CDT's Global Policy Weekly highlights the latest Internet policy developments and proposals from around the world, compiled by CDT's Global Internet Freedom Project.
FREE EXPRESSION AND INTERNET OPENNESS
The UK High Court has thrown out a libel case
against Google that was brought by local politician Payam Tamiz
claimed that comments made about him on a Blogspot
blog (owned by Google) were defamatory. Writing for the high court, Mr Justice Eady
held that, under British common law, Google is not a publisher of the allegedly defamatory material. Moreover, he concluded, even if Google had been found to be a publisher of the material, the protections against intermediary liability
provided by the European E-Commerce Directive would protect Google from liability for the content.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
has signed an executive order
that establishes a new Internet oversight agency. The agency, named the Cyberspace Council, will include high level Iranian officials and will be headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
. According to the state-supported press
, the Council has been established in part to "prevent damages caused by [the Internet]."
In a recently-released report
, the Australian government has recommended that blogs with an annual readership of 15,000 or more be subject to the same rules and regulations that govern Australian newspapers and similar media institutions. The report also recommends tightening said rules and regulations by making participation in the Australian Press Council mandatory instead of voluntary and by transitioning the Council from being industry controlled to being government controlled.
The other week, we wrote
about Pakistan's search for a company that will help the country censor its Internet. This week, on our blog, we explain
that "[s]ometimes there are lines that companies cannot cross without becoming complicit in human rights violations. Given Pakistan’s history of censorship, and the breadth of the proposed filtering system, we believe that companies that choose to respond to the RFP will be crossing such a line."
A UK appeals court has ruled
that the nation's Digital Economy Act is indeed compatible with the EU's E-Commerce Directive, E-Privacy Directive, and Data Protection Directive. However, it is likely that the case will be appealed to the High Court.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have published a large-scale study
of censorship on China's microblogs; the study involved analysis of 57 million messages posted on microblog site Sina Weibo.
The UN Human Rights Council recently held
an expert panel
on freedom of expression that focused on how to protect and promote human rights online.
SECURITY AND SURVEILLANCE
Mexico: EFF reports
that the Mexican legislature has passed surveillance legislation that would "grant the police warrantless access to real-time user location data." The bill is now awaiting approval by Mexico's President.
China: New regulations
intended to protect user privacy come into effect on March 15.
The regulations restrict how companies can collect and share user information and includes notice and consent provisions.
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