A Framework for Identifying Internet Information Gatekeepers
16 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2015
Date Written: November 1, 2010
Issues of freedom of expression, intellectual property and data protection dominate debates concerning Internet governance, and the legal responsibility of gatekeepers is often at the centre of such discussions. A focused analysis is needed on what is meant by the term and how to identify and differentiate between the various gatekeepers. This article traces the historical development of the term gatekeeper and shows how traditional conceptions of gatekeeping are inadequate for the context of the Internet where gatekeeping primarily involves control over the flow, content and accessibility of information. A particular type of gatekeeper will be identified, termed ‘Internet Information Gatekeepers’, which are those gatekeepers that as a result of their control of the flow of information, control deliberation and participation in democratic culture. This article will then propose a human rights driven framework for identifying and differentiating between the various gatekeepers and their levels of responsibility.
Keywords: gatekeeper, intermediary, internet, human rights
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