[IRP] FW: Invitation 7 December - Self-regulation: Should online companies police the internet?
Tue Dec 6 16:49:40 EET 2011
Just to add a clarification to what is happening in
India: in April 2011, a set of rules on intermediary due dilligence were
issued by the government that made it obligatory for intermediaries to
respond within 36 hours to any complaint regarding content they had
received under the rules on grounds of the content being "disparaging",
"grossly harmful", "ethnically objectionable", and a whole other range
of equally vague terms that should not have any space in law. The
current request of the minister, however, adds a whole new layer to the
kind of censorship intermediaries would be expected to do, as he is
requesting them to prescreen content. Complaints aren't even necessary
Clearly the people are not agreeing: among the top ten
trending hash tags on Twitter in India today were: Kapil Sibal;
#IdiotKapilSibal; #censorship; Free Speech; Freedom of Speech.
On Tue, 06 Dec 2011 16:06:09 +0200, Anriette
> It has been posted previously but Rebecca
McKinnon's TED talk is good on
> this thread if I remember correctly.
I agree with Dixie - the boundaries between self-regulation and
legislation is very thorny... and filled with pitfalls.
cannot, and should not need to be, the arbiters or protectors
> of our
human rights. Great if they are progressive and pro-rights, but
individuals should not have to rely on corporate goodwill or values
which could change as a result of changes in leadership, policy, or
pressure from governments.
> I am not saying that companies are not
important players .. they are,
> and can play a positive role.
Self-regulation and progressive company policy can be very useful. If
practised in ways that maximises expression it can strengthen freedoms
in cases where there are gaps in the protection of fundamental rights
> national legislation.
> Corporate voices can also be powerful in
convincing governments to
> protect fundamental freedoms...
ultimately the protection of free nline expression and association
needs to be legislated and due process should be followed when any
restrictions are applied.
> On 06/12/11 15:39, Allon
>> In that light, the messages from India are rather
disconcerting: *"The Indian government has asked Internet companies and
social media sites like Facebook to prescreen user content from India
and to remove disparaging, inflammatory or defamatory content before it
goes online, three executives in the information technology industry
 See also "Kapil Sibal's web monitoring plan: Google reacts, says
company follows laws on illegal content" in the /India Times/.
On 12/6/11 4:06 PM, Dixie Hawtin wrote:
>>> Yes, the more I
think about it the more convinced I am that the boundaries between
government responsibility and self-regulation by companies is one of the
thorniest topics we need to address and become coherent on from a human
rights perspective - hopefully this meeting will provide a good baseline
of ideas! I also hope to follow remotely, it will be live streamed here:
 Very best, Dixie
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