DSA #8 Safeguards for Freedom of Expression in the DSA

Thursday 27 May 2021, 15:00 to 16:00

The EU intermediary liability regime has been criticized for limiting the effective exercise of the right to freedom of expression. By providing conditional liability exemptions, the E-Commerce Directive incentivizes overbroad take downs of content. Under the doctrine of positive obligations and effective protection, the legislature must actively protect fundamental rights, including the right to freedom of expression. Removal mechanisms, therefore, should come equipped with safeguards that promote a fair balance between different rights at stake. The proposal for a DSA attempts to ensure more protection for fundamental rights online. Recital 22, in particular, states that the “removal or disabling of access should be undertaken in the observance of the principle of freedom of expression”.  To achieve this goal, the DSA introduces a number of safeguards but are they going far enough? In her talk, Aleksandra will discuss the safeguards that are already included and discuss possible improvements.

You can view the seminar recording below:


Dr. Aleksandra Kuczerawy is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Centre for IT and IP (CiTiP) at KU Leuven. Aleksandra conducted her PhD research in the area of intermediary liability and human rights. Her research was published as a book “Intermediary Liability and Freedom of Expression in the EU: from concepts to safeguards’’. She regularly publishes on the topics of freedom of expression, and intermediary liability focusing mainly on substantive and procedural safeguards in regulation of different types of content (terrorist content, copyright, disinformation, and hate speech) (see full list of publications). She is also a lecturer in Media Law at the KU Leuven programme Master of Intellectual Property and ICT Law (LL.M.). Since 2020 Aleksandra is a member of a CoE Committee of Experts on Freedom of Expression and Digital Technologies (MSI-DIG).

This seminar is organised as part of the Digital Services Act (DSA) in Perspective Series on online platform responsibility, organised by the Centre for Digitalisation, Democracy and Innovation (CD2I) at VUB-BSoG, in collaboration with the Chair 'Fundamental Rights and the Digital Transformation' at VUB-LSTS and the Brussels Privacy Hub. Please click here for more information on past and future events in the series.