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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Legal / filtering implications of Digital Economy bill in Technical; Hello All, So, the Digital Economy bill has been passed by parliament. Can anyone confirm for me that this will ...
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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Legal / filtering implications of Digital Economy bill

    Hello All,

    So, the Digital Economy bill has been passed by parliament. Can anyone confirm for me that this will make it a criminal offence to provide Internet access to anyone banned from such by a court order (I'm a bit behind - did clause 18 get taken out in the end or not)? Therefore, do we as schools have some kind of obligation to have a facility to block Internet access for certain pupils / employees? Also, what's the best way for a school connection to avoid falling foul of this law - will something like SmoothWall provide all the filtering we need by default, or are there changes we need to make to our systems?

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    dwhyte85's Avatar
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    Do you think this kind of ban would appear on an eCRB for a member of staff?

    My concern is... how are we to know as NMs, we probably shouldn't be accessing employee data unless agreed to in contracts, it's down to vigilence of the HR manager? As for students, I don't know how the information would feed back to the school.
    Last edited by dwhyte85; 8th April 2010 at 09:57 AM.

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    Cools's Avatar
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    It still has one more step to go before you have to worry about what you Download.

    Just enable your encryption on the programs you use to download. Like news U-torrent and NewsBin Pro
    and your all safe.

    or have a look at PeerBlock - Phoenix Labs if you must.

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    tom_newton's Avatar
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    Our BECTA certification includes "criminal activity" - as part of this, we are asked to block piracy/copyright infringing sites, which is as you might guess something of a grey area.

    Given a suitable web filter, and firewall rules to block p2p (ie. deny all but web, and email/IM if needed) I think you could probably be said to have done enough for "due diligence", and you'd be a hard target for a prosecutor, but, as they say on /., IANAL.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    So, the Digital Economy bill has been passed by parliament. Can anyone confirm for me that this will make it a criminal offence to provide Internet access to anyone banned from such by a court order (I'm a bit behind - did clause 18 get taken out in the end or not)? Therefore, do we as schools have some kind of obligation to have a facility to block Internet access for certain pupils / employees? Also, what's the best way for a school connection to avoid falling foul of this law - will something like SmoothWall provide all the filtering we need by default, or are there changes we need to make to our systems?
    Clause 18 was dropped, but replaced by clauses 1 and 2 which, apparently, "introduce an amended clause 18" [1]. I can't find the text of those clauses though, I went to bed before the end of the debate so I only know that it was passed by majority.

    As to the questions, I think legal advice is needed once the bill receives royal assent. This might be something Dos_Box could arrange on our behalf, but your LEA should also be able to advise in the meantime.

    At the least, I think AUPs are going to need a clause about disclosing a court order to the school if one exists so that appropriate action can be taken, and I'm going to recommend this to our lot.

    1: Digital Economy bill: liveblogging the crucial third reading | Technology | guardian.co.uk

    Quote Originally Posted by Cools
    It still has one more step to go before you have to worry about what you Download.
    This is true in the sense that it still has to go to the other house (probably today), but I don't know what will happen with this little time left. It should be that the Lords propose further amendments and the Commons approve or reject them, but we are in a situation with almost no precedent at the moment so frankly, anything could happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cools
    Just enable your encryption on the programs you use to download. Like news U-torrent and NewsBin Pro
    and your all safe.
    That's not what the OP was asking...

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    dhicks (8th April 2010)

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cools View Post
    It still has one more step to go before you have to worry about what you Download.
    I, personally, have no intention of downloading any material that I am not entitled to, but I have a network to run here and pupils and staff have a tendancy to install all sorts of random music/video/etc downloading applications and run them on our network given half a chance.

    How is the technical part of things likely to be done - how will networks be scanned to look for copyright-infringing materials? Is having any kind of peer-to-peer traffic on your Internet connection going to be classed as illegal? If so, how about applications such as Skype, which use a peer-to-peer style protocol - is that likly to arouse suspicion?

    or have a look at PeerBlock - Phoenix Labs if you must.
    Thanks, that sounds handy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    As to the questions, I think legal advice is needed once the bill receives royal assent. This might be something Dos_Box could arrange on our behalf, but your LEA should also be able to advise in the meantime.
    We're a private school, so no LEA, but I'm sure our board of govenors will be able to advise.

    At the least, I think AUPs are going to need a clause about disclosing a court order to the school if one exists so that appropriate action can be taken, and I'm going to recommend this to our lot.
    Good point.

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    If you Download this Warez at school then you do need to be shot (in the head),But as this is aimed more at the home user it's there you need to keep an eye on things.

    Get spotify for music and Stream over the web. xbox 360 / PS3 / SkyPlayer.
    Its funny there more cheep things out there and freebies nowadays then there was 2 years ago.

    why cant they work on getting rid of money lol. star trek here we come.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Taking the implications of this further, what about community engagement activities that schools take part in? Adult learning? As schools are supposed to be encouraging their facilities to be used outside normal school hours and activities, would that leave the school responsible if a person with such a ruling against them happened to visit?

    Or even just visitors? What do we do about visitors? Ask every one of them 'have you got a court order banning your internet use?'?

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cools View Post
    But as this is aimed more at the home user it's there you need to keep an eye on things.
    Sorry, not with you - if you mean "this" as in the Digital Economy bill then it would seem to be wide-ranging, affecting any entity (person, school, business, etc) with a contract with a broandband ISP, if you mean "this" as in this thread then you can assume that we're going to be discussing the technical issues that relate to schools arising from the Digital Economy bill and how to solve/implement them.

    why cant they work on getting rid of money lol. star trek here we come.
    The annoying thing is that there was a perfectly easy solution to the problem years ago - record and film companies could have simply licensed ISPs to resell digital content on an all-you-can-use basis, i.e. the end user pays a fixed fee per month on top of their ISP's fee to access the ISP's peer-to-peer music / film distribution network. The legal and administrative costs of the whole enterprise would have consisted of paying for a couple of people in a office someplace to send out invoices to ISPs once a quater and the actual labelling and distribution of files would have been handled by users themselves.

    I get the impression the creators of Napster were rather expecting to be simply bought out by the highest-bidding record company, as that was the prevailing econmic model for high-tec startups at the time: invent something, wait for Microsoft to be interested and buy your company. However, record companies proved to be a fair bit dimmer than Microsoft and just blundered around prosecuting their customers instead.

    Does anyone else find this whole outdated record company thing a bit ironic? After all, these were the people who were making all the fuss 50-odd years ago about how rock-and-roll would never die, music as an exprerssion of youth culture, etc, and now they just seem like lumbering idiots who could never have been under 40 years old.

    The Star-Trek idea is a good one, though - all we need to do is plot a parabola around the sun, hit lightspeed and we can travel back in time and drop in on a couple of record label board meetings to explain things...

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Or even just visitors? What do we do about visitors? Ask every one of them 'have you got a court order banning your internet use?'?
    This depends on whether the courts take the view that the individual is banned or just that the pair of wires in question is banned. If it's the former, we have a problem; if it's the latter we don't.

    I don't know whether the act makes provision for this or whether it's going to end up being case law. When the Lords amendments are decided we will have a better idea.

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    the prevailing econmic model for high-tec startups at the time: Invent something, wait for Microsoft to be interested and buy your company.
    Quite. I got to sit through a dipstick new company CEO saying that 10 years ago, except the plan was already "wait for Google".

    Have only glanced at the latest state of DEB and it looks like yet another one with a hole where they get to plug in [whatever] in future re. Ofcom get to try and figure out and subsequently police the whole crime & punishment aspect .. and if it's anything like RIPA it could go on for years yet.

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    To some extant LAs and RBCs will have to wait for all the readings to be done, for it to receive royal assent and be enable as an act of law.

    There is also a large element that case law will have to be used to set the boundaries on this and the distinction between the wires and the person is likely to fall down to it being the wires. Under the present guise the connection will be ceased if 1 member of a household is in breach (if I have read it correctly .. please correct me if I am wrong), but with no directive about 1 member of a company.

    The difference between the owner / controller of a connection and the user is going to be vague in some places but it is very clear in businesses and schools.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    . Under the present guise the connection will be ceased if 1 member of a household is in breach (if I have read it correctly .. please correct me if I am wrong)
    I don't think that way of reading it would be legal and in line with Human Rights legislation. ie. group punishment for one person's actions.

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    The other interpretation is to enforce a court order on a person and then overly monitor any connection they may possibly use as a breach of that court order, in turn a possible breach of Human Rights legislation to the rest of the household ... you then get into aiding and abetting issues ... case management costs for the period of the court order (as this will require proactive monitoring of multiple ISPs, in a collective approach similar to that of the insurance world where people are checked out prior to services delivered) and this costs money which always gets passed onto the customer.

    So ... we will see broadband costs rise ... just as Digital Britain says that costs must drop.



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