[Manila Principles] Seeking your inputs on proposal to restructure the document

N. Zingales N.Zingales at uvt.nl
Mon Feb 16 10:40:11 PST 2015

Dear all,

let me start by thanking and congratulating everyone involved in this initiative, which forms part of an important collective effort to address issues that are (and will increasingly be) crucial for the protection of individual freedoms on the Internet. 

Just to follow up on the link between this and other initiatives discussed earlier between Eduardo and Rebecca, I would like to draw the attention of this group to the work of the IGF Dynamic Coalition on Platform Responsibility (see www.platformresponsibility.info), which has recently produced a draft set of Recommendations on Terms of Service and Human Rights (attached to this email).

The Recommendations depart from existing human rights standards, and try to bring forward a conversation regarding the role that private companies should play in fostering freedom of expression, privacy and due process in the digital environment. In this sense, the DCPR Recommendations share with the Manila Principles and the UNESCO Report the objective to promote best practices by Internet intermediaries, while at the same time identifying minimum safeguards for the protection of individual rights. The document distinguishes those two by using the terms “should” and “shall”, respectively. Perhaps this terminology could be a viable mechanism enabling the Principles to deal consistently with both aspects in one document, avoiding repetition or fragmentation.

The DCPR Recommendations will constitute the basis for the elaboration of Model Contractual Provisions (MCPs) ensuring protection of human rights within the terms of service of specific categories of online platforms. The first MCPs will be produced for social networks, and it will be presented along with the Recommendations at the annual DCPR meeting at the Internet Governance Forum this November in João Pessoa (Brazil). I would encourage those who are interested in learning more, and contributing to this exercise, to join the DCPR mailing list at http://lists.platformresponsibility.info/listinfo/dcpr .

The Recommendations also served as a basis for the development of a series of factors to assess the “responsibility” (in human rights terms) of a variety of online platform, in the context of a project (the Terms of Service and Human Rights Project) run by the Center for Technology and Society at the Getulio Vargas Foundation’s law school, in Rio de Janeiro. One of the researchers involved in this project (Jamila Venturini, in cc) will attend the Principles’ event in Manila to discuss the methodology adopted, seeking to identify and exploit the synergies between these related endeavors. Luca Belli, co-founder of both the DC PR and the ToS HR project, will probably also be in attendance.

By all means, everyone’s input and feedback are welcome. I hope that we will be able to further advance the development of the Manila Principles.

Best regards,

Nicolo Zingales
Assistant Professor, Tilburg Law School 
Tilburg (The Netherlands)
Fellow and Project Leader, Center for Technology and Society
FGV Law School - Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
n.zingales at uvt.nl
From: Raegan MacDonald <raegan at accessnow.org<mailto:raegan at accessnow.org>>
Subject: Re: [Manila Principles] Seeking your inputs on proposal to restructure the document
Date: February 16, 2015 at 1:04:54 PM GMT+1
To: Jeremy Malcolm <jmalcolm at eff.org<mailto:jmalcolm at eff.org>>
Cc: manilaprinciples at eff.org<mailto:manilaprinciples at eff.org>

On 13 February 2015 at 20:47, Jeremy Malcolm <jmalcolm at eff.org<mailto:jmalcolm at eff.org>> wrote:
On 13/02/2015 10:31 am, Raegan MacDonald wrote:
Thank you Jyoti, Jeremy and everyone who has put in so much work to kick start this ambitious initiative to come up with global principles on the complicated issue of intermediary liability. The split in the document on best practices and high level principles may provide needed precision.

Thanks—does anyone else have any comments on this structural point?  Although most people were in favour, I have had at least two people express reservations about dividing the document.  However because these comments were made off-list, there has not been a useful on-list discussion about the pros and cons.

However there is a further need to address the various instances where intermediary liability/voluntary actions may come into play. E.g. the blocking of:

  *   criminal content by judicial order;
  *   voluntary blocking of allegedly criminal content;
  *   alleged civil infringements;

as well as takedowns in relation to the above, and blocking/takedowns that is not alleged to be either criminal or civil infringements.

I regret to say that the document requires a significant amount of work, and we are not in a position to submit comments in the short time frame that has been suggested. We would like to request that the deadline be extended.

You are quite right, however it does seem that all of the areas of contention have been fully identified during this current comment period, which ends on Sunday, and with an intensive period of work by the steering committee I think that we can endeavour to providing a fresh draft for comment within the following week.  It is increasingly difficult for people to usefully comment on the current draft, due to the large number of comments and amendments.  A fresh draft that consolidates all the comments, and includes suggested resolutions to disputed issues, will make this much easier.

If we are able to provide a new revision for comment within a week, that will still allow one month for work on the paper before the Manila Principles meeting.

Thank you, Jeremy. We will then wait for the revised document that incorporates all the comments received so far before sending our detailed input.


Jeremy Malcolm
Senior Global Policy Analyst
Electronic Frontier Foundation
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