p2pnet news view | P2P | Politics:- With Australia’s Net ‘filter’ scheme in the background, Britain is calling for dramatic Net censorship measures, including online X-ratings, a mandatory time-limited ‘take down’ requirement for sites such as YouTube, and new libel laws.
“New standards of decency” need to be applied to the web, says culture secretary Andy Burnham in The Telegraph, which goes on:
“He is planning to negotiate with Barack Obama’s incoming American administration to draw up new international rules for English language websites.”
The Net is, “quite a dangerous place” so ISPs need to offer parents “child-safe” web services, the story has him saying.
Asked directly if age ratings could be introduced, “Yes, that would be an option,” he confirmed. “This is an area that is really now coming into full focus.’
ISPs, such as BT, Tiscali, AOL or Sky, “could also be forced to offer internet services where the only websites accessible are those deemed suitable for children,” says the story.
According to Burnham, “If you look back at the people who created the internet they talked very deliberately about creating a space that Governments couldn’t reach. I think we are having to revisit that stuff seriously now. It’s true across the board in terms of content, harmful content, and copyright. Libel is [also] an emerging issue.”
The Telegrap doesn’t include comments from Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, on the UK’s new Net censorship plans, but, “There is content that should just not be available to be viewed,” says Burnham.
“That is my view. Absolutely categorical. This is not a campaign against free speech, far from it; it is simply there is a wider public interest at stake when it involves harm to other people. We have got to get better at defining where the public interest lies and being clear about it.”
The story states »»»
Mr Burnham reveals that he is currently considering a range of new safeguards. Initially, as with copyright violations, these could be policed by internet providers. However, new laws may be threatened if the initial approach is not successful.
Burnham also wants new industry-wide “take down times” which would mean sites such as YouTube or Facebook, “alerted to offensive or harmful content,” would have to, “remove it within a specified time once it is brought to their attention”.
In addition, the government is, “considering changing libel laws to give people access to cheap low-cost legal recourse if they are defamed online,” says The Telegraph.
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