The Asia Internet Coalition has submitted comments to the National Communications Commission (NCC) on Taiwan’s bill of the Digital Intermediary Service Act (DISA).
First and foremost, we commend the NCC for their efforts on drafting the DISA which will look to remove illegal contents, improve transparency, and service terms to protect users’ rights. At the same time, the objectives for any reforms should be to avoid unnecessary compliance burdens, promote ease of doing business, and provide more certain and well-understood obligations for platforms. While we support the NCC’s intention, we would also like to express some concerns on this draft Bill as its implementation may effectively end the light touch regulatory environment for digital providers in Taiwan by increasing costs and regulatory burdens without clear benefits to consumers. As such, please find appended to this letter, detailed comments and recommendations, which we would like the NCC to consider before proceeding further with the bill.
A global observation we wish to offer is that to the extent that the DISA proposals are transplanted from regulatory developments overseas, it is important to understand those proposals reflect very different political, economic, and legal contexts. For example, the European legislation referenced was drafted to support the European common market and the concepts used reflect European legal concepts. It is also worth noting that some of the more recent regulatory developments have long transition and implementation periods. It will therefore be some time before anyone will be able to determine whether these new and experimental regulations will work and deliver the benefits claimed. For this reason, many other jurisdictions are approaching these developments with caution, with some preferring to wait and see how these developments work out. Some regulatory agencies like the UK CMA have raised concerns about the degree to which the more heavy-handed regulatory developments could impede investment and innovation. We urge NCC to pause to observe how these regulatory experiments unfold. This seems more prudent than rushing to adopt a foreign regulator model and could avoid potentially adverse consequences for Taiwanese consumers or the economy overall.