ISP Liability Not The Answer To Illegal Net Activity
from the misplaced-blame dept
In the fight against illegal net activity, some argue that ISPs should be held responsible for what happens on their network. While ISPs here face no such liability, it's the opposite in the UK. The head of the ISP Clara.net is fighting back, arguing that there's no way for an ISP to be an arbiter of the law, due to lack of staff and lack of qualifications. Not only does this make the job of the ISP much harder, it's also a bad system for its clients. Just to be safe, ISPs will be more inclined to take down material that gets complaints. Because the company is doing the government's work, in deciding what is legal and what is not, it would be legitimate to call this censorship (unlike here, when companies restrict certain material, in which case it's just called doing business). The main problem with ISP liability is the obvious, that they're not the one committing illegal acts. If businesses were routinely held liable for the illegal things customers did with their products, a lot of commerce wouldn't get done. While it may be worth exploring how the fight against illegal activity on the net can be decentralized, ISP liability is a poor method.