As more and more consumers complain they have almost no privacy or control over their online data, more and more regulators are asking titan companies such as Google and Twitter to adapt their policies. However, every now and then some regulators want more than just privacy policies, they want censorship of the online content. Google and Twitter have both dismissed UK censorship claims.
This Tuesday, a committee of UK MPs has asked the titans of the internet to start censoring court ordered protected information online. Google, Facebook and Twitter have been asked to do something about it, or suffer the consequences down the line, when the law will force them to do so.
“The Committee says that major internet corporations should take active steps to limit the potential for breaches of court orders through use of their products” read the report. The committee made it very clear what it wants: “Google and other search engines should take steps to ensure that their websites are not used as vehicles to breach the law”.
The report also reads a recommendation for courts to be “be proactive in directing the claimant to serve notice on internet content platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook” as well as “make full use of notice and take-down procedures operated by responsible internet service and social media providers”.
According to Financial Times, the UK censorship claims were determined by a recent case when social networks found out that a football player with Manchester United had an affair with model Imogen Thomas and asked for a super injuction to prevent any media source to write about it.
All three companies reacted to the UK censorship claims with discretion. Google for instance said that the company had already removed “specific pages deemed unlawful by the courts” but “requiring search engines to screen the content of their web pages would be like asking phone companies to listen in on every call made across their networks for potentially suspicious activity”.
Twitter and Facebook had similar answers. Twitter stated that its current system operates within legal requests regarding the removal of specific content, while Facebook answered it is currently in the process of reviewing the report received from the UK MPs.