This Note argues that the European Union should adopt the Commission recommended a Platform for Internet Content Selection ("PICS") based rating system because the PICS based rating system is the most technically and legally effective method for combating undesirable content on the Internet and because it furthers freedom of expression as well as the European Union common market's four freedoms. Only a coordinated worldwide system, furthermore, will enable the European Union and governments throughout the world to effectively shield citizens from undesirable content, regardless of how a particular government may define the term undesirable. This Note, therefore, argues that governments of the world should implement a global PICS based rating system. Part I briefly describes the Internet and continues by discussing the European Union and several European Union policies related to Internet regulation. Part II examines attempts at shielding citizens from undesirable Internet content by the European Union and its Member States, as well as attempts by several countries that are not part of the European Union. Part III argues that the PICS based rating system is both technologically and legally the most suitable way for the European Union to shield citizens from undesirable Internet content. Part III also proposes a global rating system, based on the European Union PICS based rating system, which will enable the European Union and governments throughout the world to effectively protect citizens from undesirable content on the Internet. This Note concludes that the proposed global PICS based rating system will enable a government that uses it to protect its citizens from undesirable Internet content in a way that is consistent with that government's particular legal system.
Shielding Internet Users from Undesirable Content: The Advantages of a Pics Based Rating System,
20 Fordham Int'l L.J. 866
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol20/iss3/9