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UK May Kill the EU's Net Neutrality Law 341

Posted by samzenpus
from the hanging-on-by-a-thread dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The U.K. government is planning on vetoing the E.U. legislation that enforces net neutrality under the guise of 'won't anyone think of the child pornography blocking?' again. From the article: ' It’s a surprising turn of events. Just last month, the European Parliament voted to place the principles of net neutrality into law. However, before it becomes law throughout Europe, each member country must also pass the legislation. On Thursday, the British government indicated it may veto it instead. At issue is a new provision that critics argue would restrict the British government’s “ability to block illegal material.” The amendment made it so that only a court order would allow for the banning of content, and not a legislative provision, as originally proposed, according to RT. “We do not support any proposals that mean we cannot enforce our laws, including blocking child abuse images,” a government spokesperson told BuzzFeed.'"
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UK May Kill the EU's Net Neutrality Law

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  • by prefec2 (875483) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:07AM (#47036507)

    The British government does not want anything which has to do with the EU, especially when it comes to human rights. Lately, they opposed the European human rights declaration. Now that! They do not want to tax their financial sector, so they can pay back all the money the states had to spend to stabilize the economy. If they really do not want to be in the EU. Then fuck off and leave. If the only interest is a trade union. We can negotiate one. But please do not hold back the other nations. Thanks.

  • by Vlado (817879) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:08AM (#47036509) Homepage

    It looks like the whole UK as part of EU is causing lots of issues on both sides.

    In general I'm for the union, but if a single country can keep on causing problems for majority and if that single country is genuinely displeased with common rules by which others would like to abide, then re-evaluation might be in order.

    Are there any benefits that a random British person could point out, that are the result of UK being in the EU?

  • by 91degrees (207121) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:20AM (#47036559) Journal

    Are there any benefits that a random British person could point out, that are the result of UK being in the EU?

    Cheaper cars (EU rules ban charging extra for right hand drive), and I've been able to live and work in Germany, North Holland and Belgium. Also, electrical goods come with a plug already fitted, and I can head across the channel for cheap drinks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:29AM (#47036593)

    The UK contributes more to the EU then it gets back in rebates and grants combined, so you're "they like receiving money" claim is nonsense.

  • by jonwil (467024) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:50AM (#47036667)

    Its not just human rights, the UK have strongly resisted joining Schengen migration laws and allowing free movement of people and goods between the UK and other EU countries.

    I think the other EU countries need to start getting together and saying to the UK that they need to either adopt ALL of the EU rules (including the Euro, Schengen, Net Neutrality, human rights etc etc) or get out of the EU completly and fend for themselves.

    But the UK will never adopt things like Schengen because it would remove customs and import checks at UK borders (including airports, seaports and the Channel Tunnel crossings) and make it almost impossible to stop the flow of cheap booze, cheap fags, illegal immigrants and all the other stuff you see on those "UK border agency" TV shows from comming into the country.

  • by geniice (1336589) on Monday May 19, 2014 @06:15AM (#47036769)

    You are ignoring the history. The internet watch foundation (IWF)started off as an attempt to target child abuse hosted in the UK. Not even a government action. It was the police that made it clear to a group of ISPs that they would do something if child abuse image weren't removed from certain UK servers. Thus ISPs set of the IWF was set up to handle reports and forward them for take-down.

    The UK's filtering system has an even odder history. Neither the government nor the police asked for it. BT decided to develop the system (cleanfeed) pretty much of their own imitative then pressure the other ISPs into setting up something similar.

    None of this was sold as protecting children since it was never sold. Until the IWF blocked an image on wikipedia public awareness of their activities was pretty much nill.

  • Re:Good (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2014 @06:23AM (#47036789)
    No, they'll be affected. []
  • by N1AK (864906) on Monday May 19, 2014 @06:40AM (#47036845) Homepage
    I can move to any country in Europe with the same rights to work and government services as a native. I can travel across EU borders freely, bringing goods with me without restriction. I can shop anywhere in Europe and have it delivered without having to handle import charges or duty fees. Soon I will be able to use my mobile across Europe without paying extortionate import charges. My government is one of the most influential players in the creation of regulations for products and services for the largest trade block on the planet, ensuring we have a say in regulations that could adversely affect my employer. I can receive healthcare for free anywhere within the EU if I need to while travelling.

    I'm sure there are others but those are the ones that come to mind.
  • by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Monday May 19, 2014 @06:50AM (#47036875)
    The main disadvantage of joining the Euro is that it is much harder for the politicians to cook the books. The Germans have a particular detestation of cooked books, since they nearly starved to death as a consequence of a particularly bad episode. The Greeks (amongst others) are currently discovering that cooking the books results in a diet of cooked books, and its not very tasty. However, they have not yet realised that "it was the cook wot done it".

    You appear to have had a bit too much Kool-ade.

  • by iserlohn (49556) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:45AM (#47037067) Homepage

    Actually, your examples gave you up. The regulations governing the size and specification of produce (e.g. bananas) and other products/services is one of the core EC competencies. Do you really want to have 27 different standards and regulation on products in your economic area? The whole reason for the existence of the EU is so that we can get rid of legislating lots of redundant secondary legislation and get on with implementing policies that matter.

    In fact, most of the people that are against EU legislation don't really know what the majority of EU legislation is about. Most of it is to facilitate trade of goods (e.g. on product standards) and services (e.g. on worker rights), so that we have a equal playing field across the free-trade area.

    The EU != the European Court of Human Rights, which seem to be the main target of the Daily Mail in the past decade or so.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

    by Alain Williams (2972) <> on Monday May 19, 2014 @08:11AM (#47037139) Homepage

    Many of those ISPs are just reselling BT bandwidth. If BT throttles certain sites all these will be effected.

    BT do not resell bandwidth to the Internet, it operates a packet switching network [] over ATM [] that connects you to your ISP. You ISP connects you to the Internet and might filter or throttle some sites. BT does not look inside the ATM packets that travel over its network and so does not throttle some traffic - in theory anyway.

    BT also operates as an ISP which is probably where the confusion lies.

  • by jonwil (467024) on Monday May 19, 2014 @08:17AM (#47037169)

    The UK government may talk about wanting to block child porn and terrorist sites and other "filth" (as they put it) and how the EU law wont let them continue to do so. What they dont talk about is that the laws that prohibit the blocking of child porn etc would ALSO prohibit the blocking of piracy-related websites like The Pirate Bay and remove a big tool that the copyright holders (in the UK at least) have been attempting to use to curb access to pirated content.

  • by jratcliffe (208809) on Monday May 19, 2014 @09:55AM (#47037779)

    The British banks are terrified that we will join the Euro and miss no chance at anti-EU propaganda because we import three quarters of our food from the EU - and to pay for it, have to put up with the banks creaming us 4% on spread for currency exchange. Then we have to export stuff to pay for the food, and they cream us another 4% on the spread for changing the money back.

    By this foul strategy, the banks steal 6% of our GDP. No wonder they pay people to spread anti-EU dirt throughout the media!

    Of couse, the banks are not short of other ways of stealing our money too. Bankers are rich because they are stealing our money not because they are incredibly clever. Are the Mafia incredibly clever?

    Chuckle. If British banks were actually making a 4% spread each way on GBP/EUR currency transactions (I'm talking scale transactions, not "I want to convert these €40 into pounds please"), they'd all be so insanely profitable that they'd never engage in any other activity. Daily GBP/EUR forex volume is about US$100B (link below). If the banks were making a 4% spread on that, it would be $4 BILLION in profit PER DAY, or about $900B in profit per year.

    Actual forex spreads GBP/EUR are typically around 1-2 basis points (one basis point equals 1/100 of a percent). Right now, for example, if you're trying to buy Euros using GBP, you'd be paying about GBP0.81518 per Euro. If you're trying to sell EUR for GBP, you'll be getting about GBP0.81505 for every Euro you sell.

    You're saying that, if I start with 1 million GBP, convert them into EUR, and then back into GBP, I'll end up with about GBP920k (4% loss each way, so a total of GBP80k of losses). Actually, I'll end up with GBP999.8k, or about GBP160 in losses. Your losses are off by a factor of about 500x. []

  • by Xest (935314) on Monday May 19, 2014 @11:13AM (#47038385)

    It's not the trade tarrifs that are the bulk of the problem (though they are a major part of the problem). It's the fact that far more paperwork becomes involved to handle the import such that the cost of exporting to the EU would increase and make British companies less competitive. If you're in France, why buy from a British company when they have to charge an extra 5% and take an extra day to deal with all the paperwork when you can just buy from Germany and have it a day earlier and 5% cheaper?

    I know this because I worked for an engineering firm that did a lot of exporting. Having seen how much of a headache it can be to get some products to their country of destination compared to the EU simply cannot be underestimated. You're one rogue customs officer who has a beef with your country and decides to delay it for a couple of days to "inspect it" away from losing a multi-million pound per month customer for good. That can't happen in the EU because there are laws in place to prevent it, and there are courts in place to deal with such disputes.

    That's before you factor in things like business travel if you have to start having staff to organise visas ahead of time, and what happens if some incompetent didn't organise the visa and your staff member can't attend an important sales pitch? Everything becomes more bureaucratic without free trade agreements and the EU is an extremely well oiled machine in streamlining exports to Europe making us more competitive there.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday May 19, 2014 @01:37PM (#47039659)

    10k foot

    Really? That's almost two miles of wire. No-one notices that stuff going missing? Can't the tech be fired for this indefensible waste of resources, not to mention deliberately worsening a customer's service out of petty personal spite?

    Maybe I think too much of 'the system'...

    Plus, if the tech didn't like that customer, surely they'd want to avoid going back on account of connection issues...

    You've got to understand how these things work. There are DSA's every 30k feet (or less) in a telecom network. That's the limit of DSL so they need a DSA every 30k feet. DSL requires equipment in each DSA. Recently they've come up with DSA's that are just small unmanned boxes but anything built prior to a few years ago was a building... usually about the size of a construction trailer. They are plain, steel buildings with no address or signs. These make a natural place for the phone company to store things... like wire. You're mad at a customer? You've got Cat5 hanging on the wall... you just run it over to the spool hanging on the wall and then back to their card. Without close inspection or trying to use the wire you'd not even notice it. I saw it a few times, so it was clearly something that techs did there when they were mad.

    In other cases they don't even try to hide it. After I worked for ATT I worked for a CLEC that operated inside ATT's territory. So we had colo's in AT&T's DSAs. The wires that crossed from their side to ours literally connected to big spools hanging on the cage before coming into our cage. We could clearly see what they were doing, and there was nothing we could do about it. But that wasn't hatred for the customer, that's because we weren't union and they considered us "scabs" Or at least that's what I surmised from the sign hanging next to the spool that said "scabs" on it. When we complained, they took the sign down. But not the wire. ;-) Eventually ATT got the FCC to let them raise the rates they charged CLECs to the point that we just dumped that side of the business and I moved on. There's not really a CLEC industry anymore because of the rate increases and the ILECs making it as difficult as possible.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"