Intermediary liabilityIntermediary Liability and Content Regulation

“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 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. More recently, conversations around the regulation of platform “content moderation” practices has emerged as a related area of governmental focus.

GNI seeks to preserve and expand free-expression protections for individuals throughout the ICT value-chain. 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.  For instance, GNI has promoted good practices for companies and governments in addressing alleged terrorist or extremist content online while respecting human rights, informed by extensive multistakeholder consultation on this challenging topic.

In 2020, GNI released Content Regulation and Human Rights: Analysis and Recommendations,” a policy brief that analyzes more than 20 recent governmental initiatives that claim to address various forms of digital harm. The brief offers practical guidance for governments and other stakeholders on how to formulate and implement content regulations that are effective, fit-for-purpose, and enhance and protect the rights to freedom of expression and privacy.

GNI Statement of Concern on Proposed Cybersecurity Law in Myanmar

February 12, 2021|feature, intermediary liability, Issues, issues highlight, media releases, network disruptions, surveillance|

Given the severe social, economic, and human rights consequences that the draft cybersecurity law is likely to have on both users and companies inside the country, GNI calls on the Myanmar military to withdraw and reconsider the law.

Concerns About Network Disruptions and Restrictions on Freedom of Expression in Myanmar

February 9, 2021|feature, intermediary liability, network disruptions|

We call on government authorities in Myanmar to immediately restore full network connectivity, reverse orders blocking social media sites, and refrain from issuing further orders or putting pressure on internet and telecommunications companies that contravene the country’s international human rights law commitments, including the freedom of opinion and expression and privacy.

GNI Letter to UN Special Rapporteur Irene Khan: Restrictions on Freedom of Expression in Myanmar

October 30, 2020|feature, intermediary liability, Issues, issues highlight, Letter, media releases, network disruptions|

In a letter to UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression Irene Khan, GNI raises concerns about ongoing restrictions on digital communications in Myanmar, including network disruptions, website blocking, and efforts by governmental actors to manipulate social media platforms.
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Addressing Digital Harms AND Protecting Human Rights — GNI Shares Recommendations for Policymakers

October 13, 2020|feature, intermediary liability, Issues, issues highlight, Jurisdictional Assertions & Limits, Publication, reports|

"Content Regulation and Human Rights: Analysis and Recommendations" uses human rights to analyze more than 20 recent, governmental initiatives that claim to address various forms of digital harm. The brief is the result of months of multistakeholder analysis by GNI’s diverse, expert membership, as well as six virtual consultations with government actors and other key stakeholders in Africa, the EU, India, Pakistan, and the UK.

GNI’s Submission to the Open Consultation on the EU Digital Services Act

September 29, 2020|feature, intermediary liability, Issues, issues highlight, media releases, Publication|

The DSA is expected to transform the regulatory environment for tech companies and have wide-reaching impacts beyond the EU. In our response to a European Commission consultation, GNI shares important considerations for protecting digital rights in three areas: 1) Safety and Responsibility; 2) Liability Regime; and 3) Governance and Enforcement.
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Event Report: Multistakeholder Roundtable on Content Regulation in the U.K.

September 23, 2020|feature, intermediary liability, Issues, issues highlight, Publication, reports|

GNI convened representatives from civil society, academia, the ICT industry, and the U.K. government to consider the Online Harms White Paper in the context of the human rights framework, with four discussion topics: codes of conduct, duty of care, remedy, and privacy. GNI previewed the content regulation policy brief to be launched in the coming weeks.
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Event Report: Multistakeholder Roundtable on Digital Content Regulation in Pakistan

August 19, 2020|feature, intermediary liability, Issues, issues highlight|

On 16 July 2020, GNI hosted a multistakeholder roundtable discussion with local experts and policymakers on digital content regulation in Pakistan. The discussion was informed by a forthcoming policy brief from GNI examining content regulation efforts worldwide with a human rights lens.
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Event Report: Multistakeholder Roundtable on India’s Draft Intermediaries Guidelines Amendments

August 13, 2020|feature, intermediary liability, Issues, issues highlight, Publication, reports|

Representatives from civil society, academia, the legal community, ICT companies, and policymakers in India joined a roundtable discussion to examine the Draft Intermediaries Guidelines through the lens of international human rights law, framed by a forthcoming GNI policy brief on content regulation and human rights.