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Russia

Nigeria

France

China

Hong Kong

Singapore

Vietnam

Australia

Brazil

Turkey

Countries that have proposed laws imposing regulations on social media platforms and tightening restrictions on online content and user behavior

(Click on the location pins to read about the laws)

Code to make Facebook & Google pay for publishers for news contentYear proposed: 2020The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission called on tech companies to pay for news content that appear on Facebook feed and Google search results.It would allow news companies to negotiate as a bloc with tech giants for content which appears in their news feeds and search results. If negotiations fail, the matter could be arbitrated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.Source:BBC

Cybersecurity law that requires tech companies to store data locallyYear proposed: 2018Vietnam’s new cybersecurity law requires global technology companies to set up local offices and store data locally despite pleas from Facebook, Google and other firms, a government document showed. Companies providing a range of services, including email, social media, video, messaging, banking and e-commerce, would have to set up offices in Vietnam if they collect, analyze or process personal user data.The companies would also be required to store a wide range of user data, ranging from financial records and biometric data to information on peoples’ ethnicity and political views, or strengths and interests inside Vietnam’s border.Source:Reuters

Fake news lawsYear proposed: 2019Singapore has passed a controversial anti-fake news law that gives authorities sweeping powers to police online platforms and even private chat groups. The government can now order platforms to remove what it deems to be false statements that are "against the public interest", and to post corrections. Authorities say the bill protects citizens from fake news. But critics say it poses a serious threat to civil liberties.Source:BBC

Laws that tighten restrictions on online contentYear proposed: 2020Russian lawmakers have approved a range of new measures that could further stifle dissent and allow tighter restrictions on online content — including blocking websites like YouTube and Twitter. One bill would allow for the blocking of foreign websites that it says "discriminate" against Russian media. A second law would allow it to levy large fines against companies that don't take down content banned in the country. A third law would establish jail terms for those convicted of making slanderous comments online or in the media.Source:NPR&Reuters

Hate speech law requiring social media companies to delete content within 24 hoursYear proposed: 2020The new regulation called for the tech platforms to remove hateful comments - based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender or disability, as well as sexual harassment - within 24 hours after they are flagged by users. Terrorist and child pornography content must be removed within one hour of being flagged. Platforms could face fines of up to €1.25 million ($1.36 million) in the event they fail to follow the regulations. Some legal experts and activists fear this law will grant the government unprecedented power to censor online activities.Source:CNN BusinessOfficial release:PPL to fight hate content on the internet: adoption in final reading

National Security LawYear enforced: 2020Although Hong Kong’s security law is not directly related to tech or social media regulation, the law imposed by China lets the police request online platform service providers to hand over information about their users, or remove content the government deems to be ‘endangering’ national security. If companies like Google and Facebook refuse to comply, they could be fined thousands of dollars, and their local employees may be sent to prison for up to six months. The rules also specifically extend beyond Hong Kong’s borders: For example, Facebook could be compelled to produce information about a user in the US if Hong Kong authorities deemed their posts a threat to Chinese national securitySource:WIRED

Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill 2019Year proposed: 2019The proposed bill states that individuals who transmit statements that authorities determine to be “false,” likely to “influence the outcome of an election,” or “prejudicial to the security of Nigeria,” may be imprisoned for up to three years or fined up to 300,000 naira (US$844) or both.Offenders who are not individuals face fines up to 10 million naira ($27,247 USD). Another section of the bill introduces fines for companies who fail to comply with orders to disable Nigerians’ access to content.Source:Committee to Protect Journalists

Antitrust RulesYear proposed: 2020The new rules formalise an earlier anti-monopoly draft law and clarify a series of monopolistic practices that regulators plan to crack down on. The guidelines are expected to put new pressure on the country’s leading internet services, including e-commerce sites such as Alibaba Group’s Taobao and Tmall marketplaces or JD.com. They will also cover payment services like Ant Group’s Alipay or Tencent Holding’s WeChat Pay. The notice also said it will stop companies from price fixing, restricting technologies and using data and algorithms to manipulate the market.Source:Reuters

Law on Internet Freedom, Responsibility, and TransparencyYear proposed: 2020The proposed law requires all social media and messaging app users to submit identity documents and have an active mobile phone. In practice, this will deprive many Brazilians of access to these basic services. It also requires platforms to store data, and for messaging app providers to store chats and shares, for at least four months. This means that anyone (a journalist, researcher, parliamentarian, ordinary citizen and so on) who shared and/or criticized suspicious content could later have to prove they have no connection with the organizations or individuals who deliberately and massively shared false information.Source:Reporters Without Borders

Social media measuresYear enforced: 2020Turkey has rolled out strict new social media restrictions that force large social media platforms to open offices in the country or face penalties. The measures also include penalties for the platforms if they fail to take down contentious posts.Under the new rules, platforms with more than one million daily users have to open commercial offices in Turkey to implement local court judgements in removing offending content within 48 hours.In case they do not comply, the companies may face restrictions on advertising, fines of up to 40 million Turkish liras (approximately $5m) and bandwidth restrictions of up to 90 percent, which would unstabilise and make it hard to access the platforms.Source:Al Jazeera