The Regulation of Harmful Materials on the Internet


Cheng-Yu Lin


Internet, Regulation, Harmful material, Obscene material, Freedom of expression.


This article discusses the regulation of “harmful materials” on the internet. The structure of this article is divided into three parts: Firstly, focus is placed on the analysis of the theories of free speech. Then, laws of the United States, the European Union regarding the regulation of harmful materials on the internet are examined. Lastly, relevant laws of Taiwan are briefly analyzed. This article concludes that, apart from sheer illegal materials, governments should not intervene too much in the regulation of the so- called ‘gray area’ materials on the internet. Instead, they should be resolved by technology and self-regulation of the internet service providers (ISPs). Some possible solutions are suggested in the end.