AIS report against the anti-defamation draft package, amendments to the Law on Audio-Visual Media and Law on Electronic Communications

AIS, in response to the public consultation on the two draft laws presented as the “Anti-Defamation Package” has prepared a report of objections and proposals. The proposed amendments target the Law on Audio-Visual Media in the Republic of Albania and the Law on Electronic Communications in the Republic of Albania.  The full report of proposals is available here.

Since December 2018, when the Ministry of Justice published the draft laws, AIS expressed itself against the proposed amendments both at public hearing events and institutionally. In short, AIS/Open Data Albania is absolutely against the following:

  1. Regulation of issues related with “online defamation” by AMA Law.
  2. Suspension, Blocking (Censorship) of Portals without a Court Decision (civil law only).
  3. Mandatory registration of Online Media with AKEP (Authority for Economic and Postal Services) as an attempt to ensure instrumentalization and state control. (This is not about the registration of portals, but a register of online media).
  4. Finally, AIS is against both drafts, which are extremely poor even in terms of formulation: legislative technique, language accuracy and clarity; proposed timeframes, legal competence, etc.

On the other hand, AIS/Open Data Albania is IN FAVOR of legal regulations of issues related with online media defamation, but only if this done through an integral law, considering the model applied in the UK through the Defamation ACT 2013.

As far as the blocking and suspension (censorship) for justified reasons is concerned, this must only be in the discretion of the civil section of Judicial District Courts. Regulation of court procedures outside the Code of Procedure is also applied in the case of the Law on Measures against Domestic Violence. That is, procedures that considering the risk posed by online defamation, still provide a regular, fast, effective, and transparent process in compliance with due legal process.

In addition, AIS has already objected to earlier changes to the regulation of The Authority of Electronic and Postal Communications regarding the registration and administration of domain names, which introduce quite restrictive elements.(See Here)

Our organization, well known as a promotor of the Open Data in Albania will continue to challenge these two drafts, as well as the wrong approach introduced during presentations at the Assembly of Albania.