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Internet architecture, freedom of expression and social responsibility: Critical realism and proposals for a better future

Cohen-Almagor, Raphael

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Abstract

The article opens by explaining the architecture of the Internet. Given its present raison d'être, a free highway allowing maximum freedom, one may argue that the bounds of free expression are broader in scope on the Net compared with the bounds of legitimate speech allowed on other forms of communication. Contesting this assertion, it is argued that legally speaking, there is no difference between electronic communication and other forms of communication. I probe some problematic forms of expression: terrorism, criminal activity, and cyberbullying, arguing that freedom of expression is important but so is social responsibility. The article concludes by offering a new paradigm Internet for the future called CleaNet©. CleaNet© will be sensitive to prevailing cultural norms of each and every society and will be clean of content that the society deems to be dangerous and antisocial. No cyberbullying, child pornography, hateful bigotry, criminal activity, and terrorist material will be available on the new Net. Netusers, with the cooperation of ISPs and web-hosting companies, will together decide which content will be considered illegitimate and unworthy to be excluded from CleaNet©.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 3, 2015
Journal Innovation : the European journal of social science research
Print ISSN 1351-1610
Electronic ISSN 1469-8412
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 2
Pages 147-166
Institution Citation Cohen-Almagor, R. (2015). Internet architecture, freedom of expression and social responsibility: Critical realism and proposals for a better future. Innovation : the European journal of social sciences, 28(2), 147-166. https://doi.org/10.1080/13511610.2015.1025042
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/13511610.2015.1025042
Keywords Internet architecture; CleaNet©; Netcitizen; Social responsibility; Habermas, Jürgen, 1929-; Deliberative democracy
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13511610.2015.1025042#.VW28FJPGo8M
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Innovation : the European journal of social science research on 15th April 2015, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline...0/13511610.2015.1025042

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