright holders need to learn to adapt

  5. phil

    the Government have always been out of touch with the public, they are very much out of touch with technology, the people who advise them on protecting the internet by applying restrictions are feeding false information, just so they can drain the tax payers money, these contractors know its impossible to stop P2P sharing, and if they take our internet away, simply hack your neighbors and continue what you were doing before. they will just continue spending the peoples taxes on and endless war, just like they do with the war on drugs, endless :/

IMPORTANT: Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically). On mobile devices you may need to load the page in 'Desktop' mode to comment.


Comments RSS Feed

* Your comment might NOT appear immediately (the site cache re-syncs periodically) *
* Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via fake IP/anon proxy servers may be blocked *
Promotion
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £17.50 (*35.00)
    Up to 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Origin Broadband £21.58 (*31.58)
    Up to 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £25.00
    Up to 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Pop Telecom £26.99
    Up to 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • TalkTalk £27.00 (*32.00)
    Up to 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Free Mobile SIM
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
Poll
* Javascript must be ON to vote *
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (1686)
  2. Broadband Delivery UK (1203)
  3. FTTC (1068)
  4. FTTP (1026)
  5. Politics (847)
  6. Openreach (792)
  7. Business (728)
  8. Fibre Optic (684)
  9. Statistics (683)
  10. Mobile Broadband (626)
  11. Wireless Internet (566)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (542)
  13. 4G (515)
  14. Virgin Media (490)
  15. FTTH (429)
  16. Sky Broadband (406)
  17. TalkTalk (383)
  18. EE (330)
  19. Security (276)
  20. 3G (243)
New Forum Topics
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Promotion

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms  ,  Privacy and Cookie Policy  ,  Links  ,  Website Rules