Cyber Law Conference Budapest 30th November 2017 – Review

On 30th November 2017 the Infocommunication Law Department of Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church Faculty of Law organized a great conference on Budapest about the hot topics of cyber law. I had the opportunity to not just take part but make a lecture about the news of the codification about social media.

My lecture was about the challenges that the legislation have to face to when it starts to think about the legislation for social media. I took a look at the specialty of this new generation of media and showed the legal systems where we can find specific acts in connection with the topic of social media. In this part, I presented the legal system of the United States and the acts about the legal aspects of online data after death. I also spoke about the Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz (see below) and how Germany step up against hate speech on Facebook, Twitter and co. At the end of my lecture I talked about the draft of the Hungarian data protection act, which contains provisions about the enforcement of personal rights after the affected persons death.

We can also hear great presentations in the first section about the role of algorithms in online content consumption, the information policy of states against social media, the connection between algorithms and competition law or the legal questions about the streaming of court hearings.

At the end of the first section, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions from the lecturers, so we started an exciting professional discussion about the lecture we have just heard.

The second section was about related legal issues, like the legal framework for intelligent networks and systems in energy, online systems for hearing or unfair online commercial practice.

I really enjoyed the whole programme, and hope for more professionally organized conference about these very current topics.

Effects of Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz (German network enforcement law)

Facebook is opening its second center in Essen, Germany.

The center is going to investigate and delete the offending posts from the site. One of the reasons behind Facebook’s decision is a bill recently adopted by the German parliament (Bundestag), with the aim of repelling hateful posts and the fight off against breaking privacy rights by the government.

According to the new German law social media companies such as Facebook could face fines of €50.000.000 for failing to remove hate speech within 24 hours if the situation is easy to clarify. If the situation is difficult and requires detailed investigation, the service providers has one week to do it and the decide about the deletion.

The new bill is effective from 1st October 2017 but the authorities will have the right for fining from 2018. The new regulation is affective for every social media site, so besides Facebook Twitter and Youtube is also in the spectrum of the bill.

Facebook now employs 4500 people worldwide to remove legally objectionable content, but they would like to increase this number to 7500 in the future. From this autumn there will be 500 in Essen while in Berlin the number of staff has just been raised to 700 in the local center.

In the recent weeks we can hear pros and cons about the new law, which can definitely affect the freedom of speech but can also provide defense for sensitive layers of the society. I don’t think the German government would like to start the new year with a €50 million fine but it is obvious that the age we live in, the traditional legal instruments against hate speech are not effective enough.