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UK May Kill the EU's Net Neutrality Law 341 341

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 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 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 @05:22AM (#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.

  • 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.

  • by coastwalker (307620) <acoastwalker@nospaM.hotmail.com> on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:36AM (#47036625) Homepage

    I am one and I agree. We have Chav politics for Chav people.

    The place is run by the tabloid press and whatever the latest Witch hunt happens to be. It suits the wealthy for the plebs to be at each others throats demanding jack boots on their own freedom. Bread and circuses.

    You couldn't make it up - Foaming mob demanding the death of Pediatricians force Government to disconnect the internet and replace it with Disney, Netflix and Sesame Street.

    Having said that, the enlightened Australian equivalent has already installed their own great firewall of China "The web filter will also block access to websites about politically sensitive issues which have changing criminality statuses e.g., euthanasia and abortion".

    Enjoy your totalitarian prison convict.

  • 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).

  • 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 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.


  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2014 @06:55AM (#47036905)

    Are you seriously implying that only EU member states may trade with other EU member states?

    Are you seriously implying that border controls don't make imports more difficult ?

    Are you seriously implying that custom duty will not make imports more expensive ?

    Are you seriously thinking that if the UK leaves the EU, both of the above will not make UK exports to the EU much more expensive, and hence the UK will export LESS to the EU?

    Are you seriously that blind?

    Both companies and people in the EU will look to do bussiness with partners stil in the EU, instead of with the UK.
    Any treaty negotiated between the EU and a third party will not apply to the UK any longer, and will need to be renegotiated with the UK, which will be in a less advantageous position, as it represents far less GBP/EUR/USD than the full EU block.

    If the UK leaves, both the EU and the UK lose (politically and economically), but I would guess the UK stands to lose more.

  • 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 SomeKDEUser (1243392) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:46AM (#47037071)

    Of course, But the insane-foaming-at-the-mouth anti-EU types are not stopped by facts. They just really hate the fact that society is turning liberal and that despising people because of their colour of sexual preferences is frown upon. So they hope to turn back the clock by shutting the frontiers. At the end of the day, these insane arguments are just the death throes of old people whose world is slipping away. The new one is much better, but it does not reflect their prejudices, and the dissonance is just too painful.

    How unsurprising that the the charge is lead by a newspaper whose editor in the 30s was a literal Hitler-admirer. They haven't changed their politics.

  • 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.

  • 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 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 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.

  • 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 NoOneInParticular (221808) on Monday May 19, 2014 @03:27PM (#47040511)
    Au contraire. Switzerland needs to keep their end of the bargain, and are therefore subject to many, if not most of the random dictats from Brussels as they refer to free trade. They just don't have the right to influence them, just obey.

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