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Minimising Legal Risks of Online Intermediaries while Protecting User Rights

by Prasad Krishna last modified Jul 29, 2014 07:50 AM
The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) in partnership with Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC.in) is organizing a workshop during the APrIGF event to be held at Crown Plaza, Greater Noida on August 5, 2014, 3.30 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. Jyoti Panday will be a panelist.

Event details

When

Aug 05, 2014
from 03:30 PM to 05:00 PM

Where

Crown Plaza, Greater Noida

Contact Name

Contact Phone

+ 91 9717526223

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Thematic Area of Interest

  • Internet business in the Asia Pacific region
  • Consumer protection for users of global Internet services
  • Internet for socio-economic development

Specific Issues of Discussions & Description

Internet usage in the Asia Pacific region has been growing at a phenomenal rate and online service providers have benefited enormously from this growth. However, the region poses challenges for online service providers in terms of legal risks involved with respect to user generated content. Across the world from Europe to the US, it has been an accepted policy that service providers on the Internet cannot be held liable for user-generated content and this principle has found place in legislations enacted in this field in most countries. However, the Asian region has often seen blocking of services and websites due to user-generated content that is deemed to be illegal. There needs to be a debate on safe harbour provisions for intermediaries and the take-down provisions in legislations to ensure that the right to freedom of expression of citizens are protected while maintaining an environment that permits innovation in this space.

The workshop will also consider the different classes of intermediaries, how they differ functionally and if their differing roles should bear an impact on their responsibility with regards to protection of rights of users. Traditional models of consumer protection are based on distinguishing the roles and responsibilities of suppliers, facilitators and consumers. While developing consumer protection models for online intermediary platforms, their evolving roles and responsibilities as a supplier and a facilitator need to be considered. Intermediary platforms have also created and highlighted new consumer relations and issues that call for robust and fluid reddressal mechanisms.

The need to reflect on reddressal mechanisms for consumer issues pertaining to online intermediaries is also necessary, given the economic implications associated with intermediary liability. Failure to protect intermediaries stems innovation and restricts growth of start-ups and small to medium enterprises in the digital economy and has negative financial implications. Moreover, intermediaries are crucial in connecting developing countries to global markets and a failure to protect them, creates a barrier to information exchange and capacity building.

The panel will discuss the following issues:

  • Take-down procedures and Put-back provisions used in various countries in the region
  • Safe-harbour provisions for intermediaries
  • Need for classification of Intermediaries for the purpose of a take-down regime and user rights
  • Rights of users of services provided by online intermediaries
  • Recommendations for a balanced intermediary liability regime

Expected Format and Confirmed Panel Members

The workshop will be a ninety minute panel divided in two sessions of forty five minutes each. The proposed panel includes:

Mishi Choudhary (Moderator) SFLC.IN Civil Society India
Mishi Choudhary is the founding director of SFLC India. She started working with SFLC in New York following the completion of her fellowship during which she earned her LLM from Columbia Law School and was a Stone Scholar. In addition to her LLM, she has an LLB and a bachelors degree in political science from the University of Delhi, India.

Jyoti Panday, Center for Internet and Society, Civil Society, India
Jyoti Panday is Programme Officer at the Centre for Internet and Society working on Internet governance and on issues related to the role and responsibility of intermediaries in protecting user rights and freedom of expression.  She has experience in strategy, campaign management and research on issues and processes related to the development agenda, sustainability and democracy. She has completed her MSc in Public Policy from Queen Mary, University of London.

Shahzad Ahmed, Bytes for All Pakistan, Civil Society, Pakistan
Shahzad Ahmad is the Country Coordinator of Bytes for All, Pakistan and founder of the Digital Rights Institute (DRI). He is currently working on issues of ICT policy advocacy, internet rights and freedom of expression. He is a development communications expert and is at the forefront of the Internet Rights movement in Pakistan.

Mr. Ahmad is a Diplo Fellow, Executive Board Member of the Association for Progressive Communications, Advisory Board Member of .PK ccTLD and a member of the International Advisory Board of Privacy International, UK. He regularly contributes to various publications and research studies on ICTs for development, freedom of expression and gender related issues. Widely travelled, he regularly participates in various forums at local, regional and global level. Mr. Ahmad maintains a strong engagement with broader civil society networks and strongly believes in participation and openness.

Professor KS Park, Korea University Law School Professor
One of the founders of Open Net Korea, Professor Park has written and is active in internet, free speech, privacy, defamation, copyright, international business contracting, etc. He has given expert testimonies in high-profile free speech cases including the /Minerva /case, the internet real name verification case, the military’s subversive book blacklisting case, the newspaper consumers’ boycott case, and the Park Jung-Geun Retweet case.  As a result, the “false news” crime and the internet real name verification laws were struck down as unconstitutional, Park Jung-Geun and Minerva acquitted, the soldiers challenging book blacklisting reinstated, the newspaper boycotters acquitted partially as to the “secondary boycotting” charge (2010-2013).

Since 2006, he serves as the Executive Director of the PSPD Law Center, a non-profit entity that has organized several impact litigations in the areas of free speech, privacy, and copyright.  There, the Law Center won the world’s first damage lawsuit against a copyright holder for “bad faith” takedown (2009) and the first damage lawsuit against a portal for warrantless disclosure of the user identity data to the police (2012).

Arvind Gupta, National Head-Information and Technology, Government/ BJP Political party, India
National Head, BJP Information Technology Cell

Faisal Farooqui, CEO, MouthShut.com, Private Sector, India
Faisal Farooqui is a highly recognized entrepreneur who is among the trailblazers of his generation. Faisal has founded and managed two successful Internet and technology companies -MouthShut.com, India's largest consumer review and social media portal and Zarca Interactive, a Virginia based enterprise survey and feedback company.

Ramanjit Singh Chima, Google, Private Sector, India
Raman Jit Singh Chima serves as Policy Counsel and Government Affairs Manager for Google, based in New Delhi. He currently helps lead Google'spublic policy and government affairs work in India. He is a graduate of the Bachelors in Arts and Law (Honours) programme of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. While at the National Law School, he was Chief Editor of the Indian Journal of Law and Technology. He has studied Internet regulation as an independent research fellow with the Sarai programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and contributed to Freedom House's 2009 Freedom on the Internet report.

Apar Gupta, Legal, India
Apar Gupta is a practicing lawyer in Delhi working as a Partner at the law firm of Advani & Co. His practice areas include, commercial litigation and arbitration with a focus on technology and  media. Apar as a retained counsel, represents an internet industry organisation in government affairs, including consultations on draft laws and policies which effect the sector. These issues include legal risks of intermediaries, media freedom and consumer rights. He has  completed his masters in law from Columbia Law School, New York and has written columns for the Business Standard, Indian Express and the Pioneer on legal issues. Apar also is a visiting  faculty at National Law University, Delhi.

Full Name, Affiliation and Contact Details of the Workshop Organizer

The workshop will be jointly organised by SFLC.IN and the Centre for Internet & Society, India. The details of the contact person for the workshop is given below:

  1. Name: Ms. Mishi Choudhary, Executive Director, SFLC.IN I
    E: [email protected]
  2. Jyoti Panday—Centre for Internet & Society, India
    E: [email protected]

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