Internet censorship: FDP complains against network enforcement law

Two FDP deputies consider the NetzDG to be unconstitutional. It conveys the 34; self-censorship in the head and the foreign censorship by private companies 34;.

Internet censorship: FDP complains against network enforcement law

The FDP Bundestag deputies Manuel Höferlin and Jimmy Schulz intend to file a preventive action against Network Enforcement Act on Monday at Cologne administrative Court. This is reported by General newspaper in Frankfurt, which has writ. The law is unconstitutional, so accusation. The law leads to "censorship in its worst form – self-censorship in head and censorship by private companies," Höferlin told newspaper.

The Law on improvement of law enforcement in social networks, short network enforcement law or NetzDG, was introduced by n Minister of Justice Heiko Maas (SPD) and has been in force since 1 January. Thanks to him, it should be possible to better combat insults, hatred or incitement of people in net. It obliges providers like Facebook or YouTube to remove corresponding postings within 24 hours.

However, critics see this as two dangerous developments. On one hand, se providers become private judges who decide wher content is really illegal. On or, a so-called overblocking is feared – for fear of being punished orwise, private network providers would in doubt delete more than y would have to legally and thus also suppress statements that are actually legal and permissible.

With freedom of expression not "Larifari bypass"

"The liberal constitutional state must not leave decision as to what is right and what is wrong with interpretation of private companies," said Schulz of FAZ. We cannot deal with freedom of expression "so larifari by deleting what we believe may not be legally compliant."

Höferlin and Schulz want to claim that Federal Constitutional Court finally deals with law. So far, however, legal recourse has not yet been exhausted, so appeal is filed before Administrative court.

They argue in writ that NetzDG violates fundamental rights of article five, paragraph one of Basic Law and thus against freedom of expression. Precisely because providers of social networks may be inclined to delete content without examining legality of this deletion in detail, special protection of freedom of expression is violated.

The German law serves EU as a template for similar projects. In this way, EU Commission is considering forcing platforms on Internet to review content as it is being uploaded by users. These so-called upload-filtering would be an even more advanced censorship. A report by European Parliament warned Member States that such measures would jeopardise freedom and fundamental rights.

Date Of Update: 11 June 2018, 12:02

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