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Lord Justice Leveson has warned that the "relative lack of internet specific regulation is unlikely to change", as he highlighted the issue of regulating online and the impact of the digital space on print media.

Earlier this year former business secretary Lord Mandelson called on the Leveson inquiry to "think about the issues of the future", and give consideration to impact of the internet.

Newspaper editors also had their say on the matter, particularly in terms of regulating the digital media.

Editor of the Sun Dominic Mohan, for example, called on the inquiry to ensure "a level playing field" for print and online "in terms of the way they're dealt with".

In today's report into the culture, practices and ethics of the press, Leveson said "the enforcement of law and regulation online is problematic".

"Although the law with regard to online content is clear, and UK hosted content is by and large compliant, the ability of the UK to exercise legal jurisdiction over content on Internet services is extremely limited and dependent on many things (explored below) which are rarely aligned.

"These include: the location of the service provider; the location of the servers on which material is held; and international agreements and treaties."

He highlighted the uniqueness of the Huffington Post UK website, said to be "the only solely online news provider" to have chosen to subscribe to the Press Complaints Commission.

But he also referred to the "frustration" raised by editor Carla Buzasi when giving evidence to the inquiry, that there was a "lack of consideration for online publications" within the PCC and "that the process of joining revealed flaws inherent in the existing system", such as, for example the fact the website was categorised a regional newspaper.

In his report, and on the subject of online communications, Leveson also makes reference to Twitter, which he said was "the focus of some interest to the inquiry because of the role played by users in identifying individuals who had been the subject of privacy injunctions".

He added that "the instant nature of social networking ... differentiates it from more traditional media".

As a result, he argued, "rebuttals and denials of allegations can take place instantly, helping if not to kill a story at least to provide the subject of the story with a voice and make users aware that the veracity of the allegation or story may be in doubt."

Reflecting more generally on the impact of the "accelerating speed of technological change", he added that the growth in sources of news and information "have all contributed to a dramatic change to the cost base and economic model on which newspapers are based".

"In turn, this has increased the pressure for exclusive stories," he added.

"Most titles produce editions online, accessible on a PC, tablet or smartphone, many of which are free to the user. Although the larger selling newspapers remain profitable (even in some cases extremely profitable), there is a very real challenge because of the competitive pressure, the blurring of old distinctions (such as between video content and print) and the need to find ways of making money from publishing on the internet.

"In this context, I am required to address issues of cross-media ownership and the necessary regulatory regime that will support plurality in the media in this country."

As such, in his recommendations, he states that online publication should be included in any market assessment for consideration of plurality.

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