Legislation Exercise

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Legislation Exercise

  1. 1. Analyze and critique each of these with regards to your own agenda Universality: Due to the nature of the Internet, an effective piece of legislation would have to be universal- meaning that it is not aimed at repressive governments- but at repressive practices. In this instance, repressive practices are defined as violation of Human Rights principals committed by these international companies. Warning of Risks: There needs to be an inclusion of a clause mandates the issuance of warnings when a company is bound to share data with one or a number of governments and/or a third party. Therefore, giving the user the knowledge of the risks and furthermore the ability to make an informed decision.
  2. 2. Analyze and critique each of these with regards to your own agenda Prohibition of Voluntary Censorship: Legislation of this sort will be drafted under the understanding that companies do not operate in countries with repressive governments with the intent of becoming censors or facilitators of governmental persecution based on online activity. Certain companies have been accused of such practices- such as Yahoo! providing user data to the Chinese government. Such actions are taken by companies in order to get on the “good side” of certain governments through anticipating what kind of content they might be asked to censor based on past instances. The role of legislation here would be to prohibit individual companies from taking steps towards voluntary censorship. Furthermore, international companies operating within a foreign country should not be allowed to comply without a court order. This is, fortunately, perfectly aligned with many repressive governments claims that they are interested in enforcing the “rule of law” on Internet activity.
  3. 3. User Notification when the Companies are forced to censor Following the issuance of a court order, companies are forced to censor content. In this case, an adequate legislation would require the informing of users, of who and why censorship is taking place. Furthermore, companies should provide should provide the possibility of an appeal where users challenge the censorship they are facing anonymously and securely. Analyze and critique each of these with regards to your own agenda No User Data in Repressive Jurisdictions: Companies should be legally bound to refrain from hosting personally identifying user data in courts that are known to have a lack of tolerance for individuals’ active expression of political, social or religious views online. This enables companies to avoid having to comply with governments’ request to provide information that would enable the persecution of internet users that use it the World Wide Web as an outlet for expression. Full Documentation: Companies are called upon to maintain written documentation of the requests made on behalf of governments requesting for the censorship of terms and web addresses
  4. 4. and this written documentation should specify which of these requests were accepted and acted upon and those that were rejected. Moreover, this documentation should indicate the purpose for which any of said requests were met and in accordance to what law has this taken place. This documentation should be fully accessible by the public of any one state Analyze and critique each of these with regards to your own agenda Fines and Victims’ Right to Compensation: In any case should a company violate the laws that regulate the operation of internet companies within countries known for their repressive approach to internet activism, victims or their family members should be granted the right to pursue compensation as well as the ability to seek legal remedies within courts whose jurisdiction they are subject to.
  5. 5. Global Legislation should not be confined to specific territories or nations but rather, should apply to all nations with companies operating within their territories in order to up hold the highest standards of freedom of expression in attempts to effectively tackle the global issue of political censorship.

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