The following is the report of the ILPF Content Blocking Working
Group. It has been prepared on behalf of the ILPF by Olswang,
a London law firm specialising in multimedia law, under the supervision
of and based in part on contributions from Working Group Members.
The report has been thoroughly reviewed and approved by the
However, it is acknowledged by the ILPF that the state of Internet
law and regulation is constantly evolving. Consequently the ILPF,
while confident that the report provides a comprehensive study
of the situation in a wide range of territories as at April 1997,
is submitting the report to the public via the World Wide Web
as "work in progress" in order to seek comments on its
The ILPF therefore now requests your assistance in gathering further
information on any country's content regulations not covered in
this report and also requests comments on the interpretation of
the countries' content regulations already represented.
The current members of the Working Group are set out in
The prime objective of the Working Group has been to examine the
range of existing content laws which governments have sought to
apply to the Internet in any country of the world, to isolate
whether these laws relate specifically to the Internet or concern
the application of more general rules to specific Internet-related
problems and, finally, to examine the range of self-regulatory
initiatives which have sprung up and how these might be treated
under the various legal regimes.
The structure of the report is to examine each other area of regulated,
or potentially regulated, content in turn, and under each heading
to identify those countries where we are aware that cases or legislative
discussions have taken place, to briefly identify the nature of
those discussions and to identify available web and other resources.
Self-regulatory initiatives which have commenced in Australia,
Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, the UK, the US and others have then
been examined in terms of their possible overall application.
Finally, consideration is given to the technical means of achieving
Content Blocking and some of the issues which are raised by those
technologies which currently exist or whose developments are anticipated.
The ILPF is anxious to improve and expand this report and looks
forward to fruitful collaboration with interested parties around
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