Dr. Katrin Nyman Metcalf is working as a legal expert on e-governance for the Estonian e-Governance Academy as well as teaching Legal Aspects of e-Governance at Tallinn University of Technology. She has worked in countries across the globe in this field, which makes her the right person to explain the legal side of e-governance.
Under the pretext of combatting “fake news” and “hate speech” on the internet, Justice Minister Heiko Maas (Social Democratic Party, SPD) is planning a massive attack on free speech.
On March 14, Maas presented a draft of a so-called network enforcement law (NetzDG), which imposes extensive surveillance and censorship responsibilities on commercial social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. If the draft becomes law, such sites will be required to react immediately to complaints and block “obviously illegal content” within 24 hours. Other illegal content must be erased within seven days.
The Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament has appointed Estonian MEP Marju Lauristin as the rapporteur for the Report on the ePrivacy Regulation. She will prepare the Report on behalf of the Civil Liberties and Fundamental Rights (LIBE) Committee. Previously, she was a shadow rapporteur on the GDPR and the rapporteur on the directive on data protection in police and justice cooperation. LIBE is the lead committee on the dossier.
We turn now to look at President Donald Trump’s newly appointed chair of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, who has begun to attack net neutrality rules and other consumer protections. In a series of actions earlier this month, Pai blocked nine companies from providing affordable high-speed internet to low-income families, and withdrew the FCC’s support from an effort to curb the exorbitant cost of phone calls from prison.