Internet companies should not have to police their own networks for illegal content, according to the Attorney General.
Dominic Grieve has claimed that companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter should be subjected to occasional privacy injunctions but warned against the disadvantages of excessive regulation.
In an interview with guardian.co.uk, Grieve suggested that excessive regulation of website content could pose a threat to civil liberties online.
He said: “If a breach [of a court order] is brought to their attention then they will take action – but they can’t act as a policeman on their network. I don’t think that’s necessarily helpful. They do need to act responsibly and clearly need to abide by the laws of the land.”
Grieve was reacting to suggestions from MPs that Google should be forced to remove material banned by the courts. According to thenextweb.com, the interview was described as the attorney general’s strongest intervention on regulation of the internet.
Commenting on the subject of websites breaking court injunctions, he said: “Normally an injunction obtained by one party is enforced by that party. I have the ability to step in but it is one that should be exercised sparingly. For example, where there is a wider public interest issue that goes beyond the privacy issue of individual.”