US Government voices concerns over SL’s Online Safety Bill, urges transparency in legislative process
January 25, Colombo (LNW): The government of the United States expressed its concerns on the Online Safety Bill, which passed in Parliament yesterday (24) with a majority vote.
In a statement on Thursday (25), US Ambassador Julie Chung conveyed the United States government’s apprehension regarding bill, warning that such legislation could pose a threat to democratic values.
The bill, which received criticism from free speech advocates, opposition lawmakers, and major internet and social media companies, raised concerns over its potential impact on freedom of expression, innovation, and privacy.
The legislation was approved without incorporating significant input from crucial stakeholders, including civil society and technology companies, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung wrote on her X handle.
She underscored the viewpoint that such legislation could pose a threat to democratic values and potentially hinder investment and the growth of Sri Lanka’s digital economy.
Furthermore, Ambassador Chung asserted that vague and overly restrictive legislation could have detrimental effects on economic development, emphasising the importance of prioritising transparency in the legislative process.
The United States urged Sri Lanka to ensure that any enacted legislation does not suppress the voices of its citizens.