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According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development which is an intergovernmental organization, and internet intermediary is a company that works to help the use of Internet. These private groups are mainly focused on profit and can have different natures, for example:
- Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
- Search Engines or Content Providers (e.g., Google, Bing, Yahoo. Companies that use and algorithm to show their users results based in keywords and also create highlighted information’s for third parties)
- Social Media Platforms
- Electronic Mail Provider (e-mail services such as transmitting, storing and receiving messages)
- Hosting Provider (hired by individuals or business, handles storing, protecting and allowing the remote access to different information
Information and Data
So, in resume, these companies collaborate to the use of internet in a spread way. They connect other companies and the final user to the global network of computers, allowing processes such as the access of the broadband, getting the contracted download speeds, websites hosting, sharing information and other.
As intermediaries have a huge access to information, it is a delicate point to discuss either they should open the content for others or not. In some exceptional cases, intermediaries’ organizations can be asked for to interfere in situations to prevent crimes, such as:
- Online coups and theft
- Online frauds
- Honor offenses to individuals or groups of people
- Other criminal injuries
The main point involving intermediaries in the intellectual’s point of view is reliability. For many internet specialists and also lawyers and social science experts, these organizations have too much space to take decisions on the virtual environment without being accountable for them.
This happens because of the level of freedom implied in the virtual legality, in which their parties that create contents cannot handle further consequences of those actions.
Truly, monitoring online movements demand and coherent group of laws according to each country situation, which is a contemporary challenge. As the United Nations Educations, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommends, laws and regulations that are governing internet intermediaries should respect international human norms without any exception. This also includes the right to freedom of expression.
In another hand, many advocates that the freedom of expression should not be emperor in cases when the content being protected by the law involves crimes (mainly violent ones). Governments, in many cases, can break data protection in order to keep up with actions based on principles of necessity, proportionality and accountability.
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Written By: Erika Yukari