The Global Network Initiative (GNI) has submitted comments to the European Commission on two recent consultations relevant to freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector.

Procedures for Notifying and Acting on Illegal Content Hosted by Online Intermediaries

GNI Comments on EU Notice and Action

GNI responded to the consultation on the “notice-and-action” procedures of the Commission’s E-commerce directive. In our efforts to protect and advance free expression and privacy rights around the world, GNI frequently cites the important protections for intermediaries in the E-commerce directive and considers it an important guarantee of the free flow of information. In our submission, we emphasized that the procedures under the E-commerce directive should provide a positive alternative to loosely defined laws that allow for the prosecution of intermediaries, and provide a regime worthy of imitation worldwide. With this in mind, we encourage the careful assessment of the global impact of proposed measures on human rights, especially freedom of expression and privacy. Our full response to the consultation is available here.

Code for Effective Open Voluntarism

GNI Comments on EC Draft Code

GNI also provided comments on the Commission’s draft Code for Effective Open Voluntarism. Given increasing interest in self-regulation and other multi-stakeholder actions across a wide variety of sectors, GNI supports the objective of a code that would define the characteristics of effective voluntary action. GNI is the only multi-stakeholder initiative in the ICT sector that features independent assessment of its participant companies, which provides credibility and accountability for the process. Although GNI focuses specifically on freedom of expression and privacy rights, many of our Principles and processes are more widely applicable to voluntary multi-stakeholder actions.