The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press.
I'll see them soon. Thank you.
I will give you a couple of examples, I think DJ may be able to provide some others. I'll start from the bottom up with self-regulatory traditions that came from the engineers who built the Internet and the primary one that really affects us is the robots.txt protocol ...
-- or whatever the sort of normal processing would be.
The thumbnail is part of the processing that we provides a the host. I don't know if this has come up under UK law, but it has under the sort of analogous provisions for copyright of US law and I think there's a general understanding that hosting includes ...
I don't think we would draw a distinction based on the origin of the post. I should double-check that and get back to you, but I'm fairly confident -- sorry, I represent the web search product, so I'm reaching a little here.
If we determine that something is in violation of UK law, we do take it down.
At present, just because of the way that product was technologically designed, it only has the.com domain.
That sounds plausible.
-- their real names.
But I'm sure we have bloggers blogging under names that are not --
They are pseudonymous?
Right. So, I mean, unless there happens to be a different copy that someone has hosted somewhere else, it actually is solved at the root.
It's the user, and sort of to make the comparison to Web Search, as I described before, Web Search is us being an intermediary, a technical indexer of third-party content that's hosted on third-party machines. Blogger is us providing a hosting platform for third-party content that's hosted ...
Yes, it's blogger.com, but yes.
Just to fill that out, we do legally based removals from Google News if that comes up as well on exactly the same model I've described before. I can't tell you the number of times I've looked at the results for the word "Google" on Google News ...
That also is something that we don't have. We couldn't throw a switch and do that, although I assume that an engineer could build it in theory, but I think that that has perhaps even greater potential for overbreadth -- we submitted in our evidence the Metropolitan Schools case ...
The first part of the answer is we don't have a switch that we can flip, or a button we can push to make that happen. But I think a second and important part of the answer is I'm not sure on policy grounds that you would want ...
Much as I described for Web Search, because we're not the Internet, we're just reflecting what's out there on these third-party sites, and we are not in a position to assess whether each of -- what the legal defence is for each of them. We undertake to remove ...
Yes, it's exactly the same, the same web form, the same team at the back end assessing the request.
I cannot recall ever seeing an example of a media regulator being a basis for a removal, so I think it just hasn't come up.
Of course, a different country, different laws.
Just to reiterate a point that DJ made, first, ultimately, we will comply with what UK law requires. But what we would hope to see in such a process are the same things that I'm sure you're thinking about already, you know, an opportunity for the publisher to ...
I think that is fair. I'm sure if you can read it that it's correct.
That's good. I can't read it either.
We've had a number of efforts recently to help users protect their privacy online. I think DJ can probably speak to these more --
I would note there's been a tremendous amount of scholarship that's come out of their database. They recently submitted an Amicus brief in a case and the brief was basically a three-page string citation to different academic articles written using their information.
One that may be relevant here ...
I don't know if I would put it that way, because they're monitoring removals, whether legitimate or illegitimate. I don't want to sort of put a cast on whether it counts as censorship or not.
So that -- Chilling Effects is a third-party public interest organisation, and as their somewhat loaded name suggests, they have a mission to document the ways in which content disappears from the Internet, or at least -- I think they apply it more broadly to the Internet. I know that they are ...
That's correct, with the personal information of the sender redacted.
I think in those cases we're also talking days.
I think we're talking days.
Sorry, I bring in the copyright thing only because it adds to the queue. We process all of the complaints as they come in, and if there's sort of a glut from one source, that would cause it to slow down.
But because of that tool, we've gotten ...
I don't have specific numbers. I can tell you that we've been getting steadily faster. We've made a lot of improvements both to the tools -- the public tools and to our internal processes. Actually, often a lot of the volume that can keep us busy comes from ...
I suppose you could put it that way.
Yes. If there's a country whose law says that that should stay up, then in that country we would comply with that law.
It does. I would hope that wouldn't be a terribly difficult thing to do, and I can tell you that in his case we have removed hundreds of urls, although I agree -- you referenced him going to the individual sites and trying to get them down, and I have ...
Assuming that it is lawful under US law and we haven't received a complaint under US law, assuming those things, then yes.
Let me talk a little bit about why I think that is the right outcome as a policy matter. We -- you can imagine a world in which ...
Yes. We operate in a regulatory framework that includes things like the E-Commerce Directive and implementing legislation for that, and we follow a notice and take down system.
So if we receive a notice without a court order, which we certainly do, then we look at it and we apply ...
To be honest, I'm not familiar with the Press Complaints Commission, so we would have to look at it if it came.
Not that I know of.
Yeah. I think -- so we have the same issue in the United States and the same question about what information should be accessible to jurors. I have not heard a proposal more technically tailored than the idea that one might disappear content from the entire Internet or from the entirety ...
An open source tool for making transcripts really easy to read, search and share on the modern web
Your donations keep this site and others like it running
A Poplus component
mySociety Limited is a project of UK Citizens Online Democracy, a registered charity in England and Wales. For full details visit mysociety.org.