Alternative Enforcement For Content Related Offences In Cyberspace

By: Haim Wismonsky

Haim's research focuses on the concept of alternative enforcement for content related offences in cyberspace. The alternative enforcement approach is a strategy of focusing on the illegal publication itself, not the publisher; the offense, and not the offender. Alternative enforcement consists of actions such as content removal, blocking access to the illegal content, content filtering, disconnection or suspension of users from the platform upon which they published the illegal content. Alternative enforcement actions may be divided into actions on a voluntary basis, upon which the internet platform removes the content or reduces the exposure to it whenever it violates its terms of service, and actions on a more formal level, upon which law enforcement authorities seek to execute judicial warrants or legal provisions that forbid a certain online publications.
The research examines the justifications, on the one hand, and the criticism, on the other hand, of the alternative enforcement approach. Haim's research offers responses to the arguments against the alternative approach, both in the theoretical level and the practical level, alongside mitigating mechanisms for ensuring transparency, reducing the concerns about excessive censorship of online speech by law enforcement authorities, and ensuring the proper consideration of all the relevant actor's rights: the publisher of the content, the online platform in which the content is stored, and the internet users who may be affected by the actions taken to remove or to minimize the exposure to the content.

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