Legal Considerations in an Online World Andrew Young and Raj Banerjee 1
Legal and ethical considerations in an online world
How is the internet regulated in Australia
Key arguments for and against regulation and censorship
Case Study: Labor governments Internet filter
Legal and Ethical Considerations in an online world “as the new activities of the digital world are immature, some of the traditional quality of old media forms is initially lost, while new rules and know-how are only being invented” - PhillippeAigrain 3
How is the internet regulated in Australia Key online regulatory body = ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) Act on complaints from users about offensive content Power to issue ‘takedown notices’ Maintain a blacklist of offensive/illegal websites 4
Defining ‘offensive content’ 5 Offensive and prohibited content is anything that ACMA decides falls under these categories: *refused classification, or classified X18+ *classified R18+, and not protected by an adult verification system *classified MA15+ and not protected by an adult verification system, where the user has paid to access the content
Other types of regulation In most cases these laws have not been appropriated from an offline sense into an online world. Are they compatible? Defamation Uses the pre-existing offline State and Federal defamation legislation Hate speech Racial Discrimination Act 1975 Copyright Australia adheres to the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) treaty 6
Internet censorship – an unpopular idea? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b7vdmFOxyg&feature=related 7
The Internet Censorship Debate Limitation and Protection VS Freedom and Vigilance
What Is ‘Clean Feed’? The Australian Federal Government is pushing forward with a plan to force Internet Service Providers [ISPs] to censor the Internet for all Australians. In accordance with the government’s plan, Stephen Conroy has announced the proposed introduction of “mandatory ISP-level filtering of Refused Classification (RC) –rated content.”
Why Filter ? It will limit access to some adult content by the general population. Internet users will be able to use a complaint system which will allow them to report offensive websites that can be blocked. Websites that teach crime and terrorism will be blocked.
This policy is an understandable desire to be protective of society, but technically I don’t think it’s a very effective move. This doesn't mean however that we could not, as a society, agree that certain kinds of information are societally unacceptable." - Vint Cerf one of the founding fathers of the internet and Google's chief web evangelist
Do you think it should be up to a group of middle-aged, politically minded men, with noted conservative views to decide what is best for a medium used mostly by Generation X and Y?
Surely the power of censorship should be in the hands of the user, especially since there is no argument to be made that censorship will curb the propensity of illegal material. - Samuel Webster
Filtering will not inhibit the access of people determined to create, distribute or receive child sexual abuse material
Mandatory filtering will not protect children from inappropriate content.
Material that is 'refused classification' (RC) includes much more than child sexual abuse material
There are free-speech concerns.
“Wheredoes Censorship end ?” Some consider mandatory internet filtering and regulations as an attack on free speech. P.48. Rather than just banning illegal and unethical content, the filter could be seen as government censorship as they would be able to decide what can and can’t be seen online In a recent Fairfax Media online poll, 96 per cent (of 45,154 people who voted) said they did not support the proposed filtering policy. - Levin (Internet Censorship : The Debate Rages On)
Internet censorship is a breach of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights – Hillary Clinton The question to ask is: “Who is putting that information out in the first place? That's the place to attack the problem.” – Vint Cerf
The antidote to bad information is more information – Esther Dyson
What do you think? 17 To what extent, if at all, do you think the Internet should be regulated? 2. Do you agree with the need for a compulsory Internet filter?
Bibliography Aigrain, P 2005, ‘Positive Intellectual Rights and Information Exchanges’ in R A Ghosh (ed), CODE: collaborative ownership and the digital economy, pp. 287-315, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. ® Australian Human Rights Commission 2003, ‘Internet regulation in Australia’, [Online] Accessed at: http://www.hreoc.gov.au/racial_discrimination/cyberracism/regulation.html. Deibert, R et al 2010, Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rule in Cyberspace, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 389-406 ® Libertus, 2010, ‘Australia’s Internet Censorship System’ [Online] Accessed at: http://libertus.net/censor/netcensor.html. Levin, J 2010, ‘Internet Censorship: the debate rages on’, Screen Education, no. 59, pp. 46-51. Mitchell, D and Armstrong M 2001, ‘Broadcasting regulatory mechanisms and the internet’, Intermedia, vol. 29, no.5-6, pp. 8-12. 18
Bibliography Don’t Be Dirty: Why Internet Censorship is About More Than Pornography - Samuel Webster– December 5, 2008 http://www.trespassmag.com/don%E2%80%99t-be-dirty-why-internet-censorship-is-about-more-than-pornography/ Vint Cerf's message to Australia: internet censorship isn't effective Australian IT, January 21, 2011 7 http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/vint-cerfs-message-to-australia-internet-censorship-isnt-effective/story-e6frgakx-1225992330849 NO CLEAN FEED – STOP INTERNET CENSORSHIP IN AUSTRALIA http://nocleanfeed.com/learn.html Internet Censorship - Is Australia the Next China? By mcbeanhttp://mcbean.hubpages.com/hub/Internet-Censorship-Australia-China