Providing clarity on 'intermediary liability'

Providing clarity on 'intermediary liability'

Summary: An intermediary in Internet terms is a facilitator for communication. It could refer to a telecom service provider, such as an ISP (Internet service provider), a Web hosting provider or an Internet Content Host, such as a forum or social media site where content can be posted by third parties.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Browser
0

An intermediary in Internet terms is a facilitator for communication. It could refer to a telecom service provider, such as an ISP (Internet service provider), a Web hosting provider or an Internet Content Host, such as a forum or social media site where content can be posted by third parties.

Recent statements and actions in the media by, and involving, intermediaries such as forums and blogs could be legally responsible for third-party content such as comments posted on their forums or blogs.

The keyword here is "could". Just because the owner of the Web site bows to pressure and apologizes does not establish legal liability.

It is true that when specific laws exempting intermediaries, such as Singapore's Electronic Transactions Act, were enacted, these intermediaries were not considered Network Service Providers. However, this alone does not establish these intermediaries would necessarily be liable. The cause is not entirely lost--not least until a court decides an intermediary is liable for third-party content or for third-party content drawn to its attention.

An interesting case to watch is the Thai Prachathai case, where a Webmaster was charged for not removing quick enough 10 postings, hence, falling foul of the lese majeste laws. She chose to fight the charges, which reportedly carry a 20-year jail term, so that a court can rule and provide clarity.

Topic: Browser

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

0 comments
Log in or register to start the discussion