Julie Inman Grant, the Australian eSafety Commissioner, has said at the WEF that key human rights, such as free speech, must be subject to “recalibration.”
Inman Grant made the comments during a panel on Monday at the World Economic Forum’s event in Davos, Switzerland, appearing with Estonia’s Minister for Transport and Communications, Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister, and the Executive Director of “digital rights” organisation, Access Now.
“We are finding ourselves in a place where we have increasing polarisation everywhere, and everything feels binary when it doesn’t need to be,” Inman Grant told the panel, saying that people would need to think about a “recalibration of a whole range of human rights that are playing out online.”
She argued that “freedom of speech,” need to be rethought when it came to balancing it with the supposed integral freedom to be protected from “online violence,” a term that Inman Grant didn’t expand on. She further suggested that “data protection” should be balanced with “the right to child dignity.”
Australian eSafety commissioner Julie Inman Grant tells the World Economic Forum we need a "recalibration" of freedom of speech. pic.twitter.com/hHjaRlduMU
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Inman Grant was invited to the WEF as she is the first person to serve as the Australian Commissioner for eSafety. In her role, she leads “the first government regulatory agency committed to keeping its citizens safer online.” The agency was set up after the passing of Australia’s controversial Online Safety Act.
The agency has the power to “protect people from online abuse,” and includes 4 various reporting schemes, including one designated to stop “cyberbullying.” They can give civil penalties to any “online service providers that do not comply” with removal notices. Nowhere on the site does it define what is classified as “online abuse.”
Unsurprisingly, Imran Grant is currently working with the White House Gender Policy Council, and also has a position on the WEF’s Global Coalition for Digital Safety. Only last week, she appeared on a panel organised by the left-wing, anti-free speech group, Center for Countering Digital Hate, that has targeted conservative news sites to remove them from Google AdSense.
Valiant News previously reported that Human Events Daily host Jack Posobiec was briefly detained by police while covering the summit, with police reportedly dispersing after independent journalist Savanah Hernandez began recording the confrontation.
Australian journalist Avi Yemini also confronted the New York Times’s Deputy Managing Editor Rebecca Blumenstein, and asked her why the public should trust her publication’s coverage of the WEF given she was invited to the forum as an attendee.