FREE SPEECH ONLINE: Regulating the internet without impeding free speech

Fairweather, Louis Stuart Eastwood (2024) FREE SPEECH ONLINE: Regulating the internet without impeding free speech. LL.M(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis considers the free speech implications of applying a harms-based approach to internet regulation. The Online Safety Act 2023, which was enacted in the United Kingdom in October 2023, aims to regulate content and activity online based on its capacity to cause harm. In doing so, it imposes new duties on providers of online services and grants OFCOM new powers to hold these providers accountable for any failure to carry out their duties under the Act. Similarly, proposals have been put forward by the Law Commission of England and Wales to reform the current criminal law concerning communications sent over public electronic communications networks (section 127(1) of the Communications Act 2003), and to replace this with a harms-based offence. This thesis seeks to identify which type of speech (if any) causes harm and will examine the extent to which legislation that targets speech based on its capacity to cause harm risks impeding our right to free speech.

Item Type: Thesis (LL.M(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Supervisor's Name: Tomkins, Professor Adam and Schwartz, Dr. Alex
Date of Award: 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84333
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 22 May 2024 15:12
Last Modified: 22 May 2024 15:19
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84333

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