Internet regulation is a set of laws that govern the use and access to information on the Internet. These laws include what websites you can visit, how long you have access to certain content, with whom your data can be shared, or minors cannot access what type of material. Sometimes, these regulations are enforced through an agency that the government monitors; however, they are self-regulated by companies or NGOs.
Understanding Laws That Govern the Internet
The Internet has become increasingly popular over the past few years, especially with social media. While this is great for connecting people worldwide, it can also be dangerous due to a lack of knowledge about laws on the Internet. From moderators to algorithms, many components make sure that cyberspace remains a safe environment. To help make internet regulations more precise, we’ll inspect these laws and how they work.
Internet law governs behavior on the Internet – whether in online games or social media platforms such as Facebook. There are also internet laws that pertain to conduct when using search engines. Internet regulatory agencies oversee these laws, the most prominent being the Federal Communications Commission or FCC.
While these laws may seem strict to some, they serve a purpose to ensure that people have an enjoyable internet experience. For example, one can prevent users from using their online accounts for illegal activities, such as sharing copyrighted material. They can also prevent internet users from harassing or invading the privacy of others.
Some laws include:
– Child Online Privacy Protection Act
– Communications Decency Act
– Digital Millennium Copyright Act
– Electronic Communications Privacy Act
What are the types of internet regulation?
There are different types of internet regulations that various governments around the world implement. For example, there is censorship, which means that people cannot access certain websites due to inappropriate content or other reasons. Internet regulation also includes controlling aspects of the Internet, like what you can post on social media or search online about whom you can date/marry/talk to/engage in sexual activities with, like, or dislike.
Censorship Of Data
One example is that if you live in China, you can’t freely access many websites despite using the Internet because of data censorship. This is an example of how some countries implement censorship that would limit which sites people can visit, like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and others.
China is a country known for censoring its citizens from the Internet because they don’t want people to access information that can harm their country’s social-economic status or political power.
Controlling Aspects Of The Internet
This also means that you cannot post certain things on social media or search online about them.
There are a couple of different types of censorship that you can find when it comes to the Internet if you do not abide by the laws within your country.
One is monitoring what you post on social media. This could be things such as Facebook or Twitter, where if you post something they don’t like, they will delete it, and you can be punished.
Another is blocking certain parts of the Internet.
You might get onto some websites but not all, or maybe if people within your own country try to access information coming from another country, they will get a message saying it is against laws, and they cannot view the website. Or, if you are trying to access a website from another place in the world, it might say that it is unavailable.
Another type of censoring would be search results.
Let’s say you go on Google and try to find information about something, but when you search for it, no websites are coming up saying anything about what you searched for, or maybe there is just one website. This is because they want you to see certain things, if true, and if you search for certain things, you cannot see all the information.
Who Is Regulating?
Different countries have different ways of regulating the Internet within their own country. Let’s look at Europe for an example. In Europe, there are a lot of other institutions that have some influence over the Internet.
For instance, in Britain, a regulatory agency called Ofcom regulates traditional broadcasting and telecommunications. Germany has a regulatory agency known as BnetzA, which focuses on technology companies like Apple and Google.
The European Union’s (EU) influence over the Internet is a little more complicated. At first glance, it would seem that there’s no institution similar to Ofcom or BnetzA in the EU. However, every member state has its regulatory agency, so you have 28 different agencies with differing interests and powers when you add them up.
In addition, there are several different institutions run by the EU which have their enforcement power. For example, the European Commission has been cracking down on pirate sites and copyright infringement with its “Operations Hermione” and “Tango Down.”
Another influential agency in internet regulation is called Europol, and some people believe that they should have more power. Europol is a law enforcement agency that can investigate crimes involving “terrorism, trafficking in human beings and drugs, corruption and financial crime.”
More recently, there has been the idea that the EU should merge its 28 national regulators into one significant internet regulator (which would most likely be headquartered somewhere in Brussels). This new internet regulator would have the power to enforce EU-wide policies.
How Does Internet Regulation Work?
Now that we know who is regulating, it’s time to get down to business. Each level of regulation has a slightly different way of doing its job, from using the Internet’s protocols and patents to a full-on highway patrol that handles everything from illegal pornography to illegally pirated videos.
The only way to truly understand how each level of government and business regulate the Internet is to get down and dirty with the legal jargon:
Level One: The Internet Service Providers (ISP) – As we all know, ISPs provide access to the Internet. These companies do not care what you do, as long as it doesn’t stop them from providing their service to you. They are like the gatekeepers of the net, providing access but not caring what happens on it.
Level Two: The National Governments – This level is where the protection of national boundaries comes into play. Since each nation has its laws regarding libel, slander, and copyright infringement, the respective Governments decide if and how to enforce them in cyberspace.
Level Three: The International Governments – On a slightly larger scale, the Government of the Internet is the meeting between each country’s government that sets up an accepted code of conduct and etiquette for netizens everywhere. One example would be working together to resolve internet issues such as illegal pornography.
Level Four: The Corporations – You might not realize it, but many giant corporations such as Google and Facebook police the content that you see on the Internet. While they say this is for our protection, it has been used in court to prove defamation of character. It’s simply another way of censoring what we read online.
There are several internet regulations in place today. The government creates many of these laws to keep internet users safe online. These laws can vary based on country or province, county or municipality, family, business owners, and many other factors. Find out if your city, state, or country has internet regulations.