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Internet regulation. National limits of Internet Content. Background. Internet content is largely unregulated Internet born in freedom  The 1990s environment Free Markets Hopes in the democratic potential of the Internet

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Internet regulation

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Internet regulation l.jpg

Internet regulation

National limits of Internet Content


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Background

  • Internet content is largely unregulated

    • Internet born in freedomThe 1990s environment

      • Free Markets

      • Hopes in the democratic potential of the Internet

      • Emphasis on the potential of the Internet for creating democratic debate

    • Supreme court rejects

      • Regulating pornography on the Internet

      • Even child pornography, if it is photoshop generated


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The Internet and the First Amendment

  • FA strongly protects freedom on speech on the Internet

    • No such thing as indecent or obsence speech on the Internet (anything goes)

    • No limitations in terms of political speech:

      • We can view any website anywhere

      • Al Manar

      • Al Tawbha

    • We allow American hosting companies to host sites serving foreign interests

      • Jihad Watch


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Are there any limitations to Internet freedom of expression?

  • FA does not cover

    • Communication on private servers that is bound by the terms of a licensing agreement

    • Communication that affects the trademarks and business image of a company

    • Some communication that falls under the provisions of the Patriot Act


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Commercial Limitations due to Terms of Use

  • Anything you post on MySpace, Facebook, AOL or Yahoo Groups, Google Groups can be take down anytime for any reason

  • See Facebook Terms of Use

    • The Company reserves the right to change any and all content, software and other items used or contained in the Site and any Services and Platform Applications offered through the Site at any time without notice. […] The Company may terminate your membership, delete your profile and any content or information that you have posted on the Site or through any Platform Application and/or prohibit you from using or accessing the Service or the Site or any Platform Application (or any portion, aspect or feature of the Service or the Site or any Platform Application) for any reason, or no reason, at any time in its sole discretion, with or without notice,


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See Yahoo Terms of use

  • You acknowledge that Yahoo! may or may not pre-screen Content, but that Yahoo! and its designees shall have the right (but not the obligation) in their sole discretion to pre-screen, refuse, or remove any Content that is available via the Service. Without limiting the foregoing, Yahoo! and its designees shall have the right to remove any Content that violates the TOS or is otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of any Content, including any reliance on the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of such Content. In this regard, you acknowledge that you may not rely on any Content created by Yahoo! or submitted to Yahoo!, including without limitation information in Yahoo! Message Boards and in all other parts of the Service.

  • You acknowledge, consent and agree that Yahoo! may access, preserve and disclose your account information and Content if required to do so by law or in a good faith belief that such access preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to: (a) comply with legal process; (b) enforce the TOS; (c) respond to claims that any Content violates the rights of third parties; (d) respond to your requests for customer service; or (e) protect the rights, property or personal safety of Yahoo!, its users and the public.


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Use that can infringe trademarks can be taken down

  • Trademark dilution law: regulates the use and abuse of trademarks

    • Cybersquatting NONO– Pepsi.nu, Facebook.ro

    • Cybergripe sites if they profit commercially from the attention they get

      • Gripe Sites

    • Communication that falls under the provisions of a US international ban (Iranian sites, Sudanese Sites, etc.)

    • Images you lift from another site


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The Patriot Act and the Internet

  • Sections 215 and 505

    • Allows the FBI to request any company to release any business records (“tangible things”) related to a person of interest.

      • Access logs, webpages stored on a hosting site, emails in the Yahoo Mail account, etc.

    • The FBI request should be issued upon prior approval from a FISA judge (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), which should be given some ground for the search

    • The company providing the data might be “Gagged” by the FBI (cannot tell you about the record release but can hire a lawyer or tell specialized people about it).

    • Heatedly debated especially by librarians, still standing


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The Patriot Act and the Internet

  • Section 805

    • Makes people liable for offering expert advice and support to terrorist organizations

    • Weak provision

    • What is the difference between publishing a Jihadi blog or helping someone publish a Jihadi blog that does not directly incite to violence

    • One accused, Sami Al-Hussayen, was acquitted in a test trial (Idaho)


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Is SPAM protected by the First Amendment

  • Partially yes

  • Partially no

  • For now, SPAM cannot be banned per se, only SPAM that results in criminal actions (fraud, identity theft, etc.)

  • No federal law, only state laws

  • Laws regulated spam, do not ban it (freedom of trade and commerce)


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