Intermediaries

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Intermediaries

Summary of Aggregate of the Intermediaries Rule

A provision of the Interstate Commerce Act which states that in those cases where a combination of rates among intermediary points along the route would result in a freight charge lower than the through rate, a shipper may use the lower aggregated rate. This rule applies to rail and water carriers, subject to the act, but not to motor carriers or freight forwarders. (Main Author: William J. Miller)

Internet intermediaries in the Internet Security

  • The Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI) notifies ISPs of their customers? malware-infected computers. The Australian ISP cyber security code of practice is designed to generate consistency in cyber security messages and remedial practices between ISPs and their customers. The four elements of this code: i) a notification management system for compromised computers; ii) a standardised information resource for end-users; iii) a
    comprehensive resource for ISPs to access the latest threat information; and iv) a reporting mechanism (back to a computer emergency response team (CERT)) in cases of extreme threat.
  • The high infection rate of end users in Germany threatens the economy and assists organized crime. There is the project of a central botnet disinfection centre, in close co-operation with the Federal Agency for Security of the Internet in Germany. This project is an example of public private partnership, given that the Federal Agency for Security of the Internet is not only funding the project, but also contributing to its setup phase.
  • Although Internet intermediaries have the ability to take on many actions to advance public policy objectives, they should pursue only a small number of activities involving their users/customers. There were security risks inherent to imposing policy objectives on Internet intermediaries, because intermediaries would have to build surveillance and control systems that would invite abuse by hackers, insiders, or simple function creep.
    Therefore, policy makers should limit to the minimum possible the number of issues intermediaries are involved in.
  • There were a rapid growth of third party applications for Internet intermediary platforms, and stressed the associated security and privacy risks. The intermediary best practice included having procedures in place to take consumers complaints and try to solve problems quickly, reporting application developers to enforcement agencies, and not necessarily providing third-party applications with access to personal data. Governments should focus on the application developers that are directly breaking the law, rather than intermediary platforms, and that they should encourage companies to offer tools to
    consumers to protect themselves.
  • The Japanese cyber-clean centre initiative has produced positive results.
  • All Internet stakeholders share a collective responsibility to make the Internet more reliable and trustworthy. Integrated security processes in software development and co-operation and dialogue between all stakeholders are crucial to improve the security of users. Some Internet stakeholders believe that law enforcement co-operation and co-operation with governments is a key part of their responsibility to make the online world more secure.

Internet intermediaries in the Protection of Privacy

  • The approacches taken by search-engines and participative networking platforms towards the privacy topic might vary between jurisdictions because of different underlying laws (e.g. data protection legislation).
  • The case involving Google Italy and a video hosted on the Google site, since three employees were found guilty of privacy infringement. In Italy, it is not possible to conduct a criminal prosecution against a corporate entity, but only against a physical person. A group of teenagers had uploaded a video that humiliated their disabled classmate onto Google?s video site.
  • The European E-Commerce Directive has some limitations on intermediary liability, excluding privacy issues, creating legal ambiguity in Europe on what Internet intermediaries? responsibilities and potential liabilities are.
  • Privacy resides on the concept of consent and that it is impossible for Internet platforms to discern whether a person has or not consented to the material related to him/her being on the platform.
  • Pre-screening content is not only a controversial form of censorship, but also not feasible from a technical perspective.
  • Google launched an interactive map of countries around the world showing the number of requests from governments to obtain user data and to remove content.
  • In Korea, Internet users also share a responsibility to protect private data. The Korea government considers legal initiatives as a last resort, and should provide minimal regulation. The Korea government focused on education campaigns for users and industry to help protect personal data. The i-Pin is a personal identification number for use on the Internet in Korea. The i-Pin is meant to act as a substitute for the social security number, given that the later includes personal information of its user, such as date of birth and gender.
  • In the world, 65 countries have data protection legislation, and many guidelines on privacy exist. There are fundamental conflict of interest that intermediaries have in protecting personal information, because their business models rely on monetising this same personal information. As a result, intermediaries manipulate “user consent? or “user control? through default settings, information asymmetry, and obscure privacy notices. The challenge is to enforce existing legislation in a meaningful way: for example through the development of user interfaces that ensure people understand and give meaningful consent to the use of their personal information.
  • From a regulator?s perspective, Internet intermediaries are responsible for the protection of the personal data of their users. Users also share part of the responsibility, and emphasised the need to educate users despite the complexity of the environment. There is an important complication for Internet intermediaries in discerning personal data from non-personal data. The audience that many services offered by intermediaries are free, but that they use personal data to finance the provision of these services on two-sided markets. The challenge is to identify how much personal data is too much. He believes the policy response in these areas, where there is an ever-greater collection of personal data, is to either suggest greater regulatory oversight or industry codes of practice.
  • There is a need for enhanced co-operation between industry, policy makers, and regulators to ensure that the use of personal data is fair, as well as to provide more consistency to industry across jurisdictions.

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