Declaration responds to Germany’s new Network Enforcement Law

Germany has drafted a new Network Enforcement Law to tackle hate speech and fake news. Concerns raised include the scope of application for social networks, which some point out lacks specific clarity about the obligations imposed on platform operators, makes changes to the German Broadcast Media Act, which loosen privacy protections for users, and the privatisation of prosecution. A Declaration on Freedom of Expression has been published in response to this law. The declaration supports three principles: the importance of judicial resources to deal with criminal or illegal content; support for freedom of expression; and balance for constitutionally protected interests, especially in regard to content.