The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) has strongly contested statements made by the Minister of Public Security in Sri Lanka’s Parliament regarding the Online Safety Bill (OSB).
Jeff Paine, the Managing Director of the AIC, expressed disappointment, asserting that the Minister’s comments did not accurately represent the AIC’s contributions to shaping the OSB.
Paine highlighted the AIC’s active involvement in the legislative process, including hosting representatives from the Ministry of Public Security at their annual Online Safety Forum and providing comprehensive submissions.
However, the AIC was not informed about proposed amendments to the bill, leading to concerns about the lack of constructive dialogue.
The AIC emphasised its commitment to working collaboratively but expressed reservations about the current form of the OSB.
Paine stated that, as it stands, the bill is considered unworkable by the AIC and could potentially hinder the growth of Sri Lanka’s digital economy and foreign direct investment.
The organization, representing major technology giants, urged extensive revisions to align the bill with global best practices.
Source: The Morning
AIC Media Statement Comments from Sri Lankan Minister in Parliament on Online Safety Bill 23 January 2024
To be attributed to Jeff Paine, Managing Director, Asia Internet Coalition –start
The Asia Internet Coalition would like to address and refute certain assertions made in the statement read by the Minister of Public Security in Parliament concerning the Online Safety Bill. The Minister’s statement does not accurately reflect the substantial contributions that the AIC has made throughout the legislative process, which include comprehensive submissions as well as engagements such as hosting representatives from the Ministry of Public Security at the annual Online Safety Forum organised by the AIC in Singapore. These engagements and representations eventually culminated with our last submission to the Ministry on 8 January 2024. Despite our commitment to constructive collaboration, the AIC has not been privy to proposed amendments to the bill. We unequivocally stand by our position that the Online Safety Bill, in its current form, is unworkable and would undermine potential growth and foreign direct investment into Sri Lanka’s digital economy. We firmly believe that for the Bill to align with global best practices, extensive revisions are imperative.