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France considers internet ombudsman to protect free speech online

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France considers internet ombudsman to protect free speech online

The proposed ombudsman role would provide a procedure that would help support companies that are uncertain of their legal liabilities and prevent that content is not removed solely based on complaint.

The e-commerce Directive allows member states to hold ISPs liable for content if they do not act promptly upon knowledge of its illicit character. As a consequence, smaller companies may take down content for fear of later sanctions, said Dan Shefet, a lawyer who worked on the proposal.

Instead, an internet ombudsman’s office would make the decision on whether or not to allow the contested material to remain online. As long as ISPs complied with the decisions, they’d be shielded from any fine or other punishment.

The proposal has been tabled in the French senate, and the initial debates over it started last week.

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2016-12-20 14:13

Author information

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