The Green Paper and other things

I have now read all of the Green Paper more thoroughly and there is no doubt in my mind, in terms of its scope and much of its language, it is extremely good.  Of course, at its heart, is the fundamental problem of laws/no laws, to which I referred in my last blog and we’ll see where things end up on that score.

Last week’s  edition of The Spectator (a publication of the Thinking Right)  came out on Friday. It could hardly have been clearer in terms of calling for legal restraints or obligations to control the internet giants. The previous day in the Guardian the same businesses were likened to cars without brakes, saying they must be reined in. Let’s overlook the mixed metaphor and just accept the spirit of it.

Beyond that Jenkins produced this memorable paragraph

The internet is passing through the robber baron phase of capitalism, as manufacturers did in the 19th century. Then, as now, governments were too scared to regulate companies, which grew big and arrogant, and collapsed. I bet this happens to the internet.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find anyone to speak in favour of the status quo unless, of course, they are in one way or another a client of it or hope to be.

Returning to the Green Paper, there are a couple of surprising omissions and a few issues that will probably generate more heat than light but, as usual with something like this, I am going to be consulting with all the children’s groups in the UK’s Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety before responding in detail. So watch out for a blog nearer 7th December – which is the closing date for comments.

About John Carr

John Carr is one of the world's leading authorities on children's and young people's use of digital technologies. He is Senior Technical Adviser to Bangkok-based global NGO ECPAT International and is Secretary of the UK's Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety. John is now or has formerly been an Adviser to the Council of Europe, the UN (ITU), the EU and UNICEF. John has advised many of the world's largest technology companies on online child safety. John's skill as a writer has also been widely recognised.
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