14:00 - 14:30
Lost in the web – how to navigate the legal maze and protect free speech online

Short thesis

Online content is being restricted in various ways: content is simply blocked at government level, individuals sue bloggers on copyright grounds or their "right to be forgotten" and online publishers are held liable for comments users place on their website. What are the main pitfalls for freedom of expression online and how can this legal minefield be navigated?


With a lot of speech and journalism moving online, the regulation of speech on the internet is becoming an increasingly pressing issue. While in certain jurisdictions, platforms for independent voices and citizen journalism are simply blocked, increasing use is being made of legislative loopholes and copyright claims to remove online content. This is difficult to navigate for individual bloggers and journalists, but also renowned publications face challenges when it comes to liability for user comments Add to that the recent decision of the ECJ on the right to be forgotten and that leaves quite a maze to navigate when publishing online. This session seeks to sketch the current legal landscape for free speech online, indicate the pitfalls and how these can be navigated.