Intermediary Liability & Content Regulation

Intermediary Liability & Content Regulation 2018-03-20T18:59:05+00:00

“Intermediary liability” describes the allocation of legal responsibility to content providers of all kinds for regulated categories of content. The presumption against governments imposing intermediary liability on online platforms for user-generated content on the platforms encourages user free expression, as well as platform innovation, and is often credited with facilitating the tremendous expansion of internet and mobile communications networks across the world.

GNI seeks to preserve and expand free-expression protections for individuals by protecting intermediaries throughout the ICT value-chain against liability for the speech of their users. Since 2009, GNI has issued numerous statements highlighting the importance of intermediary protections, engaged in open government consultations, and called attention to and expressed concern about problematic laws, policies, and actions in a number of countries and contexts.

GNI Provides Input for UN Report on “Content Regulation in the Digital Age”

GNI Submission for SR Report on Content Regulation Today the Global Network Initiative submitted input to the UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, for his report on content regulation in the digital age. The report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in [...] December 20, 2017|intermediary liability, Issues, issues highlight, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media release|
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GNI Joins a Panel on Extremism and the Internet with UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd

At the New America Foundation on Thursday, November 9, GNI Policy Director Jason Pielemeier participated in “An Evening with the Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, U.K. Home Secretary,” a panel discussion on the challenges around extremist groups’ continued use of online platforms and the role of the private sector in [...] November 14, 2017|intermediary liability, media release|

GNI Hosts Closed Roundtable in London on Intermediary Liability

In London on October 6, 2017, GNI convened a range of relevant stakeholders for "Addressing the Message and Protecting the Medium." The closed roundtable discussion explored the impact of laws and policies addressing online extremism and hate speech, assessing the risks and opportunities for security, economies, and human rights, with [...] October 10, 2017|events, intermediary liability, Issues|

Proposed German Legislation Threatens Free Expression Around the World

April 20, 2017 – AMSTERDAM/BRUSSELS/LONDON/WASHINGTON DC – The Global Network Initiative is deeply concerned by the “Draft Law to Improve Law Enforcement in Social Networks” (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz) approved by the German cabinet on April 5. GNI is mindful of the complex challenges that governments and companies face when dealing with controversial [...] April 20, 2017|intermediary liability, Issues, media release|

GNI Board Chair Mark Stephens Attends Global Counter-Terrorism Forum Meetings in London

Experts from government, civil society and companies explored how human rights can be upheld in public-private partnerships to counter violent extremism in social media. January 9, 2017|events, intermediary liability|
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Responding to Online Extremism Without Harming Free Speech and Privacy

Tech companies and human rights experts offer collective recommendations to address online content that is allegedly extremist in nature. November 30, 2016|intermediary liability, Issues, media release, Publication, reports|

GNI Briefs the U.S. Helsinki Commission on Internet Freedom

On Thursday, March 3, 2016, GNI Director of Policy and Learning Lisl Brunner presented to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) at a briefing titled “Internet Freedom in the Age of Dictators and Terrorists.” March 4, 2016|events, intermediary liability, Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media release, network disruptions, surveillance|

GNI and ASIL to Host Closed Roundtable on Extremist Content and the ICT Sector

On Wednesday, February 17, participants from U.S. government agencies, civil society groups, academia and ICT companies will join the discussion. February 16, 2016|events, intermediary liability, Issues, media release|

GNI and CDT host closed roundtable session in London on regulating of extremist content online

The half-day session discussed the effectiveness of restricting content for countering extremism online, and what measures could be used mitigate the harm to privacy and free expression. October 30, 2015|events, intermediary liability, media release|

GNI address to the UN on regulating Extremist Content

On September 14, GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg addressed the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee. September 14, 2015|intermediary liability, Issues, media release|

GNI speaks at UN meeting on how to stem flow of Foreign Terrorist Fighters

"By backing strong encryption, the White House can send a global message in support of the privacy and freedom of expression of all internet users," said GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg. August 20, 2015|events, intermediary liability, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media release|
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Extremist Content and the ICT Sector – Launching a GNI Policy Dialogue

GNI has published a short document setting out key questions and considerations to inform the debate on the role of ICT companies in removing alleged terrorist or extremist content online. July 1, 2015|intermediary liability, Issues, media release, Publication|

GNI Welcomes Landmark Freedom of Expression Ruling by the Supreme Court of India

The Global Network Initiative applauds today's landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of India in support of freedom of expression. March 24, 2015|intermediary liability, Issues, media release|

Interactive Slideshow Explores Impact of India’s Internet Laws

The Global Network Initiative and the Internet and Mobile Association of India are working together to explain how India’s Internet and technology laws holding back economic innovation and freedom of expression. July 17, 2014|intermediary liability, Issues, media release|

Russian Internet Legislation Threatens Online Rights

The Global Network Initiative urges Russian President Vladimir Putin to veto legislation that would restrict free expression and privacy rights online. April 25, 2014|intermediary liability, Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media release|

Report: Strengthening Protections for Online Platforms Could Add Billions to India’s GDP

The Global Network Initiative today released a report prepared by Copenhagen Economics, which found that online platforms that support user-generated content can become an important part of India’s Internet economy. March 25, 2014|intermediary liability, Issues, media release, reports|

Turkish Internet Legislation Threatens Free Expression and Privacy Rights

Update: Turkey’s parliament passed the legislation on Wednesday February 5, 2014. GNI urges Turkish President Abdullah Gül to veto the bill. The Global Network Initiative is greatly concerned by legislation under consideration in Turkey that if passed, would loosen already troubling standards for blocking of online content and require Internet service providers (ISPs) to [...] January 22, 2014|intermediary liability, Issues, media release|

New Report Calls for Transparency from Governments and Telecommunications Companies

Report Executive Summary available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish. Washington, DC — The human rights obligations of telecommunications companies are in the global spotlight in the wake of recent reports about national security-related communications surveillance. Companies committed to respecting free expression and privacy rights should take this opportunity to work with governments to increase [...] July 24, 2013|intermediary liability, Issues, media release, network disruptions, reports, surveillance|
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GNI Responds to European Commission Consultations

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 [...] October 10, 2012|intermediary liability, Issues, media release, Resources|

Collaborating on Controversial Content and Difficult Decisions

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) condemns the recent violence associated with protests around the world against an inflammatory film insulting to Islam. GNI’s Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy aim to guide responsible decisions by companies when facing requests or demands from governments. But private companies also make decisions about removing [...] September 25, 2012|intermediary liability, Issues, media release|

Op-Ed: Responding to India’s Internet Clampdown

This op-ed was distributed by Global India Newswire and originally appeared on the International Business Times: Responding to India’s Internet Clampdown By Susan Morgan and David Sullivan WASHINGTON: Last week, the Indian government missed an opportunity to show the world the right way to handle social media in a time of crisis. With [...] August 30, 2012|intermediary liability, Issues, op-eds|

Russian Internet Legislation Merits Greater Scrutiny Before Passage

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is concerned that a legislative proposal under active consideration by the Russian Duma will curb freedom of expression online. The draft bill, Law 89417-6, which is due to have its second reading in the State Duma on July 11, would create a list of prohibited [...] July 10, 2012|intermediary liability, Issues, media release|

Wall Street Journal Asia Op-Ed: “Thailand Stifles the Internet”

This op-ed by GNI Independent Chair Jermyn Brooks originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal Asia:  The Thai government bought one million tablet computers last month to distribute to students across the country. This ambitious "one tablet per child" policy, one of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's campaign promises, is the largest [...] June 7, 2012|intermediary liability, Issues, media release, op-eds|

GNI Statement on Thai Court Conviction

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is troubled by the conviction of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, webmaster of the online forum Prachathai, under Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act for not moving quickly enough to remove content posted by users. Her conviction illustrates the serious harm that occurs when companies are held liable for content uploaded [...] May 31, 2012|intermediary liability, Issues, media release|

Global Network Initiative Concerned by Government of Vietnam’s Proposed Internet Decree

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is deeply concerned by the free speech and privacy implications of the Government of Vietnam’s Draft Decree on Internet Services, draft legislation which, if made into law, would oblige Internet companies and other providers of information to Internet users in Vietnam to cooperate with the [...] May 23, 2012|intermediary liability, Issues, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, media release|

OECD Intermediary Liability Workshop

GNI Statement for OECD Workshop on Intermediary Liability Intermediary Liability: Balancing creativity, ICT development, and the free flow of information with other policy objectives – Susan Morgan International law enshrines core human rights principles and forms the basis of the Principles of the Global Network Initiative (GNI). It is the [...] June 21, 2010|intermediary liability, Issues|

Reflecting on Google in Italy (and beyond): Implications for Online Privacy and Freedom of Expression in the Internet Age

The Italian court decision to hold three Google executives criminally liable for privacy violations raises important questions for human rights and for the technology industry. Privacy and freedom of expression are fundamental rights. How to best to align policies that protect both these rights is an issue that warrants broad [...] March 10, 2010|intermediary liability, Issues, media release|

GNI Identifies Intermediary Liability for Carriers and Platforms for User Generated Content as a Key Issue for Business and Public Policy

When companies are held liable for content uploaded or sent by users, freedom of expression can suffer. Collaborative efforts should help advance policy solutions that better protect fundamental rights to expression and access to information. The Global Network Initiative (GNI) believes that freedom of opinion and expression is a human [...] August 19, 2009|intermediary liability, Issues, media release|
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