Essay: Liability of Internet Intermediaries

Essay: Liability of Internet Intermediaries
13/04/2011 Comments Off on Essay: Liability of Internet Intermediaries Academic Papers on Information Technology,Sample Academic Papers admin

Sample Essay

The Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act specifies that no service provider or user should be held responsible for the publishing of the harmful information if they are not the information creator. Though a landmark piece of law, made to provide immunity in instances where service providers are accused wrongly, it is misused by many ISPs which often creates nuisance for the society.

I believe that ISPs already feel much responsible for the content that they hold on their web servers and there have been many instances that ISPs have taken active steps in removing or blocking offensive material that was uploaded to their servers, either when the instance was brought into their notice or when they found it out themselves. Their acts represent an attitude which goes to show that ISPs realize their role in the society and are behaving in a responsible way. And I believe it show how responsible our society is as it takes active measures to nip evil in the bud. It is important to do so as turning a blind eye on such activities create new social problem. The same case applies to Internet as well.  It is the most widely used source of information and is accessed by people of all ages and point of views. Also, it provides a speedy medium through which information can propagate from one corner of the world to another within minutes. Therefore, it is important to adopt a balanced view for the Internet as well just like any other source of information. Take terrorism for an example. Terrorism is one of the biggest problems in today’s world with a group of people forcing a particular ideology on others by using any means necessary. Material propagating such an ideology would not only create a great unease among the society but would also propagate hatred and violence among the society. However, I strongly believe that curb on the availability of such materials cannot effective by making ISPs work more (Spinello and Tavani).

I believe that though ISPs should be held morally accountable for the material that is hosted by them, but they should not be held totally responsible for it. There are a number of reasons which have made me say this. First of all, I believe ISPs only provide a point or opportunity for its users to express their feelings and point of view. They provide it in good faith and assume that their user will not misuse it. Furthermore, the role of an ISP is just of a service provider and nothing more. That means, that an ISP only provides a service for dissemination of information and does not necessary creates the information. Hence, I feel it is very difficult to hold ISPs responsible since they usually play no direct part in the propagation of the offensive material. However, ISPs should be made accountable for the content that is hosted on their website in case where the instance has been brought into their knowledge. The ISPs should then be made responsible to act on the provided information and take necessary measure. I also believe that it is difficult to implement measures by ISPs even if they are made more responsible.  The technical and economical factors involves in implementing such preventive measure make it virtually impossible for them to keep a check on each and every one of their users’ activity (Kelly).

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