Emily Laidlaw – Life Under the Rule of Villains, Vigilantes and Intermediaries in the Untamed World of the Internet (#12)

We need to be thinking big to resolve these problems. ~ Emily Laidlaw

Dr. Emily Laidlaw (@EmilyLaidlaw) is an expert in information and technology law, cybersecurity, human rights, online content regulation and corporate responsibility. Much of her work dives deep into rapidly evolving areas of law that many of us don’t even see coming yet.

In this episode, Emily gives us a broad introduction to a range of behaviours and harms that relate to her work on online abuse. She walks us through topics like cyberbullying, revenge pornography, deepfakes, invasion of privacy and even the spread of radicalizing content related to terrorism. She also invites us to consider whether the law is capable of providing any forms of protection or redress.

One of the amazing things about Emily is her willingness to start thinking now about potential responses to these terrifying problems. She’s not asking us to unplug. But she is challenging us to think big and consider different ways of doing law.

If you use the internet, or have children or anyone you care about going online, you’ll want to hear this episode.

Topics Covered

  1. Legal issues in online abuse
  2. Cyberbullying
  3. Invasions of privacy
  4. Online defamation
  5. Online mob-attacks and shaming
  6. Doxxing
  7. Swatting
  8. Deepfakes
  9. Revenge pornography
  10. Online intermediary liability 
  11. Private content moderation
  12. Net-neutrality 
  13. Government-regulation 
  14. Jurisdiction and the internet
  15. Freedom of expression
  16. Privacy
  17. Disinformation online
  18. Cyber-flashing
  19. De-listing information from search results
  20. Using AI to address content relating to radicalization and terrorism
  21. Online dispute resolution 

Listen to “12 Emily Laidlaw – Life Under the Rule of Villains, Vigilantes and Intermediaries in the Untamed World of the Internet” on Spreaker.

The Quiz for this episode is here

Pre-approved by the Law Society of BC for 1.5 hours of CPD credits.

Are you a member of a law society outside BC? Try here.

Show Notes

How Emily explains what she does for a living 9:45

How Emily decided to become a lawyer 11:20

What Emily would tell herself on the first day of law school 12:30

Intro to online abuse 16:20

Cyberbullying 17:20

Laws, like defamation, being created for a pre-internet world 23:33

The different ways people behave online vs offline 26:00

Doxxing 29:20

Swatting 29:45

Deepfakes 30:45

Revenge pornography 34:00

Intermediary liability 37:30 

Platform algorithms favouring content containing gossip and outrage 41:45

Challenges to monitor and filter content due to the volume of content 43:45

Content moderation 45:30

Facebook and Myanmar 47:00

Government regulation vs self-regulation or private moderation 48:20

Government regulation and innovation 49:30

The Communications Decency Act (s. 230) 52:00

Cyber-flashig 54:50

Platform policies 56:00

Platform liability and over-regulation 56:50

De-listing 57:30

A de-listing case in Germany involving a murderer 58:45

Using AI to take down content that concerns radicalization and/or terrorism 1:01:00

Potential legal responses to various forms of online abuse 1:03:00

Anonymity, jurisdiction, and other features of the internet that frustrate traditional legal responses 1:07:00

Hate speech 1:08:00

The unsuitability of traditional litigation for these issues 1:10:00

The eQuality Project, including work by Valerie Steeves & Jane Bailey 1:09:30

The privatization of dispute resolution 1:11:30

Online dispute resolution 1:14:30

The Civil Resolution Tribunal 1:16:00

Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons 1:17:40

Saskatchewan’s efforts to expand redress options for revenge porn 1:19:20

Manitoba’s efforts to assist victims of revenge porn 1:19:33

How Emily defines success for herself 1:22:00

A tough choice or sacrifice that helped Emily get where she is today 1:22:35

If Emily had to do a week’s worth of work in 3 hours 1:22:38

Things Emily does to look after herself 1:24:10

A single resource Emily would point people toward if they want to learn more about this area 1:25:00

Before her work in the law is done, I want to… 1:26:00

The best book Emily read in the last year: Privacy as Trust by Ari Waldmann 1:27:40

Emily’s favourite podcasts: Darknet diaries; Intrepid Podcast; the Atlantic Technology Podcast – Crazy/Genius (I think this is the one Emily was thinking about); Your Undivided Attention 1:28:00

Emily on SSRN 1:30:00

Emily on Ablawg 1:30:15

Emily on Twitter 1:30:20

Emily’s calls to action 1:31:00

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