The government wants to control the Internet. Experts threaten abuse

The government has been working for months on new legal regulations on freedom of expression on social media. The so-called Freedom Act has once again come under fire from industrial organizations.

Developed by the so-called United Right government law on freedom of speech in social networks causes a lot of controversy. As a rule, new regulations developed by the Ministry of Justice will complicate the operation of social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. ban users and delete content. Industry and human rights groups have defended the move, criticizing the government’s bill will restrict freedom of speech online. They submitted their comments in a joint letter to the Prime Minister. There they met Fr. refusal to work on the project

The organizations claim that the act was proposed by the Ministry of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro will not strengthen users’ rights social networking sites associated with large internet corporations. However, it can help with access arbitrary political control About freedom of expression on the Internet. They also note that the project provides solutions that do not comply with EU law.

The criticism concerns the draft act of September 29, 2021, but according to the organization, there are some changes in the next version, which was published on January 10, 2022, but does not eliminate major problems.

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The Council on Freedom of Speech may abuse its powers

The most serious accusation is the politicization of control over online public discussions. The signatories of the letter believe that the Freedom of Speech Council is envisaged in the project does not meet the basic conditions of independence and transaction transparency. He will be able to make decisions based on very vague criteria that create great criteria risk of abuse of power. At the same time, RWS will be out of real judicial control.

According to the Panoptykon Foundation, one of the signatories of the letter, there are big ones discretion risk.

In practice, this may mean that the level of protection will not be the same for everyone. Although the council is currently expected to defend content that is in line with the views of the ruling political force, it is not clear whether, for example, materials referring to women’s rights or the LGBT + community are equally entitled. defense. However, research has shown that these content categories are particularly vulnerable to unwarranted blocking on online platforms.

– Panoptykon Foundation assures.

The project also applies to social networks obligation to store new information. The signatories of the letter believe that this does not only increase it network control threatnor does it comply with the EU’s e-Privacy Directive and the case law of the EU Court of Justice.

There are solutions proposed by the Ministry of Justice does not correspond to what is currently being done in the EU Draft Regulation on Digital Services Act. It is not possible to create such solutions on the basis of the current draft act, which does not contradict the currently binding EU laws and emerging bills.

According to the organizations, the entry into force of the bill in the presented version will be even more effective. legal uncertainty for users and entrepreneurs, but this could soon lead to potential conflicts escalating to the international level. In turn, Internet providers will have to comply double workAdaptation to Polish solutions, and then to those in force throughout Europe.

Among the signatories are IAB Polska, Digital Poland, Polish Chamber of Commerce, Lewiatan Confederation, Polish Chamber of Information Technologies and Telecommunications, Polish Book Chamber, Press Publishing Chamber, Employers Association of the Republic of Poland. Entrepreneurs and Employers, Panoptykon Foundation, Helsinki Human Rights Foundation and My Country Foundation.

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Photo credit: Shutterstock

Text source: Panoptykon Foundation

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