Free Speech hit in Europe


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#communism  Free Speech hit in Europe

By Jack Fowler

By Steve Balich -December 26, 201901

At Gatestone Institute, Judith Bergman shares the grim story that the E.U.’s Court of Justice has just set free-speech limits. From the report:

#sbalich #twill #tcot #freespeech #maga #leadright #eyesrightopen

THE RULING “ESSENTIALLY ALLOWS ONE COUNTRY OR REGION TO DECIDE WHAT INTERNET USERS AROUND THE WORLD CAN SAY AND WHAT INFORMATION THEY CAN ACCESS,” SAID VICTORIA DE POSSON, SENIOR MANAGER IN EUROPE AT THE COMPUTER & COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, AN INDUSTRY GROUP THAT INCLUDES GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK AS MEMBERS.

THE JUDGMENT DOES INDEED APPEAR TO BE OPENING UP A PANDORA’S BOX FOR THE EVER-SHRINKING SPACE FOR FREE SPEECH IN EUROPE AND POTENTIALLY WORLDWIDE, ALTHOUGH IT IS STILL UNCLEAR AT THIS POINT, HOW THE JUDGMENT MIGHT AFFECT FREE SPEECH WORLDWIDE.

GOVERNMENT EFFORTS IN EUROPE TO CENSOR FREE SPEECH HAVE LONG BEEN ONGOING: IN GERMANY, THE CONTROVERSIAL CENSORSHIP LAW, KNOWN AS NETZDG, WHICH CAME INTO EFFECT ON OCTOBER 1, 2017, REQUIRES SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS, SUCH AS FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND YOUTUBE, TO CENSOR THEIR USERS ON BEHALF OF THE GERMAN STATE. SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES ARE OBLIGED TO DELETE OR BLOCK ANY ONLINE “CRIMINAL OFFENSES” SUCH AS LIBEL, SLANDER, DEFAMATION OR INCITEMENT, WITHIN 24 HOURS OF RECEIPT OF A USER COMPLAINT. SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES RECEIVE SEVEN DAYS FOR MORE COMPLICATED CASES. IF THEY FAIL TO DO SO, THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT CAN FINE THEM UP TO 50 MILLION EUROS FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW.

THE NEW JUDGMENT FROM THE COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, PRESUMABLY, COULD MEAN THAT A GERMAN COURT COULD ORDER WHAT IT DEEMS TO BE ILLEGAL CONTENT, OR ITS EQUIVALENT, UNDER NETZDG TO BE REMOVED IN OTHER EU MEMBER STATES THAT DO NOT HAVE A SIMILARLY DRACONIAN CENSORSHIP LAW.

FRANCE IS LOOKING TO ADOPT A SIMILAR LAW TO THAT IN GERMANY: IN EARLY JULY, FRANCE’S NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTED A DRAFT BILL DESIGNED TO CURTAIL ONLINE HATE SPEECH. THE DRAFT BILL GIVES SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS 24 HOURS TO REMOVE “HATEFUL CONTENT” OR RISK FINES OF UP TO 4% PERCENT OF THEIR GLOBAL REVENUE. THE BILL HAS GONE TO THE FRENCH SENATE. AGAIN, IF THE BILL BECOMES LAW, THE JUDGMENT FROM THE COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION COULD MEAN THAT FRENCH COURTS WOULD BE ABLE TO DEMAND THAT FACEBOOK REMOVE WHAT THE COURTS CONSIDER ILLEGAL CONTENT OR ITS EQUIVALENT UNDER FRENCH LAW.

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