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Freedom of speech, nipples and the rule of law

politics & society
6 May 14:45 - 15:15
30 minutes
beginner
English
talk

Thesis:

National governments, EU institutions and international organsiations make more and more use of the term "self-regulation" in the context fighting illegal online content, content accused of being illegal or content that is just unwelcome. It is "the" answer in fighting online illegal activities, such as terrorsim, child abuse or copyright infringements. Among the most telling and recent examples are the EU-funded Clean IT project, ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, CISPA...

Beschreibung:

National governments, EU institutions and international organsiations make more and more use of the term "self-regulation" in the context fighting illegal online content, content accused of being illegal or content that is just unwelcome. It is "the" answer in fighting online illegal activities, such as terrorsim, child abuse or copyright infringements. In many cases, the concept behind these public/private partnerships are that industry or a sector of industry signs up "voluntarily" to arbitrarily punish their consumers and to restrict freedom of speech. In parallel, it has become more and more frequent that private companies get to decide what is "appropriate" or "inappropriate" online and what sort of Internet content we are allowed to access. Laws are slowly being replaced with "terms of service". Recently, we have noticed a flood of examples of bizarre corporate censorship that demonstrate the absurdity and comedy behind a very serious problem – the abandonment of the rule of law in exchange for corporate regulation of freedom of speech.  Among the most telling and recent examples are the EU-funded Clean IT project, ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, CISPA, the CEO Coalition to make the internet a better place for kids, the industry dialogues on copyright in Germany or the measures taken by Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and EveryDNS against WikiLeaks in 2010.