Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1103030
 
 

Citations (1)



 
 

Footnotes (66)



 


 



Internet Filtering: Rhetoric, Legitimacy, Accountability and Responsibility


T. J. McIntyre


University College Dublin - School of Law

Colin Scott


University College Dublin (UCD)


REGULATING TECHNOLOGIES, Brownsword, R., Yeung, K, eds., Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2008

Abstract:     
This paper argues that the automatic and opaque nature of internet filtering, together with the fact that it is generally implemented by intermediaries, raises new problems for the law and in particular may tend to undermine aspects of freedom of expression.

The paper starts by challenging the rhetoric underlying the use of the term “filtering” and suggests that the use of other terms such as "blocking" or "censorware" may be more appropriate.

It then considers where filtering fits into the modalities of governance and the resulting issues of legitimacy and accountability. As regards legitimacy it argues that the use of technology to exert control over internet speech frequently undermines aspects of the rule of law concerning both the process for and content of norms governing behaviour. In relation to accountability, the paper argues that where it is not clear what is being blocked, why, or by whom, the operation of mechanisms of accountability - whether by way of judicial review, media scrutiny, or otherwise - is greatly reduced.

Finally the paper suggests that, as compared with control through legal instruments, filtering may rob users of moral agency or responsibility in their use of the internet, with the implication that they may freely do whatever it is technically possible to do, with no necessity of moral engagement in their activities.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 15

Keywords: internet, filtering, blocking, censorship, self-regulation, co-regulation, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, legitimacy, accountability, intermediaries, censorware

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: April 15, 2009 ; Last revised: September 20, 2014

Suggested Citation

McIntyre, T. J. and Scott, Colin, Internet Filtering: Rhetoric, Legitimacy, Accountability and Responsibility. REGULATING TECHNOLOGIES, Brownsword, R., Yeung, K, eds., Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1103030

Contact Information

T. J. McIntyre (Contact Author)
University College Dublin - School of Law ( email )
Roebuck Castle
Belfield
Dublin 4
Ireland

Colin David Scott
University College Dublin (UCD) ( email )
Roebuck Castle
Belfield
Dublin 4
Ireland

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 2,025
Downloads: 448
Download Rank: 35,342
Citations:  1
Footnotes:  66

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.375 seconds