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Posted on July 17, 2018 / 0 Comments
Now that the fate of the “online safety” bill is in the hands of the many petitioners (45) and the three-judge bench that is looking at its constitutionality, we can look at the big picture of what the government is trying to do with this draconian legislation. It appears that even the committee that was formed in 2021 to advise on it has distanced itself from the final text.
Is the extraordinary imprecision of drafting found in this act and the obvious mismatch between the proposed solutions and the real problems of online harms simply a result of incompetence, or is the intention that of getting everyone (content creators, sharers, platforms) to engage in excessively strict self-censorship because no one will be able to clearly define what is permitted and what is not.
"Safeguarding freedom of speech and expression is so important that it is constitutionally protected in most civilised countries, as it is in Sri Lanka. Legislators seeking to address the new problems posed by rapid and articulated dissemination of user generated content must first decide what the priority is.
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