NCC could change draft digital services law
The National Communications Commission (NCC) says it could change parts of a draft digital intermediary service act following further discussions if some articles are deemed to be unwelcome or unnecessary. According to the commission, the draft act is not finalised and has yet to be sent to either the cabinet or Legislative Yuan, and, as such, there is currently no need to fully withdraw it from consideration.
The statements follow calls by lawmakers and media experts to scrap the draft bill, which they argue could impede online freedoms by expanding government authority to flag content. Local media groups are also calling for the NCC to scrap plans for the draft digital intermediary service act - saying the commission has ignored concerns being voiced by civic groups and industry specialists.The commission says it remains open to any suggestion from the public in regards to the act, as it understands that it is coming under close scrutiny.
Three major digital industry groups are urging the government to halt the launch of a controversial bill aiming to control online content.In a joint statement, the Taiwan Internet and E-commerce Association, the Digital Economy Association, and the Digital Marketing Association say the draft bill is too ambiguous about its purposes and targets.
According to the NCC, the proposed Digital Services Intermediary Act aims to increase the "accountability and transparency" of large online platforms in Taiwan.The act would impose varying levels of obligations on five categories of platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and DCard.But the three groups today are calling on the NCC not to strangle the nation's digital creativity and development by pushing through vague regulations and restrictions.
They say the NCC should take into account the industry's diversities and thrive to protect freedom of speech. As the draft bill also includes the establishment of a specific organisation with a budget of NT$2.5 billion to monitor online content, the three groups have expressed concerns about its independence and impartiality.