January 18, 2010 1:04 AM

Commentary: Are China's demands for Internet 'self-discipline' spreading to the West?

In the Western democratic world, the idea of strengthening intermediary liability — making a company liable or legally responsible for everything its users do — is becoming increasingly popular in government agencies and parliaments. From France to Italy to the United Kingdom, the idea of holding online carriers and services liable for what their customers do is seen as the cheapest and easiest solution to the law enforcement and social problems that have gotten tougher in the digital age — from child porn to copyright protection to cyber-bullying and libel.

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