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One of Jisc’s activities is to monitor and, where possible, influence regulatory developments that affect us and our customer universities, colleges and schools as operators of large computer networks. Since Janet and its customer networks are classified by Ofcom as private networks, postings here are likely to concentrate on the regulation of those networks. Postings here are, to the best of our knowledge, accurate on the date they are made, but may well become out of date or unreliable at unpredictable times thereafter. Before taking action that may have legal consequences, you should talk to your own lawyers. NEW: To help navigate the many posts on the General Data Protection Regulation, I've classified them as most relevant to developing a GDPR compliance process, GDPR's effect on specific topics, or how the GDPR is being developed. Or you can just use my free GDPR project plan.

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Defamation Bill - Joint Committee on Human Rights

Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 10:01

Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights has asked for evidence on the Defamation Bill, so I've sent in a Janet submission pointing out the human rights issues that could be raised by the Bill. Although the aims of the provisions on websites are to increase the protection of free speech while ensuring that genuinely defamatory statements are dealt with quickly, it's not clear from the current draft that this will be achieved. In particular

  • Website operators need to be sure of the circumstances when they can rely on the defence that the statement was posted by someone who can be "identified";
  • The process for dealing with complaints about statements whose posters cannot be identified must not create a greater risk to the privacy rights of both alleged defamers and (since the process may well be misused) of those who are the subject of unwarranted complaints; and
  • A website operator who wishes (or is required by law, as for universities and colleges) to promote free speech must be able to leave a posting up until it has been considered by a judicial authority, without risking liability as under the present notice and takedown regime.