The Asia Internet Coalition has refuted comments made by public security minister Tiran Alles in Parliament yesterday (23 during the debate on the Online Safety Bill.

The AIC stressed it has not been privy to amendments made to the Bill.

AIC is an industry association comprising leading internet and technology companies such as Meta, Google, Apple and Amazon.

It said in a statement that certain assertions made by public security minister Alles do not accurately reflect the developments in drafting the controversial new legislation.

AIC’s managing director Jeff Paine said the minister’s statement does not accurately reflect the substantial contributions that the alliance has made throughout the legislative process.

The AIC said its contributions include comprehensive submissions and engagements such as hosting representatives from the Ministry of Public Security at the annual Online Safety Forum organised by the AIC in Singapore.

“These engagements and representations eventually culminated with our last submission to the Ministry on 8th, January 2024,” Paine said. 

The AIC also charged that it has not been informed of the amendments to the bill, reiterating that the bill in its present form is ‘unworkable’ and requires extensive revisions to align with global best practices.

“Despite our commitment to constructive collaboration, the AIC has not been privy to proposed amendments to the bill."

"We unequivocally stand by our position that the Online Safety Bill, in its current form, is unworkable and would undermine potential growth and foreign direct investment into Sri Lanka’s digital economy,” the statement said.

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