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©.
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