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2006-09-29 23:00:41

Police Looking At Bloggers

In keeping with the Bahamas government's continued attempts at censorship, Bahamas police are investigating whether bloggers can be prosecuted.

Bahamian Internet users may have to think before they blog after police confirmed that they are looking into the question of whether some so-called bloggers could be sued over their online content. Chief Superintendent Marvin Dames said police are investigating whether those using online diaries - known as web-logs, or "blogs" - to make controversial comments could be liable for prosecution.

The investigation follows a complaint made by a member of the public to officers at the Central Detective Unit about comments made about him and his company on a blog.

As it stands, bloggers worldwide have relative free rein in using their sites to make any kind of comments they see fit - flattering or defamatory - about anyone.

This is in part due to the nature of the Internet - for one thing, anonymity is relatively easy for bloggers to maintain, making it difficult for them to be tracked down.

The global nature of the Internet also brings up questions of who is responsible and under what jurisdiction.

The explosion in the popularity of blogging has been heralded by many as a great advancement for free speech, and something which has an important contribution to make to healthy civil society.

It is said that if the liability of bloggers were increased, their capacity to serve this function would diminish.

However, others argue that it would protect those whose reputations have been unfairly tarnished by online comment.

By ALISON LOWE, The Tribune

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