Illegal content on the Internet, AKEP: We block websites, but not mobile applications

2023-08-02 11:58:44Biznes SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX

While it is technically easier to block websites when requested by various institutions in the country due to illegal content, the same logic does not seem to apply to apps.

AKEP, during a presentation of the situation, estimates that to block the application the way the latter work, would result in the blocking of the entire range offered by a platform.

"A specific problem that must also be addressed is that of blocking access to some applications. Web applications and Web pages are accessed through a common domain associated with the use of a browser or search engine. The situation is different for mobile applications, which are hosted on commercial platforms (virtual points of sale - Store, such as App Store, Play Store), directly and without the help of a browser or a domain.

From a technical point of view, applications (apps) are programs that enable the end user to connect via the Internet, thanks to a remote server device.

Through the server device, the application is provided with a specific URL (Uniform Resource Locator) that technically differs from the URL of an ordinary page. This URL is created not using an ordinary domain, but using the domain of the virtual point of sale (Store) where the application is hosted, as for example in the case of the Play Store, where the domain appears

Under these conditions, blocking access to this application URL in the territory of the Republic of Albania by electronic communications entrepreneurs (Internet Service Provider operators) would have the inevitable consequence of blocking access to the entire domain of the virtual point of sale ( Store), specifically com and all the applications hosted on it" says the AKEP report.

AKEP notes that such a complete blockage contradicts the principles of proportionality of the measure that the legal framework has sanctioned through the notion of limitations. Such blocking measures can only be taken by the courts.

According to the report, the problem of this situation, which is not yet internationally and harmoniously regulated from a normative point of view, can be managed using the self-regulatory mechanisms of the virtual points of sale (App Store) in which the application is hosted, as is also the case for large platforms of social networks which present the same difficulties.

In these conditions it is mentioned that any authority that has the competence to determine an illegal or harmful content can turn, through a reasoned decision, to the legal contact of the App Store, to request the closure or non-marketing of an application of designated by users located in the territory of the Republic of Albania.