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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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  • Good (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:02AM (#47036487)

    We don't need net neutrality laws in the UK. We have real competition, everyone has the choice of hundreds of different ISPs.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chrisq (894406) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:32AM (#47036607)

      We don't need net neutrality laws in the UK. We have real competition, everyone has the choice of hundreds of different ISPs.

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

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        No, they'll be affected. [diffen.com]
      • by N1AK (864906)
        BT wholesale has a monopoly and is regulated as such. The price they can charge is government regulated so they couldn't simply start charging content providers etc. I'm not suggesting that the UK wouldn't be better off with net neutrality enshrined in law, but the current set-up with BT wholesale is actually pretty good for consumers.
        • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Monday May 19, 2014 @06:37AM (#47036835)
          The price may be regulated, but the qualitiy of service appears not to be. Service quality is diabiolical - I mean service in the meaning of "what happens whyen you call to report a fault". They threaten to bill you a massive call out charge if the fault is "your responisibility" and frequently clear the fault and then claim "no fault found" - often when said fault is that they reconfigured the exchange without informing you.

          They refuse to give technical answers to technical questions even in the (unlikely) event that they can understand expressions like "static IP" and "DNS lookup" they persist in attempting to use dumbed down expressions to avoid using technical terms - thus ensuring that their words do not ahve any useful meaning.

          In short, if they were not a monopoly, they would not last a week.

          Disclaimer: I had a broadband problem last week - reported it - NFF, but problem gone. Repeatedly threatened with GBP220 call out charge. Process took three hours.

          • by iserlohn (49556)

            I've never been threatened with a call-out charge by Virgin Media (but their billing practises it awful, such as overbilling people with old plans and being anal retentative when questioned). However, BT threatened me with a call-out charge once on a problem with my PSTN (ie. Plain Ole Telephone) service. I insisted they sent out an engineer and in the end it turned out to be a problem with the line card my line was connected to at the exchange. So, yes, in the end they fixed it and, no, I didn't get charge

          • by Xest (935314)

            The call out charge is disturbing at first but I'm not sure BT ever charge it unless the BT guy finds it really is something completely braindead (like you haven't plugged in your ADSL router via a microfilter).

            I had an issue with ever decreasing sync speeds and it took my ISP 9 months to not fix it (in the end I got them to bodge it by just making them fix the target SnR lower than it used to be, because the error rate wasn't high enough for me to care - it didn't fix the real actual problem, but at least

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

        by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> 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 [bt.com] over ATM [wikipedia.org] 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 AmiMoJo (196126) *

          My problem is that BT owns the copper line going to my house, and it is broken. It only works for voice, ADSL2 can barely scape 5Mb/sec with constant drop-outs. BT don't care, they only guarantee that the line works for voice.

          In other words I have only one ISP available to me: Virgin. I am tempted to try BT Infinity since apparently they replace most of the wiring, but only if I can cancel it within a month if it proves unusable.

          • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday May 19, 2014 @09:19AM (#47037537)

            My problem is that BT owns the copper line going to my house, and it is broken. It only works for voice, ADSL2 can barely scape 5Mb/sec with constant drop-outs. BT don't care, they only guarantee that the line works for voice.

            In other words I have only one ISP available to me: Virgin. I am tempted to try BT Infinity since apparently they replace most of the wiring, but only if I can cancel it within a month if it proves unusable.

            So, I work in the industry... but in the US. So I'm not positive how your field techs do things but I can give you the advice I'd give here.

            A lot of times, it's hard for the tech to know what's up. You complain about drop-outs and slow speeds. The Tech shows up, and it tests good. Techs like to fix stuff, that's why they're in the industry. So saying they don't care likely isn't accurate. But DSL issues can be incredibly difficult to diagnose and a lot of consumers use services that are garbage and then blame it on their DSL. So they have to deal with a lot of bogus issues and likely think you're another one.

            If I were you, I'd get a notebook and keep a log of when the line stops working, and what is going on when that happens. The classic example is what we here call a "Wet line" You have older twisted pair that works well when dry, but the insulation has cracked and when it rains water literally gets into the insulation and causes the inductance of the wire to change. It's not a strait short, if it were the card would fail or error. But the change in inductance will make the signal flutter all over the place. Generally this problem comes and goes with the rain. It takes a while for the water to seep in so it usually starts a few hours after the rain starts and then it takes a while for the line to dry out, so it will last a while after the rain stops. This makes it very hard for the customer to make the connection in their head. If you figure out that your outages are in fact related to the rain, then your next step is to convince the techs. Now you could just flat out say that... but your best bet is to get the tech out WHILE its raining. Even if he's a complete tool, if he plugs in his test set and it fails, he's going to have to do something about it. So figure out when it's going to rain for a few days strait and then call your trouble ticket in. Therefor increasing the likelyhood of a failure when they test.

            There are plenty of other issues that are similar. So if its not the rain, just keep track. Does it happen every friday at 8pm? Maybe your DSA is congested. Is it only in the mornings? Only when its bellow freezing? etc... all this will help them diagnose the problem. Try to predict when the problem will happen based on the data you collected, then try to get the tech there when you suspect it will. If you can, schedule an appointment and show the tech your data. If you can't schedule an appointment, write the tech a letter and leave it hanging on your NID (where your telephone line enters your house)

            Make it nice and friendly. Over here, I've literally seen AT&T techs install 10k foot spools of wire between a customers card and their house out of spite. So ticking off the tech is not a good idea.

  • by marcello_dl (667940) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:07AM (#47036503) Homepage Journal

    Is a blockage going to help the ultimate objective, that is to stop crime? Does it not drive criminals underground in many cases?
    Oh wait, stopping crime is not the ultimate objective, control of communication is. Go ahead.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:57AM (#47036699)

      This is the problem every time "protect the children" comes up. It's never about protecting it them, it's about censorship. Yes child porn exists and yet blocking the images just drives it harder underground making it harder to find those committing the crimes to prosecute. Many countries need to do a 180 on censorship laws or anything considered "regulation" of internet content because "no blocking of legal content" is the same as "block all torrents, porn and questionable photoshops" It just is not enforceable as a grey area, either the political idiots pushing for such laws get a full blown "block all torrents and porn" law which means they can block anything and everything (See how Canada considers Japanese ero manga/anime equivalent to child abuse images) even if there was no person harmed in producing it.

      As much as some people don't like the "freedom of speech" aspect of American law because it allows one to promote obscenity and criminal activity, that law also saves a lot of controversial topics from being squashed in the name of Ayn Rand style deregulation

      • 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.

        • by jonwil (467024)

          Why would a for-profit company like BT willingly spend money to develop a filter system? They derive zero revenue from it as far as I know. There was no pressure or requests from the police or government to introduce a filtering system of any sort. (only to remove specific content that was hosted in the UK and therefore under UK jurisdiction)

          Did they develop it because there was pressure from their customers? Did they develop it because the government threatened to do something about the problem if the ISPs

          • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Monday May 19, 2014 @10:18AM (#47037971)

            Why would a for-profit company like BT willingly spend money to develop a filter system? They derive zero revenue from it as far as I know. There was no pressure or requests from the police or government to introduce a filtering system of any sort. (only to remove specific content that was hosted in the UK and therefore under UK jurisdiction)

            Did they develop it because there was pressure from their customers? Did they develop it because the government threatened to do something about the problem if the ISPs didn't act voluntarily? Did they develop it to avoid someone else developing one first and pinching BT customers?

            Shockingly, maybe decent people inside BT that are of the opinion that child pr0n is vile and shouldn't exist thought that filtering might be a way to keep vile people from accessing this material easily. Even for-profit companies engage in activities not directly related to profit, whether contributing to charities (eg. sponsoring events, matching employee contributions etc), supporting the local communitiy and so forth. Companies are made up of people, and many of those people want to do good in the world. I'm not sure filtering is the most effective way to combat child abuse, but I can understand why people might want to give it a try. At the very least they make it harder for people to use their facilities (the network, in this case) to contribute to something they find wrong.

            • ...maybe decent people inside BT that are of the opinion that child pr0n is vile and shouldn't exist thought that filtering might be a way to keep vile people from accessing this material easily. Even for-profit companies engage in activities not directly related to profit,...

              Yes and when BT saw that it would cost them a smaller percentage of their profits to set up and maintain a filter like this than it would cost their competitors, of course they pushed for it, This decreased their competitors' margins

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:00AM (#47036927)

        Many countries need to do a 180 on censorship laws or anything considered "regulation" of internet content because "no blocking of legal content" is the same as "block all torrents, porn and questionable photoshops"

        I think that is the wrong way to think about it.
        If you really want to stop censorship you have to teach people that censorship isn't about preventing some people from speaking their opinion, it is about preventing you from hearing it.
        Everyone is free to say what they want, as long as no-one is there to hear it.

        When people realize that censorship exists, not to stop the nutjobs from having their ideas, but because you can't be trusted to select what thoughts to accept and what to reject we might see people thinking of censorship as something bad.

        Censorship is as close as we get to thought control with current technology.

      • by currently_awake (1248758) on Monday May 19, 2014 @11:54AM (#47038733)
        The way to stop child porn isn't censorship, it's to follow the smut back to its source and arrest the perverts. Anything else is just hiding the problem.
  • 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 Keyboard Rage (3448471) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:18AM (#47036549)

      The UK, just like currently the Netherlands, wants all of the advantages of the EU without any of the negatives. So they like receiving money and being able to invest their own money in anything in Europe that will bring their own country more money, but think all of that should come free of charge.

      Even better, all other EU countries should pay the UK and the Netherlands for being so nice to the rest of the EU. Think of the children!

      I wish that the politicians with these stances (usually right-wing and/or populists) took the advice they so like to give to unwanted foreigners (anything Muslim/Arab, Greeks, Eastern Europeans (unless they can use them as slave-labor)) to go away and followed it themselves. The world would be a better place.

      • 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 Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2014 @06:14AM (#47036757)

          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.

          The amount of trade the UK does with the EU outweighs any deficit in rebates and grants they get. If you want to leave the EU over rebates and grants you'd be sacrificing a pound to save a penny. The UK may whine on endlessly about leaving the EU but the extent of their trade with the common market makes that an impractical idea to say the least.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2014 @06:35AM (#47036825)

        If you would do some research, you would discover that the Netherlands and the UK are some of the top contributors to the EU per capita in relation to EU spending on these countries. In other words, these countries contribute much more to the EU than they receive in subsidies and other monetary benefits from the EU. To suggest we are looking for a free lunch is either ignorant or dishonest, when other countries in the south and east benefit much more from it than we do.

        Personally, I do not feel so bad about this redistribution of wealth. The value of the EU lies in more than only economic prosperity. We haven't warred among ourselves in almost 70 years, which is quite an achievement for such a melting pot of different nations and cultures. The EU was probably a large factor in that.

        I guess that means I am pro EU. That does not mean I approve of everything the EU does. The fact that we spend so much is just another reason we should be critical and hold them accountable for bad policy. Leaving the EU solves nothing and would only replace the current problems with other, larger ones.

        Sincerely, A Dutchman.

        Sources:
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8036097.stm#start
        http://public.tableausoftware.com/shared/B8D43MBKQ?:display_count=yes

      • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:01AM (#47036933) Journal
        Nice try. For one, both the Netherlands and the UK are net contributors. NL managed to get its payments reduced after being the largest (per capita) sponsor of the EU for years, but they still contribute. Also, there is no reason why we shouldn't have the advantages without the drawbacks. That's what the so called eurosceptics are after, not necessarily a complete departure from the EC, but a saner Europe that concerns itself with important transborder stuff, and leaves the rest to national governments. We want a Europe with economic, legislative and military collaboration, but without the legislation on the curvature of bananas, the lavish subsidies to farms in France and Poland, the projects that are essentially just burning money for the hell of it, and yes, without net neutrality too. I am glad the EC is pushing for it, but isn't that something that we could leave to national governments?

        In short, we were happy with the old EEC. Anything further should start with rebuilding the EC into something that actually resembles a functioning democracy, with strict limits on the mandate of this superstate.
        • 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.

          • It makes sense to harmonize some of this stuff, sure, especially things like patents or where it is needed to level the playing field. But in other cases it may be better to have no regulations at all, especially when rules are somewhat arbitrary and/or designed to protect interests in certain member states. We've seen plenty of throughtless rules that put an undue administrative or other burden on companies, especially smaller ones. In a lot of cases they are the ones complaining.
            • by iserlohn (49556) on Monday May 19, 2014 @09:40AM (#47037691) Homepage

              We live with regulations now because once a point in time, somebody recognized the existing system back then needed rules to optimize trade, improve safety, minimize waste, etc. Sometimes we make mistakes, and that we over regulate, or not regulate in the right way. Sometimes these are innocent mistakes, and sometimes it is due to lobbying efforts by vested interest. But in most case, they can be corrected.

              The right way to deal with this is for engagement. Not using it as an excuse to throw the baby out of with the bathwater. In fact, if the UK did leave the EU, we would need to adhere to the same regulations in order to sell our stuff to Europe, while having no influence over the drafting of these rules. Do we really want to be such a situation?

              Not that I don't agree with the mandate for EU reform. As it stands the way the EU, and especially the EC works it a mystery to most people. Although not an Eurosceptic myself, I do admit that it is useful to have a sceptical counterbalance in the European political landscape, in order to drive us to make the EU institutions that we already have, better.

              Unfortunately, almost all of the Eurosceptic parties are increasingly moving towards xenophobic and populist arguments. You can see that from the type of political advertising that the UKIP has been doing here in Britain, and it is worse for the respective parties in the Netherlands and in France.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Also, there is no reason why we shouldn't have the advantages without the drawbacks. That's what the so called eurosceptics are after, not necessarily a complete departure from the EC, but a saner Europe that concerns itself with important transborder stuff, and leaves the rest to national governments.

          In that case they really don't seem to have even the most fundamental understanding of how trade agreements work. For example, they oppose employment regulation, but the only way other countries will agree to have free and unrestricted trade is if our companies don't have an economic advantage due to being able to treat their workers poorly. So either we accept regulation and benefit or we come out of the EU and suffer.

          If we want to sell goods to Europe we will need to meet EU safety standards. Otherwise a

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Also, there is no reason why we shouldn't have the advantages without the drawbacks. That's what the so called eurosceptics are after, not necessarily a complete departure from the EC, but a saner Europe that concerns itself with important transborder stuff, and leaves the rest to national governments.

          In that case they really don't seem to have even the most fundamental understanding of how trade agreements work. For example, they oppose employment regulation, but the only way other countries will agree to have free and unrestricted trade is if our companies don't have an economic advantage due to being able to treat their workers poorly. So either we accept regulation and benefit or we come out of the EU and suffer.

          If we want to sell goods to Europe we will need to meet EU safety standards. Otherwise a

      • The Netherlands pays more than it receives.
        For example, over 2012 we paid 6.08 billion euros and received 2.12 billion euros.
        http://www.europa-nu.nl/id/vh9... [europa-nu.nl]
        So please don't talk any bull about us.

    • 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.

      • The Euro is an awful, awful thing. It was oringinally designed to only be utilised by strong, economically secure countries like Germany; Six or seven at most. There are now 18 countries using the euro as their official currency, some of them in financial ruin (Greece, Portugal, Ireland...). Hell, the criteria for entry weren't even applied to everyone equally, so some of those countries shouldn't have joined in the first place!

        I'm all for everything else the EU has implemented, but the Euro is an abominat
        • 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 @07:01AM (#47036929) Homepage

          The problem is that the Euro is a monetary union without a proper fiscal (and by-proxy political) union. The US has a strong central government and can fix these imbalances by, amongst other things, spending federal dollars in the states with weaker economies. The Euro does not have a proper mechanism to do this and you can see the stronger export economies reaping the rewards of Euro membership (looking at you Germany). A lot of big-ticket items (such as German cars and second homes) were bought on cheap credit due when the southern economies joining the Euro.

      • Its not just human rights, the UK have strongly resisted joining Schengen migration laws.

        Look, I am all for human rights and freedom of moment. But what Brussels is trying to force member states into accepting is simply insane.
        Here in Germany, we enjoy some of the best social services in the EU. We also enjoy a low unemployment rate coupled with a rather high taxation rate. This is the reason we can afford our current social system.
        What the asshats in Brussels are insisting that we do is allow Romanians to migrate to Germany (or the UK) with any job, any prospect of ever getting a job and immed

    • by debma (3659077)
      I agree. And if it's just a minority that we're hearing, I'd kindly ask the British pro-EU majority to stand up.
    • by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Monday May 19, 2014 @06:44AM (#47036859)
      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?

      • 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.

        http://www.reuters.com/article... [reuters.com]

  • 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.

      • And buy European porn. Love the common market.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        I think the GP meant benefits that the other EU states by allowing the UK to remain in the EU. There is quite a bit of trade, but presumably if we left there would be some (inferior) trade treaties put in place so it wouldn't dry up completely. It might actually benefit them as companies like Nissan move their factories back into the EU.

        Overall I think we are all better off together, but I still find the UK's whiny bitching about everything quite embarrassing and counter-productive.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:22AM (#47036563)

      EU laws limit, to some extent, the damage the British government can do.
      Plus, I get to move around within Europe without worrying about work permits.

    • We already have zero hour contracts and more part time workers than fully employed so yes, the EU probably prevents us from replacing them with slave prison labor.

    • 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 N1AK (864906)
      I'd also ask what benefits exactly do very wealthy US states like California or New York get from being part of the United States rather than an individual nation? They pay vastly more in to central government than they receive, have laws set that differ considerably from their own states preference and many if not most of the benefits from being part of the same nation could 'theoretically' be gained through agreements between the new nation and the rest of the United States.
      • I'd also ask what benefits exactly do very wealthy US states like California or New York get from being part of the United States rather than an individual nation?

        Not being annexed by Mexico and Canada respectively, that's quite a benefit.

    • I like the ease of travel to other EU countries that i have with my EU passport.

      I personally also like the fact that some of the insanity that the idiots in charge have wanted to do have been blocked by EU rules...

      • by Vlado (817879)

        Surely the "ease of travel" would not be limited if UK was not in EU anymore? As a matter of fact UK is not in the Schengen area. That means that you actually still have to use the passport while traveling anywhere, while the rest of us "UE-ians" :-) only need it for UK (I'm of course exaggerating, there are other EU countries that are not part of Schengen area either).
        As a matter of fact, I can travel without passport to several countries that are NOT part of EU or Schengen, such as Bosnia, and Serbia. Of

    • Human rights protected by the treaties, guarded by the Commission (even though the European Court of Justice is not part of the EU). Because you sure as fuck can't trust the current lot with our rights. This article as a case in point.

      Of course, access to a huge market, amazingly well regulated (you want to know what happens when regulatory capture takes place? look at the US...)

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

      Economic advantages, of course, but also a whole swathe of good laws have come from the EU. The anti-EU crowd always like to point at the bad laws (and of course, there are some) as a reason to leave whilst completely ignoring all the good laws that are only here as a result of the EU.

    • by tubs (143128)

      Yes, I can travel to any country in Europe without a Visa. Even better, when I get to Europe I can travel from from Spain to Slovakia without a passport. The only people demanding my passport, is the UK. I can fly to Ibiza, or the balearics, or Greece for my summer holiday without a Visa.

      I can swap my Pounds for Euros, and travel from Spain to Slovakia without having to change another currency

      I can buy a "Class One" banana in Tesco, or Sainsburys, or Aldi and know that they are all about the same size an

  • by sugar and acid (88555) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:09AM (#47036521)

    The UK conservative government has an election next year. They are under a lot of pressure from the UKIP, a party that is for the UK being independent from the EU, so very anti EU. And it is about an issue that they can twist into being about them protecting children from the internet, which plays well in the tabloids. Of course they were going to do this no matter how good or bad the EU legislation actually is.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      ..net neutrality implies that they're getting lobbied by the pipe owners in uk. shocking!

    • Winning an election is far more important than good policy. Democracy is at its most flawed at this point in the electoral cycle. Expect bad decisions and bad legislation for the next year.

      Cant say I am enthused with either the "Nannying and high taxes of the socialist nightmare" or the "Law and Order, free market gravy train for the few" that will be the choice at the election either. Not a lot to choose from, a plague on both their houses.

      UKIP are a nationalist party with no policies except xenophobia and

      • by pjt33 (739471)

        Bad decisions, maybe. Bad legislation? They've prorogued Parliament unusually early because they've run out of things that the two parties in the coalition can agree on. They might not manage to find any legislation to push next year.

      • You are omitting the entirely credible choice of "we will say whatever we think will please you and then do the opposite" party.

        UKIP is a red herring put there to justify the loony right faction of the marginally less loony right party. The people that say they vote UKIP are the same ones that say "Vote? while the pubs are open or Corrie is on the box? Are you mad!"

  • by Exitar (809068) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:27AM (#47036585)

    They will be glad to join US.

  • Fake news (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    First, the best way to fight child pornography is not to filter it - that way child pornography is still reachable through a proxy. Rather, the server must be legally seized.
    Second, two years ago the european parliament did pass a resolution allowing for filtering child pornography through the net. I don't think this resolution has been altered in any way by net neutrality.
    So, I think it is unlikely for the British goverment to veto european net neutrality - I don't think the british goverment would be so

    • by geniice (1336589)

      seizing the server is only an option if the server is in the UK. Otherwise not all police forces cooperate with the UK goverment.

  • No blocking (Score:4, Insightful)

    by X10 (186866) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:37AM (#47036631) Homepage

    There should be no blocking of whatever content. What is blocked, is accessible to the people who it's targeted at, but the general audience doesn't see it. It's swept under the carpet. Illegal content that exists on the internet should be visible, so people can complain with their representatives in parliament, or file charges with the police. I say this as one of the founders of Meldpunt (www.meldpunt.org) which is one of the founding parties of Inhope (www.inhope.org).

  • They will be sued (Score:4, Interesting)

    by patrickv (3481) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:50AM (#47036669) Homepage

    The rule is that a member state needs to transpose the whole EU directive into local law within a set timeframe. So, either the UK transposes the whole directive in UK law or they will be taken before the European Court of Justice by the European Commission for lack of, or imperfect, transposition. Their choice.

    This sounds more like a desperate effort by the tories to prevent UKIP from making a too high score in the next EU parliament elections happening over the next few days.

  • by Captain_Chaos (103843) on Monday May 19, 2014 @06:17AM (#47036773)
    I'm getting sick and tired of shit like this. Just leave the EU already and become the 51st State, UK! Good riddance!
    • by xaxa (988988)

      I'm getting sick and tired of shit like this. Just leave the EU already and become the 51st State, UK! Good riddance!

      There's quite a lot of us (all my friends, probably all or almost all my colleagues) who want to remain in the EU.

      If I didn't enjoy my job here, I'd already have emigrated. Depending on the result of the EU election I may have to reconsider which country deserves my work.

  • We knew they'd say this, right?

  • 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 Bob9113 (14996) on Monday May 19, 2014 @08:51AM (#47037351) Homepage

    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,"

    I find it fascinating when politicians assert that they can tell when something is illegal without consulting the courts. Just what exactly do they think the courts are for? Here's a hint; think about the word, "judge," and what it means as a verb.

  • *sigh* Yet more FUD on network neutrality.

    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.

    Network neutrality has nothing to do with the ability or inability to block sites via court orders or legislation. Neutrality is about companies intentionally slowing traffic or charging 3rd-parties special fees to access their network. Every time a NN law comes out, someone says "oh, but this law prevents X" where X is something totally arbitrary and random. "Oh, network neutrality won't let us block illegal sites" or "network neutrality won't let us upgrade our

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