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Porn and the state: regulating internet content

Child pornography, illegal file sharing and terrorism are among the issues threatening to increase ‘Big Brother-like’ scrutiny of our internet activity, says a leading expert.  This shift towards greater state control of online content, and how it will impinge on our rights, will be discussed by Professor Ian Walden in his inaugural lecture at Queen Mary, University of London on Wednesday 3 February 2010.

25 January 2010


Professor Ian Walden

Professor Walden, who joined the Press Complaints Commission in December 2009, specialises in media, telecommunications and computer law at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary.

In his lecture, he will examine the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a UK-based self-regulatory body, often held up as a model for controlling illegal and abusive online content. Until recently, Ian was a Board member and Trustee of the IWF.

“Once happy to leave cyberspace ‘unregulated’, governments, including that of the UK, seem increasingly willing to encroach on what we do, say and see over the Internet,” said Professor Walden. ”As we spend more of our lives online, concerns about the impact of surveillance on rights of expression and privacy are likely to increase.”

Professor Walden will also consider whether the internet industry should be left to exercise control over illegal content or if such intervention should fall to the state.

Ian Walden is a solicitor and Of Counsel to leading global law firm, Baker and McKenzie. His recent books include Computer Crimes and Digital Investigations (2007) and Media Law and Practice (2009). He has been involved in law reform projects for the World Bank, various United Nations agencies, as well as a number of governments around the world.

Lecture: Porn, Pipes and the State: regulating internet content

Venue: Skeel Lecture Theatre, People’s Palace, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS

Date: Wednesday 3 February 2010

Time: 6.30pm

For seats, please contact: events@qmul.ac.uk

For media information, contact:

Paul Jordan
Public Relations Manager
Queen Mary University of London
email: p.jordan@qmul.ac.uk
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