"The accidental censorship of the St. Margaret's community website highlights a larger reality of the Internet age: The digital networks and platforms we depend upon for all aspects of our lives -- including the civic and political -- are for the most part designed, owned, operated, and governed by the private sector.
Internet and mobile services empower us to organize and communicate in exciting new ways, and indeed have been politically transformative in democracies and dictatorships alike.
But the connectivity they provide has also created tough new problems for parents, law enforcement, and anybody wanting to protect their intellectual property.
Democratically elected governments face political pressure from a range of vocal and powerful constituencies to take urgent action to protect children, property, and reputations.
Increasingly, however, the job of policing the Internet is falling to private intermediaries -- companies that are under little or no legal obligation to uphold citizens' rights.
In effect, they end up acting simultaneously as digital police, judge, jury, and executioner."
By Rebecca MacKinnon