Communique Social Media extends
ICTA Extends the consultation period on proposed changes to the ICT Act and provides clarificationPort Louis, April 29, 2021 – The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) informs the public that the Social Media Public Consultation on proposed changes to the ICT Act will be extended until May 20. The purpose of this extension is to give the public more time to study the regulator’s proposals and to propose adjustments and alternatives.. As part of this public consultation, the ICTA has also sent its proposal to head office of Facebook for their comments and suggestions.
“We are open to all proposals and expertise that would allow us to find the best possible solution to the serious problem of abuse and misuse of public social networks. For this reason, the ICTA has initiated this public consultation and has sent the same document to the management of Facebook. We know that this is a very sensitive issue, as it touches on freedom of expression, as we ourselves have stated in the document. But after the many abuses on social networks that have impacted our country for years, we feel it is important to find a mechanism to protect all Mauritians from this type of abuse“, explains Jerome Louis, the Officer in Charge of the ICTA.It is also important to note that the objective of this consultation is to find solutions to the abuses that are noted on public social networks only. Private messaging services such as Whatsapp, Telegram, Signal, Messenger and others are absolutely not concerned by this approach. These private communications are, moreover, constitutionally inviolable. It should also be understood that the working document prepared by the ICTA does not have the force of law but is a first step towards a possible solution against abuses on social networks. And this with the contribution of all, in a democratic and constitutional process. Once the data and suggestions have been compiled, a document containing all of the proposals and recommendations of the ICTA and the public will be sent to the Ministry in charge. ABOUT THE TOOL THAT ICTA WOULD USE
The technological tool that the ICTA would use is a derivative of an existing technology that the regulator has already been using since 2012. This technology is used, for example, to block child sexual abuse content.
This tool does not decrypt messages on private networks like Whatsapp, Telegram or Signal, for example. However, the system will only archive abusive content on the offending public pages on social networks, following properly registered complaints.
The archiving of the incriminated public pages would then last until the police complete their investigation and a court of justice renders its judgment.
The ICTA specifies that it is only data related to public social networks that would pass through this tool, not all Internet traffic.
As highlighted in the document, it is also necessary to establish legal and technical safeguards to ensure that this tool is used in a way that respects the Constitution and the rights of citizens.
|HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CONSULTATION
Anyone wishing to comment on the ICTA’s proposals is invited to answer the ten questions posed and add their comments. Link https://www.icta.mu/documents/2021/10/Social_Media_Public_Consultation.pdf
To date, 1324 responses have been received.