Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 34

GLOBAL & DOMESTIC OUTLOOK

REGULATING
DIGITAL PANDORA'S BOX
THE

By Jeffery Leon & Susannah Buell

A

s technology continues to transform every
aspect of people's lives and social media
replaces traditional media, happenings around
the world can be read, heard, and shared in
real time. However, social media users cannot
always tell fact from fiction, opening up possibilities for
misunderstandings or worse. Lawmakers around the
world are scrambling to regulate this digital Pandora's
box, and here are some of their recent efforts.

AUSTRALIA
In April 2019 Australia passed sweeping legislation that criminalizes
"abhorrent violent material," targeting social media companies that
fail to quickly remove explicitly violent content from their platforms.
Companies must "expeditiously" comply, which also involves
reporting the offending content to law enforcement, or face fines
of up to 10 percent of their annual profits; employees could also
be sentenced to jail. Critics have claimed that the Criminal Code
Amendment (Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material) Act could lead
to censorship of legitimate speech, and tech companies, including
Google and Facebook, have argued that the law is too sweeping
and would damage Australia's relations with other nations.

AUSTRIA
Austria is pushing to have internet users reveal their identities
online by 2020, working on a new law that would require platform
operators to register users whose personal information would be
accessible to government agencies investigating hate posts. The
law would apply to web platforms with more than 100,000 users or
more than 500,000 euros in gross revenue per year, or that receive
government press subsidies. Platforms that fail to uphold the
law would be subject to massive fines. Critics of these potential
new regulations mention that, if adopted, the law would remove
privacy from Austrian web users, allow for loopholes for websites
to skirt regulation, and create a hurdle for the country's digital
infrastructure.
34 WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

OCTOBER 2019

EUROPEAN UNION
The European Council, comprising government ministers from the 28 European
Union member states, voted in April 2019 to adopt the Directive on Copyright in
the Digital Single Market. The most controversial section, Article 13, requires
platforms that host large amounts of user-generated content, such as YouTube,
Facebook, and Twitter, to take down content if it infringes on copyright. Noting
that the directive lacks specifics on how websites are expected to identify and
remove this content to avoid liability, critics fear the introduction of automatic
upload filters.

INDIA
With more than 200 million users, India is the biggest market for
WhatsApp. In 2018 misleading messages of child kidnappings spread
through the app, leading to mob violence and vigilante killings. In
response, the Indian government proposed new regulations requiring
internet platforms to screen posts and block "unlawful" content. Critics
argue that the regulations would require technology companies such as
Facebook and Twitter to be the gatekeepers of online content, posing a
barrier to free speech.

ITALY
As part of its "Code Red" law passed in April 2019 to curb domestic
violence and stalking, Italy criminalized revenge porn, or the unauthorized sharing of compromising pictures or video. The law, implemented
in the wake of rising attacks and digital harassment of women in the
country, includes stricter sentences for those who share media of
disabled or pregnant women and for perpetrators who are or were
married or in a relationship with the victims. If convicted, perpetrators
face up to six years in prison or fines of upwards of 15,000 euros.

SOUTH KOREA
To bar "obscene" and "harmful" websites, the Korea Communications Standards
Commission announced in February 2019 that it had blocked access to 895
overseas-based websites with pornography or gambling content. The commission's action involved eavesdropping on server name identification or SNI fields,
which identify the host name of the target server, and caused public outcry
over privacy concerns and excessive government control. One month later, the
commission introduced a law allowing the government to shut down domestic
operations of foreign internet-related companies that hold South Koreans'
personal information, including Google and Facebook. Currently, such entities
are not subject to domestic regulations protecting against privacy violations or
misuse of information.
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Washington Lawyer - October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - October 2019

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Coding Out Implicit Bias With Ai
Rewriting the Rules on Data Privacy
Compromised Devices: Hardware Hacking Dangers
Taking the Stand
Member Spotlight
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Attorney Briefs
Ask the Ethics Experts
Disciplinary Summaries
The Pro Bono Effect
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 1
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 2
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 3
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 7
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 9
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 11
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Coding Out Implicit Bias With Ai
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 13
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 14
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 15
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 16
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 17
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Rewriting the Rules on Data Privacy
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 19
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 20
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 21
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 22
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 23
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Compromised Devices: Hardware Hacking Dangers
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 25
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 26
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 27
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 29
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 31
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 32
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 33
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 35
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 37
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Ask the Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 41
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 43
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 45
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - 47
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - October 2019 - Cover4
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