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Internet content regulation, public drug websites and the growth in hidden Internet services

Barratt, Monica, Lenton, Simon and Allen, Matthew 2013, Internet content regulation, public drug websites and the growth in hidden Internet services, Drugs, education and policy, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 195-202, doi: 10.3109/09687637.2012.745828.

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Title Internet content regulation, public drug websites and the growth in hidden Internet services
Author(s) Barratt, Monica
Lenton, Simon
Allen, MatthewORCID iD for Allen, Matthew orcid.org/0000-0002-8882-8763
Journal name Drugs, education and policy
Volume number 20
Issue number 3
Start page 195
End page 202
Total pages 8
Publisher Informa Healthcare
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 2013-06
ISSN 1465-3370
0968-7637
Keyword(s) internet
drugs
dark web
regulation
Summary Governments have traditionally censored drug-related information, both in traditional media and, in recent years, in online media. We explore Internet content regulation from a drug-policy perspective by describing the likely impacts of censoring drug websites and the parallel growth in hidden Internet services. Australia proposes a compulsory Internet filtering regime that would block websites that ‘depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of… drug misuse or addiction’ and/or ‘promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime’. In this article, we present findings from a mixed-methods study of online drug discussion. Our research found that websites dealing with drugs, that would likely be blocked by the filter, in fact contributed positively to harm reduction. Such sites helped people access more comprehensive and relevant information than was available elsewhere. Blocking these websites would likely drive drug discussion underground at a time when corporate-controlled ‘walled gardens’ (e.g. Facebook) and proprietary operating systems on mobile devices may also limit open drug discussion. At the same time, hidden Internet services, such as Silk Road, have emerged that are not affected by Internet filtering. The inability for any government to regulate Tor websites and the crypto-currency Bitcoin poses a unique challenge to drug prohibition policies.
Read More: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/full/10.3109/09687637.2012.745828
Language eng
DOI 10.3109/09687637.2012.745828
Field of Research 200199 Communication and Media Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 950204 The Media
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30065633

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Communication and Creative Arts
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Created: Wed, 10 Sep 2014, 10:08:40 EST by Matthew Allen

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