An introduction to the GNI blog series examining government efforts to address online harms around the world. Written by members and close collaborators, the series will provide practical guidance to those seeking to regulate content while upholding human rights.
Several provisions of the proposed "Law of Freedom, Responsibility, and Transparency on the Internet” in Brazil would be counterproductive to the stated intent of the bill and pose risks for freedom of expression and privacy. Brazil’s legislature should heed calls from international experts and civil society and take care to respect the rights enshrined in Marco Civil by rejecting the bill and engaging in meaningful and transparent multi-stakeholder consultation to find a truly rights-respecting way forward.
Content Regulation and Human Rights: Report on a GNI Multistakeholder Roundtable on the Digital Services Act
On June 4, 2020, GNI hosted a multistakeholder roundtable discussion to examine key provisions of the anticipated European Union Digital Services Act through the lens of international human rights law. Held under Chatham House Rule, the online event was attended by nearly 70 guests, including EU policymakers and experts from academia, civil society, and ICT companies. Read more in the event report.
On 28 May, GNI brought together UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović, and a set of experts from GNI’s multistakeholder membership to explore a human rights-based approach to content regulation in the context of EU Digital Services Act (DSA). Read the event recap or watch the video recording.
The risks of government-mandated network disruptions for human rights, media freedom, economic activity and development, and security are more acute during the ongoing pandemic. To lessen the negative impacts of the novel coronavirus, ensure the public’s access to information, and facilitate the development and application of new, constructive, and inclusive solutions, it is important to understand how government-mandated network disruptions intentional degradation of access can undermine these goals.
With over 100 individuals from GNI members in attendance, the calls discussed the opportunities and risks of using ICT company data to respond to the pandemic, as well as the impact of different government measures on the flow of important health information.
The Citizens Protection (Rules Against Online Harm) 2020, approved by the Government of Pakistan on 21 January 2020, creates significant risks for the privacy and free expression rights of ICT users both within and outside of Pakistan.
Two recent rulings by the Court of Justice of the European Union — Google vs. CNIL and Glawischnig-Piesczek vs. Facebook — fail to sufficiently consider freedom of expression and privacy risks when EU countries' domestic authorities assert global authority and jurisdiction over online content. Greater efforts at intergovernmental and multistakeholder deliberation are needed to determine the appropriate scope of application for domestic legal orders on global internet companies.
GNI is deeply concerned about reports of network disruptions across India, including in New Delhi, amid mass protests. GNI urges the government to consider its international commitments to freedom of expression and the risks disruptions pose for public safety, health and emergency services, the economy, and the news media.
GNI wrote to the Australian INLSM, Dr. James Renwick, to underscore critical considerations for fit-for-purpose, human rights-oriented oversight mechanisms and maxium transparency and accountability in the Assistance and Access Bill. The letter followed a recent consultation with Dr. Renwick and GNI non-company members and other partners, informing the INSLM's legislative review.