Asian Internet Coalition Challenges Sri Lanka’s Online Safety Bill
January 24, Colombo (LNW): The Asian Internet Coalition (AIC), representing major global Internet and technology companies, has strongly disputed statements made by Sri Lanka’s Minister of Public Security, Tiran Alles, regarding the Online Safety Bill. In a statement released on Tuesday (23rd), the AIC cautioned that the current form of the bill is deemed unworkable and could hinder the potential growth and foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka’s digital economy.
Jeff Paine, Managing Director of the Asia Internet Coalition, addressed the Minister’s statements, asserting that they do not accurately portray the substantial contributions the AIC has made throughout the legislative process. Paine highlighted the AIC’s efforts, including comprehensive submissions and engagements such as hosting representatives from the Ministry of Public Security at the AIC’s annual Online Safety Forum in Singapore.
Despite their commitment to constructive collaboration, the AIC expressed concern about not being informed about proposed amendments to the bill. The coalition unequivocally maintained its position that the current version of the Online Safety Bill is impractical and has the potential to undermine the growth and foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka’s digital economy. The AIC emphasized the need for extensive revisions to align the bill with global best practices.
The AIC, comprised of influential companies like Apple, Pinterest, Google, Amazon, and Meta, plays a crucial role in promoting understanding and resolution of Internet policy issues in the Asia Pacific region. The coalition’s statement reflects its dedication to fostering a regulatory environment that supports innovation and sustainable development in the digital landscape.