The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) has joined more than 40 global NGOs in a letter, spearheaded by AccessNow, that urges the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to withdraw a draft Regulation for Digital, Social Media and OTT Platforms.
The Regulation, which is similar to Intermediary Guidelines adopted last year in India, would require intermediaries to block content that is “insulting” or “harmful” or “offensive” — vague terms that invite excess blocking of speech. Its message traceability requirement would undermine encryption and chill free expression.
From the letter:
The Draft Regulations seek to implement a content governance framework devoid of adequate judicial oversight, clarity and predictability, and integration of human rights and due process. The Draft Regulations are inconsistent with the international human rights framework, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Further, they contravene widely endorsed principles for content governance rooted in international human rights standards including the Manila Principles on Intermediary Liability and the Santa Clara Principles on Transparency and Accountability in Content Moderation. Efforts by telecommunications regulators to change regulations to address concerns around “Over-the-Top” (OTT) services can have significant negative impacts on human rights as well as broader principles such as network neutrality, if done improperly.