On July 14th, 2021, the Washington Foreign Law Society and the Stimson Center held a joint event on “Reforming Online Accountability: Can Lessons Be Learned From Across The Globe?“. This was the fourth instalment in a series of events that the Washington Foreign Law Society and Stimson Center have jointly produced to consider cyber legal accountability. The earlier programs looked at State accountability – considering the work of the UN to further norms for State behavior in cyber space and the use of sanctions to discourage bad actors – and at insurers’ accountability for loss coverage for what some considered warlike acts.
Michael Teodori, WFLS Board Member and Chair of Programs, introduced the two panelists from Brazil and the EU – Dr. Mariana Valente, director of InternetLab, and Peter Fatelnig, Minister-Counsellor for Digital Economy Policy at the EU Delegation to the US. Bruce McConnell (Stimson Center) opened the conversation. The panelists discussed whether recent developments in the Brazilian and European legal framework on platform liability could provide useful insight as the US grapples with proposals to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the provision governing intermediary liability.
The Washington Foreign Law Society wishes to thank all those who participated in the conversation for their thoughtful and timely remarks.
Below is a list of materials mentioned during the conversation:
On European Union law:
1) The EU Code of Practice on disinformation is the first time worldwide that industry has agreed, on a voluntary basis, to self-regulatory standards to fight disinformation. It sets a wide range of commitments, from transparency in political advertising to the closure of fake accounts and demonetization of purveyors of disinformation. More: https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/code-practice-disinformation
2) The proposed Digital Services Act is proportionate, fosters innovation, growth and competitiveness, and facilitate the scaling up of smaller platforms, SMEs and start-ups. The responsibilities of users, platforms, and public authorities are rebalanced according to European values, placing citizens at the centre.
The rules better protect consumers and their fundamental rights online, establish a powerful transparency and a clear accountability framework for online platforms and foster innovation, growth and competitiveness within the single market. More: https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/digital-services-act-ensuring-safe-and-accountable-online-environment_en
3) Strategic communications to reduce the space and possibilities for disinformation and interference activities, strengthen resilience of society, empower civil society action and safeguard the space for policy making. More: https://euvsdisinfo.eu/
On US law:
1) CRS Report – Section 230: An Overview (April 7, 2021)
2) CRS Report – Social Media: Misinformation and Content Moderation Issues for Congress (January 27, 2021)
On Brazilian Law: