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ISPA - Irresponsible Internet Users
By: MarkJ - 17 May, 2004 (1:00 PM)

According to research conducted by ICM for the UK Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA), many Internet users do not understand their online responsibilities regarding illegal content:

* Fewer than one third of UK Internet users recognise that responsibility for unlawful* content on the Internet lies with the person who put it there

* More than 1 in 8 respondents (13 per cent) to the ISPA / ICM survey said that they would do nothing if they found something on the Internet that they thought was illegal**

* More than 1 in 5 people (21 per cent) said they would show unlawful content to other people

* Only 1 in 4 people (26 per cent) said they would surf the Internet to find the most appropriate organisation to report potentially unlawful content

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Less than one third of UK Internet users recognise that responsibility for unlawful* content on the Internet lies with the person who put it there.

Jessica Hendrie-Liaño, Chair of the ISPA Council said: “The law recognises those that post words, images, audio and video files - whether on websites, discussion forums or even using email - as having the same responsibility as publishers. Internet users must understand that they bear responsibility for the content they place online.

30 per cent of respondents identified ISPs as being responsible for the presence of unlawful content. However, ISPs are rarely the publishers of their customers’ material.

Mrs Hendrie-Liaño of ISPA said: “ISPs do not have editorial control over content posted on their systems by their customers or other Internet users. Instances of illegal** content are very rare when compared to the vast amount of legitimate content available on the Internet. Online content changes every second and it is not always immediately apparent that material infringes the law. As a result ISPs are often unaware that they might be hosting unlawful content on their systems unless someone notifies them.


The ISPA makes a very valid and overlooked point, especially with governments etc. often only too keen to blame ISP's instead of the users responsible.

The full news can be read here:
http://www.ispa.org.uk/html/media/usersresponsibilities.html


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