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    A draft amendment on censorship on the Internet has been presented. A Freedom of Speech Council is to be established

    Establishment of the Freedom of Speech Council, with five members appointed for a six-year term by a 3/5 majority of votes by the Polish Parliament – this is one of the assumptions of the draft amendment on the freedom of speech on the Internet. The final version of the report, which was presented by the Ministry of Justice on Friday, will protect freedom of speech on the Internet.

    During a press conference on Friday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Zbigniew Ziobro stressed that currently many disputes take place on the Internet, therefore Polish citizens should be guaranteed ‘fundamental rights’, which are mentioned in the Polish Constitution.


    To make this a reality, he explained, it was necessary to create a legal framework that would force ‘global players’ to respect it. 


    ‘Today, there are no such effective tools, today social media decide for themselves what content will be censored, removed’ – he pointed out. 


    Sebastian Kaleta, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is responsible for work on the draft on the protection of freedom of speech, stressed that additional consultations had taken place since his presentation.


    ‘Today we can present you this draft, which will go to the government for deliberation and further consultations in the coming days,’ he said. 


    The amendment would establish a Freedom of Speech Council with five members including the Chairman. They are to be appointed by the Polish Parliament for a six-year term by a 3/5 majority vote.


    ‘This Council will uphold the constitutional right to respect freedom of speech by any social media operating in the Republic,’ he stressed. 


    ‘The Freedom of Speech Council will hear appeals by users against content that has been removed by social networking sites or has had its accessibility restricted,’ he said. As he explained, if a service, for example, blocks access to a given piece of content, the user has the right to appeal the decision to that service.


    ‘The service considers the complaint and either restore access to the content and the matter is over, or it does not consider the complaint. The user will then gain the right to appeal to the Council, which will have seven days to consider that user’s complaint,’ he said. 


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