The world’s largest social media and tech giants have sharply criticized moves by the Government of Sri Lanka to implement regulation of the Internet, stating that “the Bill provides for a draconian system to stifle dissent and Sri Lankans’ rights to expression”.
The Asia Internet Coalition includes Google, Meta (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Threads), Amazon, Apple, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Goto, Grab, Line, LinkedIn, Rakuten, Spotify, Snap, Shopify, X (Twitter) and Yahoo.
In a statement, The Asia Internet Coalition states:
“The Asia Internet Coalition is concerned that the Sri Lanka Government is moving the Online Safety Bill without undertaking any stakeholder consultation. The Bill provides for a draconian system to stifle dissent and Sri Lankans’ rights to expression” the statement released by AIC’s Managing Director Jeff Paine, said.
“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 adds.
The Asia Internet Coalition (www.aicasia.org) is an industry association comprising leading Internet and technology companies. The AIC seeks to promote the understanding and resolution of Internet policy issues in the Asia Pacific region.