All communication over the Internet is facilitated by intermediaries such as Internet access providers, social networks, and search engines. The policies governing the legal liability of intermediaries for the content of these communications have an impact on users’ rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of association and the right to privacy.

With the aim of protecting freedom of expression and creating an enabling environment for innovation, which balances the needs of governments and other stakeholders, civil society groups from around the world have come together to propose this framework of baseline safeguards and best practices. These are based on international human rights instruments and other international legal frameworks.

The Manila principles on intermediary liability:

1. Intermediaries should be shielded from liability for third-party content
2. Content must not be required to be restricted without an order by a judicial authority
3. Requests for restrictions of content must be clear, be unambiguous, and follow due process
4. Laws and content restriction orders and practices must comply with the tests of necessity and proportionality
5. Laws and content restriction policies and practices must respect due process
6. Transparency and accountability must be built into laws and content restriction policies and practices