The micro-blogging service, Twitter, recently announced that they can now 'censor' messages by
country. Many in the technology community were shocked by this
news as the transparency and free access to information sharing on
Twitter was seen as a catalyst for some of the Arab spring
revolutionary activity this time last year.
Twitter has said that the price they need to pay for operating
in some countries is to have the ability to delete certain messages
at the request of a state government. They claim that transparency
has increased because they are being open about government requests
to remove information.
But are we seeing democratic values, such as free speech,
buffeting against national and commercial interest? Most users of
Twitter probably read information from, and talk to, people in
dozens of countries everyday. The information is just there,
regardless of national borders.
Twitter appears to be capitulating to national governments,
considering this as a price worth paying to do business in those
regions, so it appears that censorship on major social networks can
be bought. If the company doesn't want to miss out on entering
certain markets, they will do whatever it takes to be there rather
than defending the free exchange of information.
Of course, Twitter is just a company. They are not supposed to
be a champion of international free speech or human rights, but the
service has developed a track record for being simple, open, and
transparent. If that's all about to change so governments can
delete anything they see as seditious then where will the next Arab
spring be created?
Thomas Eggar LLP is a limited liability partnership
registered in England and Wales under registered number OC326278
whose registered office is at The Corn Exchange, Baffin's Lane,
Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1GE (VAT number 991259583). The word
'partner' refers to a member of the LLP, or an employee or
consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications. A list of
the members of the LLP is displayed at the above address, together
with a list of those non-members who are designated as partners.
Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Lexcel and
Investors in People accredited.
Thomas Eggar LLP is not authorised by the Financial
Services Authority. However, we are included on the register
maintained by the Financial Services Authority so that we can carry
on insurance mediation activity which is broadly the advising on,
selling and administering of insurance contracts. This part of our
business, including arrangements for complaints and redress if
something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation
Authority. The register can be accessed via the Financial Services
Authority website. We can also provide certain further limited
investment services to clients if those services are incidental to
the professional services we have been engaged to provide as
Thesis Asset Management plc, our associated financial
services company, provides a comprehensive range of investment
services and advice. Thesis is owned by members of Thomas Eggar LLP
but is independent of and separate to it. No lawyer connected with
Thomas Eggar LLP provides services through Thesis as a practicing
lawyer regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Thesis is
authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
Thesis has its own framework of investor protection and
professional indemnity cover but Thesis clients do not enjoy the
statutory protection of solicitors' clients.
The contents of this article are intended as guidelines for
clients and other readers. It is not a substitute for considered
advice on specific issues. Consequently, we cannot accept any
responsibility for this information or for any errors or
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Even if a licence is not required, for example a one-off unpaid performance in the school holidays, the 1968 Regulations still require certain conditions to be met to ensure children’s safety and wellbeing are protected.