The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) has voiced concern that the Sri Lanka Government is moving the proposed Online Safety Bill without undertaking any stakeholder consultation.
“The Bill provides for a draconian system to stifle dissent and Sri Lankans’ rights to expression,” said Jeff Paine, Managing Director of Asia Internet Coalition, in a statement.
He stated that legislation should not dampen innovation by restricting public debate and the exchange of ideas while strongly urging the Sri Lankan government to work closely with industry stakeholders to develop regulations that are reasonable and consistent with international best practices.
“While our member companies take seriously the online safety of those who use their services, legislation should not dampen innovation by restricting public debate and the exchange of ideas that can consequently impact the digital economy.”
“We strongly urge the Government to work closely with industry stakeholders to develop regulations that are proportionate, reasonable, consistent with international best practices, and most importantly, support the growth of Sri Lanka’s nascent digital economy,” the statement said.
The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) is an industry association comprising leading Internet and technology companies, which seeks to “promote the understanding and resolution of Internet policy issues” in the Asia Pacific region.
Co-founded by eBay, Google, Nokia, Skype, and Yahoo! in 2010, the trade association lobbies government agencies to address public policy issues and facilitate the development of the internet economy in the Asia Pacific region.
The AIC’s current membership includes Apple, Facebook, Google, Expedia Group, Amazon, Line, LinkedIn, Rakuten, SAP, Airbnb, Grab, Twitter, Yahoo, Booking.com, and Cloudfare.