Sunday, August 1

The Government presents the “letter of digital rights” in style, which for the moment will have no legal impact

The Government has presented this Wednesday one of its most promoted proposals of the legislature. It is not a legislative reform, a package of administrative measures or a normative tool that citizens can use to defend their rights. The “letter of digital rights” signed today by Pedro Sánchez together with Vice President Nadia Calviño, the Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, and that of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, is a document that includes a series of political commitments but without no legal impact.

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“We place ourselves at the world forefront in the protection of the rights of citizens,” Sánchez said about the letter in an act in style at the Moncloa Palace, despite the fact that for the moment the initiative will not imply any change for citizens, something that the president has recognized: “The letter does not have a normative character. Weight that places us before a greater responsibility because we are the ones who have imposed this duty on ourselves.”

“Its objective is to propose a frame of reference for the performance of all public powers, not only the Government of Spain,” explained Sánchez. “The letter is a compass”, has abounded Calviño. “A compass that guides our legal proposals for the future and ensures that the rights and freedoms that Spaniards enjoy are the same in the offline world as in the online world.”

The document includes new concepts such as pseudonymity or the safeguards against neurotechnologies. However, other rights such as data protection, algorithmic non-discrimination, digital disconnection, the protection of the elderly and children or the right to receive an education for the virtual world are already included in consolidated laws, some relatively recent . One of them is the Organic Law on Data Protection and Guarantee of Digital Rights, approved in 2018.

This situation has already provoked numerous criticisms from jurists when the Government released the letter for public consultation last December, which is now being reproduced in its final version.

“It is propaganda, a toast to the sun. If fundamental rights that are in the Constitution have to be developed, it must be through an Organic Law. Everything that is not that is useless, because it is the only thing that the judges are going to consider” , then explained to the lawyer Carlos Sánchez Almeida, specialist in digital rights. “I keep thinking the same thing. If they want to create new digital rights, that they take a project to the Cortes,” he reaffirms this Wednesday.

Joan Barata, a legal expert on freedom of expression member of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, agreed with Almeida. “Something is being promised that are not really rights, it is something else. It is just a political document, which can generate a certain frustration in the citizen, to whom a series of things are promised, but later they are worth nothing”, ugly.

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