Leveson wanted big news publishers regulated. He proposed very stringent measures against news publishers that did not join a “self regulatory” body. His target was big, powerful news companies that could intimidate or ignore individuals whose rights they violated.
Last weekend, the three main parties negotiated a deal. Websites will be regulated if they publish news, have multiple authors, and run commercially. That covers a lot of small websites and blogs.
Leveson never intended to regulate small-scale and amateur bloggers but this poorly-written law threatens to restrict the power of individuals to debate topical matters in the blogosphere.
Big Brother Watch have proposed an amendment which would exempt “[publishers] who do not exceed the definition of a small or medium-sized enterprise…” from the legislation. The amendment has been put down by Lord Lucas. It needs to garner cross-party support.
If you have a minute today, please email the people who negotiated this consensus deal, and ask them to back off and leave the Internet out of Leveson.
I’m excited (and a little terrified) to announce I’ll be speaking on Digital Ethics at the next Pecha Kucha Sheffield on 21 March. Here’s the pitch:
Times are a’changing, faith in the institutions once depended upon has been rocked to its very core and as our eyes are opened to the realities of the world before us, we are once again, taking back the responsibility of judging right and wrong for ourselves.
For years we seem to have taken our eye off the ball, just accepting the way things are. We happily bowed down to the powers that be and those in the know, only to be shown time-and-time-again that self-governance and unregulated positions of control and power cannot be trusted to act with anything other than their own self-interests at heart.
As our Global consciousness gradually awakens, what matters to us now is ‘fairness’…as people from every walk of life take an ethical lens to every facet of the societies in which we live, the cracks are clear for all to see.
Pecha Kucha Vol #12 is an exploration into the truth behind the issues that influence so much of the lives we live today and the ones we will have to make choices about tomorrow.
I want to talk about the ethical dilemmas our society is encountering as we all get used to living our (relatively) new digital lives. Which hot topics do you think I should squeeze into my 400 seconds?
You can get tickets for the event here. Let me know if you’re coming!
First up, I’ve switched the site to use WordPress’s own excellent Twenty-Thirteen theme, rather than Agregado. The latter served me well for several years however the sidebar hasn’t done what I wanted since Twitter switched off RSS support and the email contact form was a massive spam-magnet. Meanwhile the default WordPress theme, and the Jetpack plugin set, have now evolved to contain many of the features I was hacking in manually before: twitter and RSS integration, email subscriptions, social-media sharing buttons, tweeting new posts, displaying profile info, etc. I’ll likely be tweaking the theme and content continuously over the next couple of months but I’m already much happier with the cleaner look and increased ease-of-maintenance
Secondly, until now this blog has been focussed exclusively on digital rights campaigning, however I’m planning to steer it in a more personal direction in future. There will still be plenty of posts about digital rights but from now on I’ll also be using this outlet to deposit thoughts on technology, music, work, life and what I had for breakfast this morning. If you want to filter out any of that extra stuff and get back to the hardcore activism posts you can use the list of categories in the sidebar.
Earlier this year I posted eight questions to ask your next ISP. I then invited responses from the ISPs who provide services over South Yorkshire’s new Digital Region network. At the time there were three: Ask4, Origin Broadband and Little Big One. Two of these have now replied so I thought I’d post their answers, with their permission, so that others can benefit from them.
Have a look at my original post for the background behind the questions and the kind of things I was looking for in the answers. Many thanks to @ask4support and @originbroadband for taking the time to reply.
I’d love to know what you make of these answers in the comments!
1. What sort of IP addresses can you provide?
|We supply dynamic IPv4 addresses. Our Networks team are investigating future IPv6 implementation but we are unable to comment any further at this point in time.||Currently we provide static IPv4 addresses, but are already planning ahead for IPv6.|
2. What priorities and limits does your network place on different types of datagram?
3. Do you block certain types of traffic or access to certain ports?
4. What network services do you provide to customers?
|We provide DNS servers for our customers. We do not currently provide any graphing or performance facilities, there are numerous third party tools that can be used at the customer’s discretion.||As standard we only offer these kind of services when people ask. But if you want reverse DNS, additional IP’s, domain name hosting, email, web hosting, FTP server or colocation you only have to ask and we’ll deal with everything on a case by case basis.|
5. How good is the support for your service?
|We offer a 24/7 Sheffield based call centre, manned by technical
support staff who do not work from scripts. Our support team were
finalists in the 2011 ISPA awards.
We provide support via:
|I’d like to think it’s very good. We’re small and relatively young and I’ll admit we may not get it right every time, but I see our guys going well over the level of service I’ve ever received from an ISP and it makes me proud even though our customers don’t always see quite how much has been done behind the scenes. In terms of channels, we respond to people on Twitter, FB, forums and via email and phone. We’d rather people raised faults (if they occur) either by email or phone, but beyond that we’re quite happy to chat wherever.|
6. Do you intercept traffic?
|We do not perform Deep Packet Inspection.||Nope. We would have to if the authorities have a warrant to obtain such information but until the implementation of the new internet monitoring bill then we will have to keep a log of this. The only time we capture traffic is for fault purposes with the end users permission.|
7. Do you censor the connections you sell?
|We do not censor our connections unless requested to do so by the
|No. You can still access pirate bay!|
8. How do you handle allegations of copyright infringement?
|Record the instance on ASK4′s customer management system against the account with the full notice received from the copyright holder or their agent.
Contact the customer to inform them ASK4 have received a copyright infringement notice and advise them to not share copyrighted material.
Forward the copyright infringement notice to the customer’s contact email address and record this on the customer’s account.
Reported infringements for the same customer will be dealt with in the same way. Personal information will not be released unless compelled to by a competent legal authority.
|We pass any infringement notice on to the end user in the hope they modify their behaviour and offer them further security advice to prevent their connection being used for naughty stuff by other people if that’s what’s happened. If we get further ones then we’d have to deal on a case by case basis but we’d be hugely resistant to the idea of limiting people’s connections. As you may be aware RIPE can withdraw IP addresses that have been logged in illegal activity.|
Origin Broadband also said:
These are all fine questions, but very techy focussed. I like to know that the companies I use support local supply chains (as we do), support local causes and events (as we do) and hire local people and contribute to the local economy (as we do). That sounded a bit League of Gentlemen doesn’t it? We actually welcome customers who have non Yorkshire accents!