Poland to Pass Law Protecting Online Free Speech Against Big Tech

Dec 27, 2020 by

Poland’s national conservative government has detailed a new law protecting free speech online against Big Tech censorship.

Poland’s national conservative government has detailed a new law protecting free speech online against Big Tech censorship, backed by a new court and big fines.

Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro has announced the draft ‘Act for the Freedom to Express One’s Views and Obtain and Disseminate Information on the Internet’ will give social media users a statutory right to appeal bans and content removals on social media platforms such as Facebook on Twitter, which they will be able to escalate to a new Court for the Protection of Freedom of Speech in a streamlined, all-digital process.

If the new court rules that the tech censors have removed accounts or deleted posts for speech which is legal under Polish law, they must be restored — or the social media firms involved will face fines of as much as 1.8 million euros, enforced by the Slavic country’s Office of Electronic Communications, according to reports.

“In Germany, the Minister of Justice may arbitrarily decide what content needs to be eliminated from the Internet. This is the introduction of censorship. We want to balance the freedom of public debate,” Ziobro explained of the planned legislation recently.

“We want to regulate the relationship between social media users and their owners… It is primarily about censorship when expressing opinions that are consistent with Polish law”, added deputy minister Sebastian Kaleta elsewhere.

Many on the right in the United Kingdom and the United States have suggested that, while they are not happy with what Ziobro has described as “ideological censorship” by tech giants, they prefer the status quo to “the government getting involved” in the affairs of private businesses.

From the Polish government’s perspective, however, such so-called interference is a constitutional duty: “The Constitution… guarantees full freedom of expression… Therefore, any manifestations of limiting it must meet with the reaction of the state to enable protection against interference with this freedom,” Kaleta insisted.

“The Left tries to define any fundamental criticism of its views or ideology as ‘hate speech’, and then expects such content to be censored or even punished… the left is trying to consistently implement its anti-democratic aspirations,” he added.

“This law is a response to what they are trying to impose on us as legal norms, that is, forcing us to censor with political correctness and refrain from expressing one’s opinion.”

Source: Poland to Pass Law Protecting Online Free Speech Against Big Tech

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