In a press release issued by the German UNESCO Commission
on 9 January 2018, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz
, Chairman of the Communication and Information Committee of the German UNESCO Commission, on the occasion of the entry into force of the Network Enforcement Act, strongly recommends that the planned evaluation of the law be carried out by an independent body, that scientific standards be complied with and that the impact on human rights be taken into account.
"The Network Enforcement Act is now in force. It serves an important purpose, namely to ensure that personal rights and other important assets are also protected on online platforms. However, the regulatory approach of the law is highly controversial, especially with regard to possible effects on freedom of expression. On an international level, it is observed with concern that states such as Russia, which are criticising freedom of expression due to state interference, are copying the concept with reference to Germany. Against this backdrop, the Communication and Information Committee of the German UNESCO Commission strongly recommends that the planned evaluation of the law be carried out by an independent body, that scientific standards be complied with and that the impact on human rights be taken into account. The result can form the basis for an informed public discussion about the law and its effects." Schulz continues "It would be in the spirit of freedom of communication if a new federal government included the development of alternatives to the NetzDG in its programme."
UNESCO supports the principle of "Internet universality" worldwide. It calls for a human rights-based, open and accessible Internet that is regulated with the participation of all stakeholders concerned.
German UNESCO Commission
Press Spokesperson Katja Römer
Tel. +49 228 60497-42
Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission e.V. • Colmantstraße 15 • 53115 Bonn
The German UNESCO Commission (DUK) is Germany's intermediary organisation for multilateral politics in education, science, culture and communication. Since its foundation in 1950, the DUK has brought together expertise from politics and civil society for the purposes of UNESCO.