Reject the Proposed Amendments to the ICT Act dated 14/04/2021

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Reject the Proposed Amendments to the ICT Act dated 14/04/2021

This petition made change with 22,964 supporters!

Ariel Saramandi started this petition to The Information and Communication Technologies Authority Mauritius and

We, concerned citizens and residents in Mauritius and abroad, firmly reject the ICTA’s proposal to amend the ICT Act for regulating the use and addressing the abuse and misuse of social media in Mauritius.

We believe that the proposal will severely restrict freedom of speech of those residing in the country and is a menace to every citizen’s right to freedom of information. These freedoms are fundamental to the functioning of democracy.

We reject the proposal’s wish to collect and decrypt data shared on social media and on messaging platforms owned by social media companies in order to curtail so-called ‘abuse and misuse’.

Under the proposed amendment, government officials who have established instances of so-called ‘abuse and misuse’ are able to block accounts and track down users using their IP address. 

We believe that there are inherent biases to the functioning of the ICT system under the proposed amendments. Whether human (in the proposed National Digitial Ethics Committee) or AI, the system that will monitor, flag and remove information shared by users will necessarily suffer from conscious or unconscious bias. These biases will either be built into the algorithm itself, or will afflict those who operate the system. Even though the ICT Authority may have the very best intentions, the existence of this preventative regulatory system leaves the door open to abuse and agenda-setting by those in control of the system. A tool of this magnitude could very well lead to the collapse of Mauritian freedom of speech and information.

The proposed existence of the amendments is a threat to democracy.

Instead, we believe that the ICT Authority should concentrate their efforts in ethically addressing concerns made by citizens on posts that already exist and which have been deemed harmful.  We believe that the ICT’s actions shouldn’t be preventative, but corrective.

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This petition made change with 22,964 supporters!