While issues relating to Brexit and Boris Johnson becoming the Prime Minister of England have tended to dominate the news across the pond, not to be lost in the shuffle are reports that the European Union is in the process of creating a new law that would add further regulation of online content. The new law, titled the Digital Services Act, seeks to replace an older commerce directive from two decades ago with an updated and legally binding law. The law is reported to address a wide array of digital platforms and supposedly would focus on all aspects of tech.
So, what are some of the reported features of the Digital Services Act? Continue reading European Union Seeks to Update and Centralize Internet Law
When the internet exploded beyond the early confines of US military and academic communications in the late-1990s, the US Congress believed that the internet should grow and flourish relatively unfettered by potential litigation and government regulation. This was reflected in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which generally provides that internet service providers are not liable for content posted by third parties on their websites.
However, the pendulum may be swinging in the other direction in the US, as there have been concerns about false information posted online by foreign interests that has been intended to influence elections. There also has been worry about the ability of terrorists and other bad actors to organize and develop plans of harm and destruction by utilizing the internet to further those negative pursuits.
Other countries share the foregoing worries. And there have been some consequent tightening controls on the internet. Of course, there is a balance to be struck. On the one hand, there is a merit to seeking to prevent harm by terrorists. On the other hand, internet restrictions should not be implemented to thwart valid free speech, dissent and organization while seeking improperly to consolidate governmental societal control. Continue reading Internet Controls — Thwarting Terrorism or Silencing Dissent?
We tend to think of censorship happening in other countries, and not so much in the United States. Just like the government can’t violate the First Amendment, we like to think that private companies would be equally generous in allowing freedom of expression, unless something is truly troublesome in nature. Well …
As it turns out, Facebook recently censored a post that displayed a very small 30,000-year-old statuette carved in the image of a naked woman and referred to as the “Venus of Willendorf,” according to USAToday.com.
Continue reading Censoring a Facebook Post Showing a Naked Statuette?
Here in the United States, we like to think that we can speak openly and freely on practically any subject while on the Internet. But is that universally true across the globe? Not necessarily!
Indeed, headlines have made clear that certain governments are intent on blocking Internet speech when it is in the interest of those who are in power but not necessarily when it is in the interest of some members of the citizens in those countries.
Continue reading Government Censorship of Internet Speech
Here in the United States, we are accustomed to freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment of our Constitution.
Indeed, this freedom has been interpreted by the courts to include the freedom to speak freely on the Internet, even anonymously. (However, if such speech causes harm, it is possible that anonymity will be unmasked so that the victim of the speech can seek legal redress).
Unfortunately, other countries are not as open in terms of safeguarding the ability of people to speak their minds — and in this case, Turkey is among them.
Continue reading Talking Turkey: Is New Internet Law a Danger to Democracy?