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Sex offender asks court to declare social media access as human right
Stavanger, May 2: A convicted sex offender is asking the Norwegian Supreme Court to declare social media access is a human right.
The case before the court Thursday involves a man who molested a minor and used the Snapchat messaging app to connect with young boys.
The unnamed offender was sentenced last year to 13 months in prison and banned from using Snapchat for two years.
His lawyers argue that depriving him of his account is unlawful under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case turns on how vital social media has become for freedom of expression, even though the court must decide the case through laws that predate such sites.
“The case raises important questions about the extent to which the state can restrict access to social media platforms, which are significant tools for exercising the right to freedom of expression and maintaining social connections,” defence lawyer John Christian Elden said.
A November 2023 appeal against the ban failed with the state successfully arguing the ban was “proportionately measured against the fact that the defendant has used Snapchat to exploit children sexually”.
The Appeal Court added that he still had the right to use other social media. If the Supreme Court also upholds the decision, the offender could attempt to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
Snap disabled 343,865 accounts connected with child sexual exploitation in the second half of 2023. It sanctioned 879 accounts in Norway though it is not clear how many of these were permanently disabled. The Norwegian court will issue its ruling in the coming weeks. (AP)

Cabbies sue Uber over taxi-booking rules
London, May 2: A group of more than 10,000 black cab drivers is suing Uber after accusing it of breaching taxi-booking rules in London, in a move which could cost the ride-hailing giant more than $313 million.
A group action claim has been filed in the High Court over Uber’s operations in the capital between May 2012 and March 2018.
The cab drivers claim that Uber misled Transport for London (TfL) over how it operated its ride-booking system and therefore breached private hire licensing rules.
They allege that the company allowed its drivers to accept bookings directly from customers, rather than going through a central system like minicab services.
The legal claim says that this booking system was “unlawful” because it did not comply with private hire rules, and that Uber deliberately misled TfL about how the system worked in order to get its licence.
The cab drivers say that during this time they suffered losses as a result of having fewer customers or having to work longer hours to compete with the popular app. RGL Management has filed the group action, known as BULiT21, on behalf of the London cabbies, who are being instructed by solicitors at law firm Mishcon de Reya. (IANS)

EU court upholds Italy’s right to seize bronze from Getty Museum
Rome, May 2: A European court upheld Italy’s right to seize a prized Greek statue from the J. Paul Getty Museum in California, rejecting the museum’s appeal on Thursday and ruling Italy was right to try to reclaim an important part of its cultural heritage. The European Court of Human Rights determined that Italy’s years-long efforts to recover the “Victorious Youth” statue were not disproportionate.
The Getty had appealed a 2018 Italian high court ruling that had confirmed a confiscation order issued by a lower court. “Victorious Youth,” a life-sized bronze dating from 300 BC to 100 BC, is one of the highlights of the Getty collection. An Italian court in Pesaro had ordered it seized and returned in 2010, at the height of Italy’s campaign to recover antiquities looted from its territory and sold to museums and private collectors around the globe. (AP)

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