OSCE holds seminar for Turkmen MPs on Internet media regulation

On October 27-28, the OSCE Center in Ashgabat organized an online seminar on the legal regulation of information dissemination in the digital age.

The event was organized for representatives of the Mejlis (lower house) of the Milli Gengesh (parliament), the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court, the Bar Association, the Institute of State, Law and Democracy, universities and journalists, according to the organization's website.

Experts from Germany and Georgia presented international standards and OSCE commitments, and discussed the legal roles and responsibilities of Internet intermediaries and the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms on freedom of expression on the Internet.

“Freedom of the media and free access to information are of particular importance in the digital age. Rapidly developing modern technologies are helping to enhance the role of the media in protecting democracy, peace and stability, ”said William Leaf, Acting Head of the OSCE Center in Ashgabat .

The diplomat recalled the Declaration of the 14th Central Asian Media Conference, which emphasized “the objective opportunities that the Internet provides” and “ calls on government authorities to ensure the protection of fundamental human rights to freedom of expression and freedom of information through the adoption of appropriate laws, political decisions and practices, as well as ensuring independent judicial review and effective public control over their implementation ”.

The seminar also addressed issues of regulation of Internet content , including the regulation of defamation and hate speech, as well as the fight against fake news.

It should be noted that almost all social networks and messengers, information and educational resources popular in the rest of the world are blocked in Turkmenistan.

According to Radio Azatlyk and Turkmen news , the authorities of Turkmenistan have now stepped up the fight against VPN applications that are used by subscribers to bypass Internet censorship and access resources prohibited in the country. In particular, in the second half of October, almost all VPN services stopped working, including the most popular OLOW VPN and Seagull.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan