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The Internet: to regulate or not to regulate? Internet Society UK Chapter responds to House of Lords Inquiry

The House of Lords Select Committee on Communications has recently launched an inquiry to investigate the regulation of the Internet. This inquiry seeks to take an holistic approach to the question of Internet regulation.

Questions asked are:

1. Is there a need to introduce specific regulation for the internet? Is it desirable or possible?

2. What should the legal liability of online platforms be for the content that they host?

3. How effective, fair and transparent are online platforms in moderating content that they host? What processes should be implemented for individuals who wish to reverse decisions to moderate content? Who should be responsible for overseeing this?

4. What role should users play in establishing and maintaining online community standards for content and behaviour?

5. What measures should online platforms adopt to ensure online safety and protect the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of information?

6. What information should online platforms provide to users about the use of their personal data?

7. In what ways should online platforms be more transparent about their business practices—for example in their use of algorithms?

8. What is the impact of the dominance of a small number of online platforms in certain online markets?

9. What effect will the United Kingdom leaving the European Union have on the regulation of the internet?

The deadline for submitting evidence to the inquiry is Friday 11 May 2018.

The UK Chapter is likely to submit evidence in writing, but it has also received an invitation to send a representative Witness to a Select Committee evidence session on Tuesday 8 May. After discussing the matter within the Chapter leadership and the Internet Society’s European Bureau, the Chapter will send Dr. Konstantinos Komaitis, Director of Policy Development for the Internet Society. (bio on )

A call for input was made on 3rd May 2018. Input received by Monday 7th May 2018 was reflected in the responses given on Tuesday at the House of Lords Inquiry.

Proceedings were recorded and can be seen on
Tuesday 8 May 2018. The Meeting starts at 3.30pm UK time. (UTC+1)

Witness(es): Ms Rachel Coldicutt, Chief Executive Officer, Doteveryone Mr Julian Coles, Independent digital media policy consultant Dr Konstantinos Komaitis, Director of Policy Development, Internet Society