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UPDATE2 New UK ISP Internet Piracy Tackling Measures Face Further Delays

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 (1:37 pm) - Score 722
UK Department of Culture Media and Sport

The UK governments Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) looks set to delay full publication of its controversial new Communications Bill green paper, which aims to update and expand Ofcom’s ability to regulate the broadband, telecoms and media sectors, until after the London 2012 Olympic Games and Parliament’s summer recess.

The new bill is expected to expand existing internet snooping laws (data retention) to log a much bigger slice of your online activity (here), propose new measures that could force UK ISPs into imposing tougher parental controls / adult website blocks (here) and detail a Voluntary Code which would require member ISPs to block sites that are deemed to “facilitateinternet piracy (here).

An article in The Telegraph today claims that the bill could now be delayed for at least another 6 months, which is apparently due to a mixture of problems that range from disputes over internet copyright policy to the political fallout of the Culture Secretary’s (Jeremy Hunt MP) recent BSkyB failings.

Official DCMS Statement

We do not have a date for publication of the Green Paper. We remain committed to legislating on communications regulation during this Parliament and to bringing forward a bill in the 2014/15 session.”

The Green Paper, which was originally due to surface during Q1-2012, could in theory then be followed by a White Paper and a Draft Bill. The latter two would ideally appear within the next 12 months so that the new act could then be put in place by 2015 and “support the sector for the next 10 years and beyond” (Jeremy Hunt MP).

Instead we’re likely to see the government publish its related policies in a more piecemeal way, which will be announced through a series of future seminars.

UPDATE 7th June 2012

Made a quick correction as we got confused by the fact that there are actually two “Communications Bills“. The Home Office’s Draft Communications Bill is the one tackling internet snooping, while the DCMS’s Communications Bill Green Paper is relevant to the above article. Both are delayed though. I won’t make excuses here but it would have been nice if the government had called them something, you know, different.

UPDATE 7th June 2012 – 3:17pm

DCMS has today confirmed that “over the coming months five seminars will inform the communications review“, which will begin on 4th July 2012 with one that aims to look at “the consumer perspective“. The last one will take place in September 2012 and concern “supporting growth in the radio (audio) sector“.

Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, said:

The UK’s communications sector is one of the strongest in the world. We must ensure the sector can grow by being at the forefront of new developments in the industry. It is essential that we set the right conditions for the industry to enable businesses to grasp the opportunities created by new technology.”

It also stated that the White Paper will be published in early 2013 with a Communications Bill introduced by the final session of this Parliament. The policy papers and seminars will replace a planned green paper. Further details here.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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