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House of Lords Inquiry Considers the Future of UK Internet Regulation

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018 (11:52 am) - Score 681

The House of Lords Communications Committee has launched a new inquiry that will investigate regulation of the internet, which among other things will examine “whether online platforms have sufficient accountability and transparency, and whether they use fair and effective processes to moderate content.”

Traditionally politicians in the House of Lords, many of which seem to lack a good technical understanding of that which they so often seek to make new laws upon, do not always produce the most workable of solutions. At the same time the internet, particularly social media sites, already seem to be facing a barrage of new regulation and pressure to tackle trolls, terrorism, copyright infringement, porn and everything in-between.

Nevertheless, such inquiries can also be a useful opportunity for debate, even if some of the most vital technical points do end up being lost in translation. The inquiry must also balance any issues raised against the need to support freedom of speech, privacy and respect for broadband ISPs as mere conduits of the information flow rather than controllers or police.

Lord Gilbert of Panteg, Committee Chairman, said:

“The internet has transformed the way we interact with one another and how we consume services and information. However, in its recent inquiries the Communications Committee has heard that the internet has become a platform for illegal and inappropriate behaviour, such as hate speech, the misuse of personal data and fraud.

We wish to build on our earlier work to explore how the internet could be better regulated. This might be through better self-regulation and it might be through specific legislation.”

Over the course of the inquiry the Committee will hear evidence on what information online platforms should provide to consumers about the use of their personal data and what responsibility online platforms should have for the content that they host. The deadline for submissions of written evidence is Friday 11th May 2018.

The Committee seeks evidence on questions including:

– Is there a need to introduce specific regulation for the internet?

– What should be the legal liability of online platforms for the content that they host?

– How effective, fair and transparent are online platforms in moderating content that they host?

– What role should users play in establishing and maintaining online community standards for content and behaviour?

– What effect will the United Kingdom leaving the European Union on the Government’s regulation of the internet?

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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.
Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Joe M says:

    Strongest deterrent should be meted out to doxing trolls because everyone from Policeman to civil servants, army, MoD workers can become victims with extreme consequences.

    The next two (off topic) items are

    1. Why are government trolls still selling “broadband internet” when they could just as easily sell “symmetric fiber gigabit internet” which is 20x cheaper and 20x quicker to roll out? i.e. why are we inquiring about internet when we hardly got anything worth while in terms of speed? I had China investor visit, and they were shocked they can’t use their mobile underground. (In China you can!)

    2. Who is going to provide 5G service providers with millions of 10gbit Internet lines for their modems?

    3. Is it true BT has around a million gigabit fiber lines (one for every cabinet in the street in UK) and they pay £150 per month for this fiber? If so when can I have my fiber for £150 a month? I will put in my own modems thanks to peer with internet provider.

    p.s. I can’t count – my bad 🙁

  2. Jigsy says:

    So a guideline for censorship, basically.

    1. Joe says:

      Correct. Reading the ‘questions’ tells you rather clearly what the ‘conclusions’ will likely be before a things has happened. The Lords has form on this with press freedom.

  3. James Harkin says:

    The commercial intelligence gathering corporations are already dealing with censorship through their new AI system. IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook all commercial intelligence gathering. Microsoft already said they would ban swear words from their systems, the only way they can successfully do this is via AI. This “fake news” agenda will be a way for those who believe they own this planet to censor and remove access to all content that threatens their well-established status quo. As Cameron said all “esoteric” material should be removed from the Internet. Esoteric is a broad term that could mean anything. It only took them 20 years to create the correct algorithms to carry out this agenda. So, recently we have the IoT come to life because IPv6 allows this to happen, IPv6 allows every grain of sand to have its own IP address, that’s how many IP addresses are available through IPv6. We have Blockchain technologies, which will do away with paper documents, and is an excellent technology for RFID chips. The UN’s 2030 agenda will make every human being on the planet to have a biometric ID. It’s also good for cashless agenda. Bitcoin possibly being a beta test for a global currency. Musks global satellite system will allow everything to be connected to the Internet, there will be no place on the planet that the Elite’s AI system cannot track you. Except for maybe deep underground or deep underwater. The way that the governments will get people to take an RFID chip is to offer UBI, Universal Basic Income. Get paid regardless of your circumstances. Especially as everything becomes more automated, fewer jobs needed. We see more cities building highrise apartment buildings and HS2, something that is not needed they are still pushing ahead with to connect mega-cities together. Freedom – That’s something that we lost a long time ago. The future is not bright, the future is a brave new 1984 on steroids…

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