Volume 5 Number
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Tomas A. Lipinski
This paper explores recent developments in the regulation of Internet speech, in specific, injurious or defamatory speech and the impact such speech has on the rights of anonymous speakers to remain anonymous as opposed to having their identity revealed to plaintiffs or other third parties. The paper proceeds in four sections. First, a brief history of the legal attempts to regulate defamatory Internet speech in the United States is presented. As discussed below this regulation has altered the traditional legal paradigm of responsibility and as a result creates potential problems for the future of anonymous speech on the Internet. As a result plaintiffs are no longer pursuing litigation against service providers but taking their dispute directly to the anonymous speaker. Second, several cases have arisen in the United States where plaintiffs have requested that the identity of an anonymous Internet speaker be revealed. These cases are surveyed. Third, the cases are analyzed in order to determine the factors that courts require to be present before the identity of an anonymous speaker will be revealed. The release is typically accomplished by the enforcement of a discovery subpoena instigated by the party seeking the identity of the anonymous speaker. The factors courts have used are as follows: jurisdiction, good faith (both internal and external), necessity (basic and sometimes absolute), and at times proprietary interest. Finally, these factors are applied in three scenarios—e-commerce, education, and employment—to guide institutions when adopting policies that regulate when the identity of an anonymous speaker—a customer, a student or an employee—would be released as part of an internal initiative, but would nonetheless be consistent with developing legal standards.
Keywords: Anonymous Speech, Internet, Legal Standards and Compliance, Institutional Policies and Decision-Making
|Special Series on The Digital Divide (Elizabeth Boyd, Editor)|
Elizabeth C. Boyd
What is the Digital Divide? A number of definitions can be found for the term. The Web site http://whatis.techtarget.com explains that the term “describes the fact that the world can be divided into people who do and people who don't have access to - and the capability to use - modern information technology, such as the telephone, television, or the Internet...The digital divide also exists between the educated and the uneducated, between economic classes, and, globally, between the more and less industrially developed nations” (Digital Divide, 2002). The American Library Association (2002) stresses that it includes differences in both “access to in-formation through the Internet, and other information technologies and services” and in “the skills, knowledge, and abilities to use information, the Internet and other technologies.” According to the World Economic Forum (2002), “The issue of digital divide extends more broadly than merely that of direct access to technology. Instead, it can be conceived of as the disparity between how different nations are using information and communication technologies as a tool for social and economic development.”
paper reviews the digital divide in Western Europe, as well as policy
options for combating that divide. While age, income and gender are
significant predictors of the digital divide in Western Europe, geography
plays a crucial role. The countries in Southern Europe have less computer
and Internet penetration than their Northern European counterparts. The
paper then discusses four policy options for combating the divide,
suggesting that the most effective solution would be private/public
This research explores the argument
that developing countries (DC) need effective and good quality
communications and information technology (C&IT) policies as a strategy for
socio-economic growth. It focuses on Venezuela and attempts to gain an
understanding of the cur-rent and potential impact of national C&IT policies
and strategies in the C&IT diffusion process and globalisation arena. It is
suggested that a shift is needed towards a wider concept of policy design.
The traditional design reflects a rather ‘prescriptive’ approach, while I
propose that a ‘participatory’ approach, which encompasses social,
political, technical, ethical and other issues, is both necessary and
desirable for effective policies to exist. A multiple perspective
interpretative methodology is used in order to understand the complexities
of effective C&IT policies in Venezuela to attract C&IT investment and
achieve socio-economic growth. Consequently, the study of C&IT policy is
based on an approach that emphasizes a multiple level of analysis
encompassing the levels of the individual, society, organisation, and
Being on the wrong side of the digital divide
limits the life chances of the socially excluded, who have had neither the
wherewithal nor the opportunity to obtain highly paid, skilled positions in
IT. Irish policy makers see education as the solution to this problem.
However, provid-ing institutional support for the socially disadvantaged who
wish to avail of third level education in IT poses significant challenges.
This paper describes these problems and explains how they were overcome in
implementing an undergraduate university programme called the Diploma in
Applied Business Computing. This targeted initiative was an unqualified
success in that it achieved its primary objectives—academic and social.
However, what made it so was the commitment of concerned stakeholders, from
members of the executive steering committee who developed and implemented
the course, to the lecturers who delivered it, the companies who supported
it, and the students who participated in it.
At the University of Cape Town, females and
students disadvantaged under the previous South African apartheid education
system are under-represented in Information Systems (I.S.) classes. This
research shows that these are also the groups most ignorant about I.S. at
the school-leaving stage. After being informed about the discipline through
a small intervention, a significant increase in enthusiasm for majoring in
and being employed in I.S. occurred. This should result in a better
educational fit and greater enrolment of these groups in I.S., and reduce
some switching to I.S. from other subjects at a later stage. The key
influencing sources for university students’ study decisions are also
examined, and it is evident that a different approach is needed for each
group in order to maximize the number of quality I.S. graduates.
promise of community involvement, cohesion and empowerment offered by local
community networks (CN) using Internet Technologies, few communities in
regional Australia have been able to demonstrate sustainable and vibrant CN
which demonstrate increased social, cultural or self-reliance capital.