The Rule of Law and the Online Harms White Paper – Graham Smith

12 05 2019

Before the publication of the Online Harms White Paper on 8 April 2019 I proposed a Ten Point Rule of Law test to which it might usefully be subjected. Read the rest of this entry »





Users Behaving Badly: the Online Harms White Paper – Graham Smith

30 04 2019

On 8 April 2019, having spent the best part of a day reading the UK government’s Online Harms White Paper, I concluded that if the road to hell was paved with good intentions, this was a motorway. After full and further consideration, I have found nothing to alter that view. This is why. Read the rest of this entry »





A Ten Point Rule of Law Test for a Social Media Duty of Care – Graham Smith

19 03 2019

All the signs are that the government will shortly propose a duty of care on social media platforms aimed at reducing the risk of harm to users. DCMS Secretary of State Jeremy Wright wrote recently: Read the rest of this entry »





Internet legal developments to look out for in 2019 – Graham Smith

29 12 2018

A bumper crop of pending litigation and legislative initiatives for the coming year (without even thinking about Brexit). Read the rest of this entry »





Take care with that social media duty of care – Graham Smith

23 10 2018

Should social media platforms be subject to a statutory duty of care, akin to occupiers’ liability or health and safety, with the aim of protecting against online harms? In a series of blogposts and evidence to the House of Lords Communications Committee William Perrin and Professor Lorna Woods suggest that the answer should be yes. Read the rest of this entry »





A Lord Chamberlain for the internet? Thanks, but no thanks – Graham Smith

10 10 2018

This summer marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Theatres Act 1968, the legislation that freed the theatres from the censorious hand of the Lord Chamberlain of Her Majesty’s Household. Thereafter theatres needed to concern themselves only with the general laws governing speech. In addition they were granted a public good defence to obscenity and immunity from common law offences against public morality. Read the rest of this entry »





Big Brother Watch v UK: What are the implications for the Investigatory Powers Act? – Graham Smith

14 09 2018

Yesterday I was transported back in time, to that surreal period following the Snowden revelations in 2013 when anyone who knew anything about the previously obscure RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000) was in demand to explain how it was that GCHQ was empowered to conduct bulk interception on a previously unimagined scale. Read the rest of this entry »





Regulating the internet: intermediaries to perpetrators – Graham Smith

29 06 2018

Nearly twenty five years after the advent of the Web, and longer since the birth of the internet, we still hear demands that the internet should be regulated – for all the world as if people who use the internet were not already subject to the law. Read the rest of this entry »





The Electronic Commerce Directive: a phantom demon? – Graham Smith

4 05 2018

Right now the ECommerce Directive – or at any rate the parts that shield hosting intermediaries from liability for users’ content – is under siege. The guns are blazing from all directions. Read the rest of this entry »





Internet legal developments to look out for in 2018 – Graham Smith

2 01 2018

A preview of some of the UK internet legal developments that we can expect in 2018. Any future EU legislation will be subject to Brexit considerations and may or may not apply in the UK. Read the rest of this entry »