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What can ISPs do about undesirable content?
- In this paper the first issue that is addressed is the stakeholders who hold the keys to the flow of information via the Internet. Only these stakeholders are in a technically feasible position to filter or block content. Thereafter we focus on the definition of what constitutes “undesirable” content and the degree of “undesirability” of that content. A crucial next step is to differentiate the concepts of content blocking and content filtering as they are substantially different and are often misnamed in the popular press. The next section considers the practical implications of “opt-out” and “opt-in”" Internet connectivity, where end-users would be provided with the choice to either opt-in or opt-out to receive certain undesirable content (such as adult pornography). The crucial role of education with reference to the many dangers present on the Internet is considered as well as the mechanism of Take-Down notifications which is already present in South African law. Finally some recommendations are made as to whether content should be filtered and if so, the practical ways in which the various stakeholders would be able to assist in combating undesirable content.