Manila Principles On Intermediary Liability Offer Vision For Balance 27/03/2015 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)A new set of principles launched this week by a range of global non-governmental organisations attempts to set out guidelines for internet intermediaries’ liability for content of communications. The six principles, which are seeking endorsement from organisations and individuals worldwide, address freedom of expression, freedom of association, and the right to privacy. The hope of the drafters is that policymakers and intermediaries will take these principles into account in addressing policies and practices. There has been a need to clarify the issues from this standpoint, they indicated. “Uninformed policies, blunt and heavy-handed regulatory measures, failing to meet the principles of necessity and proportionality, and a lack of consistency across these policies has resulted in censorship and other human rights abuses by governments and private parties, limiting individuals’ rights to free expression and creating an environment of uncertainty that also impedes innovation online,” the introduction says. Below are the key links from the Manila Principles website: Principles Signatories Learn More FAQ “All communication over the Internet is facilitated by intermediaries such as Internet access providers, social networks, and search engines,” the introduction says. “The policies governing the legal liability of intermediaries for the content of these communications have an impact on users’ rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of association and the right to privacy.” “With the aim of protecting freedom of expression and creating an enabling environment for innovation, which balances the needs of governments and other stakeholders, civil society groups from around the world have come together to propose this framework of baseline safeguards and best practices. These are based on international human rights instruments and other international legal frameworks,” it says. The objective of the principles is “to encourage the development of interoperable and harmonized liability regimes that can promote innovation while respecting users’ rights in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,” it says. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (US) and others will be touring the world to encourage endorsements of the principles, they have indicated. Below are the Manila Principles: 1 Intermediaries should be shielded by law from liability for third-party content 2 Content must not be required to be restricted without an order by a judicial authority 3 Requests for restrictions of content must be clear, be unambiguous, and follow due process 4 Laws and content restriction orders and practices must comply with the tests of necessity and proportionality 5 Laws and content restriction policies and practices must respect due process 6 Transparency and accountability must be built into laws and content restriction policies and practices [Update:] The work on the principles originally commenced early last year with EFF, Centre for Internet and Society India and Article 19, joined in July by ADC Argentina, KICTANET Kenya, Open Net Korea and Derechos Digitales Chile to round out regional balance, which became the steering committee, according to EFF’s Jeremy Malcolm. They met in London in October where a first draft set of principles and background paper were drawn up, he said. These were released for broader comment in December, ultimately with over 100 members on the project mailing list. About 40 of these met in Manila this week. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."Manila Principles On Intermediary Liability Offer Vision For Balance" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.