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A method to assess regulatory measures designed to limit access to harmful content on the Internet

Abstract : Regulators increasingly ask Internet intermediaries to limit access to harmful content. These actions can create negative externalities that are not fully taken into account when the regulatory decision is adopted. Drawing on law and economics literature on better regulation and cost-benefit analyses, the thesis proposes a system to help regulators take better account of the costs and benefits generated by measures affecting Internet intermediaries, and choose the measure that maximizes social welfare. The thesis identifies the various ingredients of a cost-benefit analysis, including a consideration of the different Internet intermediaries involved (search engines, ISPs, etc.), different content policies to be enforced (copyright, fight against terrorism, etc.), different institutional and regulatory approaches (self regulatory, co-regulatory, etc.), and the effects on various fundamental rights. The thesis proposes that any regulatory proposal designed to limit access to harmful Internet content be subject to an initial questionnaire, a cost-benefit analysis, a public consultation and a peer review before being adopted, and that these steps would increase the quality of regulation by, among other things, making the direct and indirect benefits and costs more visible, and trade-offs more explicit. The steps will also facilitate international benchmarking. The thesis points to the European framework for regulation of electronic communications as a source of inspiration for "better regulation" methodology that could be applied to Internet content issues.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 9:33:39 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02503515, version 1


Winston Maxwell. A method to assess regulatory measures designed to limit access to harmful content on the Internet. Economics and Finance. Telecom Paristech, 2016. English. ⟨tel-02503515⟩



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