ISOC-CH, pEp Foundation and Pirate Party recommend rejection of the parliamentary initiative Pult
The parliamentary initiative Pult (21.532) aims to protect the free and democratic formation of opinion on platforms (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Youtube). This goal is to be achieved, among other things, by controlling information. Information control is commonly known as censorship. Thus, this parliamentary initiative violates Art. 16 and Art. 17 of the Swiss Federal Constitution including the freedom of expression and information as well as freedom of the media.
With its second demand for platform liability, the initiative requires conditions that lead either to intensive monitoring and filtering of citizens’ contributions or even to the discontinuation of platform services. Moreover, the demand for platform liability implicitly causes a privatization of criminal justice, since its implementation would require the transfer of competencies from the state judiciary to private Internet corporations. This approach violates the principles of the rule of law, as well as Art. 5, Art. 8, Art. 9, Art. 29 of the Federal Constitution. This goes hand in hand with the violation of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) concerning the right to a fair trial.
The intentions of the parliamentary initiative Pult may be laudable, but this does not change its unconstitutionality, its incompatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights and thus its danger for Swiss democracy.
For the above reasons, we recommend to reject this parliamentary initiative.
Further information (in German) you can find in our common statement.