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Top lawyer says existing laws might not be suitable for social networks

Discussion in 'Domain Name News' started by Acorn Newsbot, Oct 31, 2012.

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  1. Acorn Newsbot

    Acorn Newsbot Junior Member

    Jan 2006
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    The Director of Public Prosecutions, one of the UK’s most senior lawyers, has said that current laws may not be suitable for dealing with social networks.

    Keir Starmer QC told The Telegraph that the existing legislation such as the Communications Act and the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act were designed for telephones and public spaces so may not address properly the situations presented by sites like Facebook and Twitter.

    Following a number of recent high profile cases, some involving celebrities such as Olympic diver Tom Daley, footballer Fabrice Muamba and politician Louise Mensch, the Director is now preparing to draw up new guidance about how offensive comments posted online should be dealt with.

    The chances of accidentally breaking the current laws online could be greater than you might think. According a study we commissioned, only 44% of people could correctly spot illegal activities when given a number of scenarios such as defamation, copyright infringement and hacking.

    A simple way to check your own understanding of how the law currently applies online is to take our free online test which also gives helpful advice on how to stay out of trouble.

    There are also some simple steps you can take to stay legal online:

    • When you log-on, don’t let your common sense log-off! Something said in the heat of the moment could have unpleasant consequences.
    • If you are going to say something negative about someone online, be absolutely sure it is true before you publish.
    • Don’t post jokes online that might be seen to encourage people to do anything illegal or violent.
    • Just because everyone else is talking about a topic doesn’t mean it’s legal to do so – if there’s any doubt, it’s best to say nowt!
    Our Knowledge Centre guide has more advice on social networking*

  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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