A Legal and Regulatory Perspective: Better Protection for Freedom of Expression in the Age of Digital Communications.
Historically, telecommunication, broadcasting, and other media were distinct industries; they used different technologies and were governed by different regulations. Convergence of communications is dissolving established barriers, not only between professional journalists and citizens using the new tools, but also in the legal and regulatory environment. The legal system has been slow, however, to adjust to the changes caused by the convergence of telecommunications and broadcasting (including public service broadcasting) and the merger of broadband operators and Internet service providers.
There are various national policies and approaches on privacy and freedom of expression, including industrial policy and regulation such as copyright, user-centric approaches related to child protection policy, fraud, defamation and hate speech, net centric policies linking to domain names, and security policy on privacy and freedom of expression. How do we employ these existing mechanisms the better to protect freedom of expression in the age of digital communications? If existing mechanisms are inadequate, what should be done?
The human rights organization, Article 19, has pointed out that Internet intermediaries play a key role in facilitating the connections between the providers of information and users. Today, they are the new postal service, telephone network, local newspaper, and broadcast station. How they are addressed by civil society and governments is not yet clearly established. Consequently freedom of expression is often unduly limited.
This new relationship set by social networks can raise critical legal challenges: for governments to enforce laws, which can risk limiting freedom of speech; for Internet companies to protect privacy and develop standards in an online environment; for users, and especially for young people, to know how to protect their privacy and free speech.
Food for Thought:
• What are the legal and human rights implications of social networks for freedom of expression, privacy, and personal data protection?
• How to protect bloggers and users right to freedom of expression on the Internet and social networks?
• How to find applicable standards and legislation and share good practices on privacy protection?
• What is the role of Internet service providers/web hosting companies? Are they neutral bystanders? And how to treat conflicts of legal jurisdiction created by the trans-border nature of the web and social networks?
• What effect does the convergence of media have on the enabling environment for freedom of expression?
[Extract from a UNESCO Concept Paper]
E A Implementacao Dessa Lei?
Media Freedom(s) Quo Vadis?
No Dia Mundial da Liberdade de Imprensa