Rethinking Regulation for the Digital Environment

7 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2019

See all articles by A.D. Murray

A.D. Murray

London School of Economics - Law Department

Date Written: October 1, 2019


The question of how best to regulate for violent, deceptive or otherwise harmful only content is one which is vexing governments around the globe. A number of legal interventions in Australia, France, Germany and the United States seek to attribute liability to intermediaries for content they host or stream. These laws have proven to be highly controversial and are generally criticised as having a chilling effect. Entering this debate the UK government has proposed via the Online Harms White Paper a duty of care for internet platforms and hosts. This paper argues that a better approach is to harness the flexibility and responsiveness of principles-based regulation. This will allow regulators to respond to new challenges without overburdening intermediaries, risking chilling effects.

Keywords: Intermediary Liability; Online Harms; Duty of Care; Principles-based Regulation; Internet Regulation

Suggested Citation

Murray, Andrew D., Rethinking Regulation for the Digital Environment (October 1, 2019). LSE Law - Policy Briefing Paper No. 41, September 2019, Available at SSRN: or

Andrew D. Murray (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law Department ( email )

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