Asia Internet Coalition voices concern over Online Safety Bill

The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) has raised concerns regarding the Sri Lankan Government’s approach to the proposed Online Safety Bill, expressing apprehension that it is being advanced without engaging in stakeholder consultations.

In a statement issued by Jeff Paine, Managing Director of the Asia Internet Coalition, the organization voiced its unease over what it sees as the potential implications of the Bill. Paine stated, “The Bill provides for a draconian system to stifle dissent and Sri Lankans’ rights to expression.”

He further emphasized that while the AIC member companies take online safety seriously, legislation should not hinder innovation by restricting public discourse and the exchange of ideas. The AIC is strongly urging the Sri Lankan government to collaborate closely with industry stakeholders to develop regulations that are reasonable and aligned with international best practices.

The AIC, a prominent industry association composed of leading Internet and technology companies, is committed to promoting understanding and addressing Internet policy issues in the Asia Pacific region. Established in 2010 and co-founded by eBay, Google, Nokia, Skype, and Yahoo!, the trade association actively engages with government agencies to advocate for public policy solutions and support the growth of the internet economy in the region.

Presently, the AIC’s membership comprises influential companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Expedia Group, Amazon, Line, LinkedIn, Rakuten, SAP, Airbnb, Grab, Twitter, Yahoo, Booking.com, and Cloudfare. The AIC’s collective voice aims to ensure that legislative measures strike a balance between online safety and fostering innovation, especially in Sri Lanka’s burgeoning digital economy.

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