Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Class 6 - Content Regulation

Reading for next Monday's class on Content Regulation.

This class will focus on laws and current issues relating to the regulation of content on the Internet.

Should freedom of speech on the Internet prevail over protection of the public interest? Does the public need to be protected? What is the difference between censorship and regulation?

What are the relevant public interests? Who decides?

Should there by government regulation, or reliance on technology (such as NetNanny), or parental responsibility (e.g., see Google's Family Safety Centre)?

Extra Reading if you are interested:


Olga said...

Here is an interesting article about the internet filter law in Germany. The law was passed in 2009 and caused a huge resentment by the parliamentary opposition and Internet users. More then 134.000 people signed the petition against the law. In April 2011 the government decided to give up their plans to establish internet filters.

Olga said...

here more recent article on the above topic

Victor said...

I totally agree with Germany’s current position as illustrated in the article posted by Olga.
Governments should invest more resources in actually deleting child porn websites instead of concealing them as a browser can be easily reconfigured in order to view such filtered material in any event.

Victor said...

I would also like to draw attention to an article I found about the current position of the European Union with regards to internet filtering at:,41472.html

Victor said...

The article is about a decision handed down on the 24th of November 2011 by the Court of Justice of the European Union in regards to a copyright issue. The Court held that generalized Internet filtering violates the fundamental rights of European citizens including the right to the free flow of information online.

Victor said...

“since that system might not distinguish adequately between unlawful content and lawful content, with the result that its introduction could lead to the blocking of lawful communications.”

This is a landmark decision in support of Internet freedom as all EU member states will have to accept this interpretation.

Mahmoud EL-Sheikh said...

I believe that filter’s system is not the solution because people usually find new ways to ignore content filters. Therefore, I think that one of the solutions is educating citizens at school, university or by different types of media about the critical issues of the internet content regulation such as child pornography and extreme violence so when those citizens become aware about the disadvantage of such websites they will not need to search about them.

Hiyuki Ong said...

Using a software to regulate content on the internet is not a very viable option. A simple search on yahoo Answers can give you ways to bypass these software ( ) and they are easily hacked. Even if you are not the expert in this, there are people on the internet who are more than willing to help.

Education and understanding on why some content are regulated will be a better solution to this issue. Information on the internet exist because there is an interest in these topic. It will be wrong to block any content just because it might not have a positive impact on some users. (eg: Engineers who are interested to know about how amateur bombs are made VS terrorist who really want to make bombs) Users should be able to decide what they want to know, and also understand the potential consequences they might face if they misuse these information.

--Bilin Ong