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Gov't wants ISPs to help Brits remove inaccurate information from the web

Proposals detail Nominet-style mediation service

The government wants ISPs to help Brits ensure inaccurate or potentially harmful information about themselves is removed from the web.

Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, set out proposals for a 'mediation service' during a parliamentary debate last week.

In his speech, Vaizey cited a women's refuge that had been pictured on Google's Street View – an add-on for Google Maps and Google Earth that provides photographs of locations, and subsequently meant its address was freely available online. However, the refuge struggled to get the information removed.

"The fact that no meeting or dialogue could take place worries me greatly," Vaizey said.

As a result, he suggested ISPs should offer a service similar to the one currently available from UK domain name registry Nominet in a bid to overcome disputes over ownership of .uk domain names.

"We are keen to explore ideas for how we can work together with industry to improve the customer experience around complaints and problems with service as well as other on-line issues, including a mediation service," said a spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The department said Vaizey planned to set up a meeting with ISPs to explore the proposal.

However, the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) said it was concerned about the "extra burden" the proposals bring to ISPs.

"ISPA is concerned about the potential for any additional burden on ISPs and questions, for example, how a mediation service would work with content hosted outside the UK," said the spokesman.

The ISPA said there was already a 'notice and takedown' system in place, which means ISPs act quickly to remove illegal content as soon as it is bought to their attention.

"ISPA will be talking to Government about the work that ISPs already do in this area and commenting in more detail when further information is announced."

See also: 5 ways to defend and enhance your Google reputation

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