Poland drafts internet freedom of speech bill

The Justice Ministry on Friday presented its draft law that aims to ensure that freedom of speech is not breached on social media.

The bill seeks to set up a Freedom of Speech Council, a five member body elected by a three-fifths majority by the lower house of parliament for a six-year term, top ministry officials announced at a press conference on Friday.

Zbigniew Ziobro, the justice minister, said that the internet is nowadays a forum for numerous disputes, therefore Polish citizens should be ensured "the fundamental rights" mentioned in the country's constitution.

This calls for a legal framework that would force "global players" to respect the law, Ziobro went on to say.

"Today there are no such effective instruments, today social media decide themselves which content is to be censored or removed," Ziobro said.

The bill will be sent to the government for analysis and will also undergo broader consultation, said Sebastian Kaleta, a deputy justice minister.

"The Freedom of Speech Council will review complaints from internet users about content that has been removed or restricted by social media," Kaleta said, adding that the Council will have seven days to process the complaint.