Protecting children and young people from questionable content on the Internet. That is the aim of the new Youth Protection Act.
The new Youth Protection Act is under attack. It stipulates that video content on the Internet may only be accessible after an age check. This is how children and young people should be protected.
But how this is to be done does not suit everyone. The referendum was taken. Opponents allege that it is an “identification requirement law” and that soon you will have to show your passport in order to watch videos.
Argument is a “duck”
As SP National Councilor Matthias Aebischer (55) told the “Tages-Anzeiger”, it is not true that you will soon have to pull out your passport to watch YouTube videos. For him, the argument is a “duck”, an “obvious act of desperation” to get the missing signatures together.
FDP Councilor of States Matthias Michel (59), who helped shape the law, said in the same article that the arguments were “far-fetched”. How to implement the protection of minors is not yet clear. The details would only be regulated later in a regulation.
disinformation or incompetence
Michel is criticized for this. “I wonder whether such a politician is incompetent or spreads disinformation,” said media law expert Martin Steiger in an interview with the “Observer”. Because the implementation boils down to ID checks.
Michel is surprised by the allegations of disinformation: “I never claimed that there was no identification requirement.” He only pointed out that in addition to sending in the passport, there were other technical options for identifying yourself on the Internet, such as the E-ID. This is also what the Federal Council’s message says.
E-ID as a solution
Steiger also finds a better solution for the E-ID. But since the message was published, the E-ID has failed at the ballot box. A new version of the E-ID is already in the works, argues Michel. And: “The Youth Protection Act would be an excellent first application. As Federal Councilor, I would now say: ‘We’ll then wait for the E-ID to be implemented.’»
However, the state government is not taking its time with the implementation until an e-ID is ready. Either way, it’s up to the industry first, because it’s a matter of so-called co-regulation, according to Michel. The industry must develop proposals for implementation.
Criticism also from the IT side
The opponents don’t accept that. “It’s like saying that someone has to be in New York in 10 hours and then makes sure that the text doesn’t say anything about flies,” says Pascal Fouquet (41), spokesman for the Pirate Party. It wouldn’t be possible without flying. Various experts share his assessment.
Michel and Aebischer also received criticism from IT experts. A fact check in cooperation with IT professor at the University of Konstanz Marcel Waldvogel, which appeared in the online magazine “dnip.ch”, leaves the arguments of the supporters with a bad hair, criticizing other aspects than just the identification requirement.
Its getting close
Things are getting tight for the referendum committee. The pirates have support from corona skeptics such as Mass-Voll and from Operation Libero. You can collect signatures until January 19th.
“We’re really going full throttle,” assures Pirate spokesman Fouquet. More than 43,000 signatures are currently expected, and last week 5,000 were added in just one day. He therefore remains hopeful: “It will be tight, but it could be enough.”
Aebischer could not be reached for comment.