Managing sysop prerogative in Europe through fabris dualism: An agenda for reform of the European Union and Council of Europe into international organisations
The European Union referendum on the 23 June 2016 in the United Kingdom was reported as being the most significant plebiscite for over a generation. Its impacts may only become most apparent when the citizens of the United Kingdom start to demand the same rights that those in the countries that have remained a member of the European Union enjoy. This paper looks at the impact leaving the European Union will have for the United Kingdom in terms of ‘sysop prerogative’ – the right or lack of for information society service providers to do what they want when administering their websites as systems operators, or sysops. The paper argues that a lack of harmonization of laws across Europe will make enforcing sysop prerogative and indeed the very nature of it, more difficult. Even with the outcome of the EU referendum affecting only the United Kingdom, this paper argues that in order to secure a cyberspace free from crime that global cooperation is still needed, but that the European Union in its current form might not be the appropriate vehicle at all, with a combination of the United Nations, Nato and the Council of Europe being more suitable.
Instagram, the photograph sharing service, is trying to pass responsibility for its alleged breaches of the law onto its users, it has been found.
Instagram, which is led by Kevin Systrom as its CEO, has been founded inviting corporations it has been alleged to have breached the intellectual property of to get in touch with users who might not be aware of such actions.
The news comes as increasing pressure is being put on its rival Twitter to take responsibility for the illegal actions of its users, such as the posting of indecent, obscene, menacing or threatening content, which it says to victims are within its own rules.
In one instance a corporation was asked by Instagram in a trademark dispute to contact a user directly, telling them “If you would like to contact the user to see if they might be willing to yield their username to you, we would suggest creating an account with an alternate username and leaving a comment on one of their photos or videos.”
Under the E-Commerce Directive, which has been transposed into UK law through the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002, providers of information society services like Instagram and Twitter are required not to allow any unlawful content to be hosted on their platforms.
Both Instagram and Twitter are expecting both businesses and consumers to resolve issues between themselves, when the law puts the liability firmly at the door of social media platforms. Known as sysop prerogative, website owners like Instagram and Twitter are only allowed in theory to do what the law entitles them to do, but in practice will use their own rules to justify not following the law.
Following being approached by Crocels News, a spokesperson from Instagram confirmed that if the company’s own rules have not been broken that it is in their view not their responsibility, even it would seem if the law has been broken by them.
Private Lives or Public Property?: The impact of the Leveson Inquiry on Internet security and privacy in the European Union
The biggest story in the newspapers of 2012 probably made it into the Leveson Inquiry. This celebrity infested public inquiry intended to be the basis on which the press would be reformed to perform its role as information sources that scrutinise those with power more effectively. Leveson considered issues such as phone hacking and the distribution of private information online. The law is less clear since the publication of the Leveson Inquiry. This paper, therefore, explores the role that European Union law in the areas of property and privacy has on the way the media operates to affect security and privacy. This is achieved through exploring the data security and privacy issues surrounding the British Royal Family, where such issues came to the forefront following the exposure of explicit photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William Wales and Kate Middleton, and also those of Harry Wales.