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Media NGOs asking the Parliament to not allow restriction of Internet freedom

16 July 2014
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Media NGOs are expressing their concern with the legislative initiative intending to modify the law on counteracting extremist activities, which is able to restrict Internet freedom.

We shall remind that the draft law in question was developed in 2013, but it was subsequently withdrawn from the Government agenda after some representatives of the Moldovan online community expressed their concern about the risks of restricting the right to access information and the freedom of expression, as well as establishing censorship in the Internet. About a year after its withdrawal, a group of MPs introduced a draft law that kept the same provisions, particularly Article 8, according to which “if a material denoting an extremist nature is posted in an information system (a web page, portal, forum, social network, blog, etc.), the Information and Security Service shall order providers of electronic communication networks and/or services to temporarily block access to this material on the territory of Moldova.”

We are not disputing the usefulness of the proposed amendments, which are focused on combating extremism and separatism in Moldova, but we find Article 8 abusive and able to restrict Internet freedom.

The undersigned media organizations are joining the declaration disseminated by Unimedia and concerning this draft law and are asking the Parliament of Moldova to not adopt the document without holding additional public consultations with the representatives of the online community and of the civil society.

Independent Journalism Center
Association of Independent Press
Journalists Union of Moldova
“Acces-info” Center
Journalistic Investigations Center
Association of Independent TV Journalists
Electronic Press Association