Can ISPs Realistically Act as Internet Content Police?

Communications and Internet services provider, Entanet, is challenging the notion that ISPs should be policing content to ensure that school children cannot defame their teachers online – or indeed whether that can realistically be expected to perform this undoubtedly important task, in the latest article on its opinion website.

Marketing Manager at Entanet, Darren Farnden, points out that, while this particular issue has been prevalent recently, the wider subject of content monitoring has not yet been properly addressed. There is a frightening lack of awareness amongst parents and the general public of the dangers.

While content monitoring is clearly important – both in education, at home and in business – it is almost impossible for any single organisation to manage, monitor and control what’s on the web, the article notes. It also points out that should ISPs be compelled to put powerful monitoring systems in place, there could be a significant impact on the performance, availability and cost of Internet access.

Then there is also the thorny issue of ISPs having access to users’ personal content and the implications this has in terms of privacy, data protection, human rights and other UK and EC legislation.