Executive Decree 027
Section 1. Purpose. The constant enrichening and diversification of the Private Broadcasting sector, increase in licencing and viewership, and the maintaining of tight links of friendship and trust in the community have, somewhat inevitably, led private broadcasters to let their creativity explore wider expanses that Discord's native capacities offer, bringing them to voice channels. This private initiative is one this Government has always supported and is pleased to witness. Nevertheless, the Office of the Secretary-General would be derelict not to recognise and tackle the questions voice channels might raise, minorly in terms of accessibility for non-synchronous viewers, and more chiefly in terms of moderation and capacity to prove and protect against criminal, civil, or OOC offences.
Three possible remedies arise in solution: prohibition, deregulation, or regulated permission. In the first instance, the Government could consider banning voice channels altogether. However, this would run afoul of this Government's commitment to supporting private citizen initiative and would be a net loss for the region's culture.
Conversely, the Government could completely deregulate voice channels, or at the very least apply to them no stricter standard than it does for text channels. However, this would be a sizeable burden for individual rights as well, namely those of victims. Text channels leave a trace, and even deleted messages can be partially recovered via channel logs. Text channels are moderatable, their content can be read, archived, and shown to a Court for argument, creating a reputation that violations of communication rules, the rights of others, and IRL Law cannot go unpunished. Those assumptions do not hold to voice channels, which, unregulated, could provide havens for communication offenders to spread heinous messages, and trample the right of every citizen for a safe and welcoming community with near-total impunity. If this were the only concern, better moderation would suffice, yet there is potential for worse. Voice channels could be a hotbed for false criminal allegations, resulting in a wave of cases where the voice of one citizen over another without other material proof would have to be considered by the High Court, and the fabrication of fake testimony would be encouraged. No citizen would be safe from the harrowing perspective of being dragged to Court for a crime they neither committed nor can disprove in face of false testimony. Thirdly, the two aforementioned phenomena would open the risk for station owners to see their station hijacked by undesirable activity, ruining the commendable spirit that led to the opening of the station in the first place and griefing those creators from their right to expression.
It, therefore, appears that permission with regulation is the way to go to counter the negative effects of unregulated channels, without banning them.
This decree is the result of the consultation of existing stakeholders, the consent of existing radio broadcasters, and particular attention to the respecting of ethical codes and the General Data Protection Regulation in effect in the European Union.
Previous decrees affirm broadcasting channels to be a privilege that can be regulated while satisfying §8 of the Constitution, a principle that would apply a fortiori to voice channels where a stronger case for the non-necessity of voice channels for the proper exercise of freedom of expression and, thus, the legitimacy of the Office of the Secretary-General to outline regulations towards their obtention can be made. The Secretary-General is also vested with a responsibility towards assisting the New West Indies' administration as per §17 of the Constitution. This responsibility extends beyond the "Department of Administration" to the management of public affairs, of which the process to obtain a voice channel on the Regional Discord Server is clearly part.
The Founder, a co-signatory of this decree, is vested by §23 of the Constitution of the New West Indies with the overseeing of the moderation of the region and its platforms, presiding over the moderation team. They additionally own the New West Indies Discord Server.
Section 2 Definitions (a)"Radio Channel" means a voice channel on the New West Indies Discord server organised as a station whose usufructuary is a Broadcaster as defined by law or decree.
(b) "Radio Show" as an organised activity on a Radio channel.
(c) "Radio Host" means a citizen who is either a broadcaster or their co-anchor, who convenes and presides over a radio show
(d) "Guest speaker" means a citizen who has been invited by a radio host to speak on a radio show, and has consented to have their interventions on the show recorded.
Section 3 Licensing (a) Any Broadcaster may apply to obtain a Radio Channel as part of a station of which they are the usufructuary.
(b) Broadcasters applying for a Radio Station shall outline adequate reason to support their application.
(c) Citizens who are not broadcasters may, as part of an application to become a Broadcaster, request the opening of a Radio Channel as part of their station, after outlining adequate reasoning under standards no different than those expected of existing Broadcasters.
(d) The conditions necessary to obtain and maintain a Radio Channel shall be the same as those necessary to obtain and maintain a text station, barring subsection (1)
(1) In the case of Radio Stations, the requirement for a substantive post shall be interpreted as a requirement for a substantive broadcast, under the same standards as that of a substantive post as defined by law or decree.
Section 4 Mandatory Recording (a) The Secretary-General shall invite a bot on the New West Indies Discord server destined to record Voice Channel Activity.
(b) The Office of the Secretary-General shall ascertain, upon granting of a license, that Broadcasters have understood the functioning of the bot and consent to the obligation to record.
(c) Radio hosts shall, preliminary to any show, record their radio channel with the bot.
(d) Repeated instances of failure to record radio shows may result in the withdrawal of broadcaster license. Broadcasters shall be responsible for ensuring that the Radio Hosts they employ appropriately follow the provisions of this decree.
(e) Radio Hosts shall not commence a broadcast if another broadcast is being recorded at that time.
(f) The Government of the New West Indies shall not store recordings for more than 30 days unless
(1) The Broadcaster requests that the recording be held for longer
(2) The recording has been cited as evidence in a filing to the High Court of the New West Indies
(3) The recording would likely be necessary as evidence in a case that was filed with the High Court, for which a Discovery deadline has not yet been issued.
(4) Suppression of the recording would break NWI or RL Law.
Section 5 Powers of Radio Hosts (a) Radio Hosts may control the membership of guests and audience to their show, and mute audience and guest speakers at wish.
(1) Control of membership shall not be construed as allowing non-citizens as guest speakers.
(b) In case of conflicts in granting or withholding permissions among radio hosts at one station, the Broadcaster shall have the final say
(c) Radio Hosts shall be conferred "Priority Speaker" status on their radio channel
(d) Radio Hosts may moderate their show according to any rules they have set, insofar as said rules do not contradict other Regional Norms.
(e) Moderators may, on the request of Radio Hosts, help them manage uncooperative guest speakers or audience.
(1) Moderators are encouraged to view uncooperative behaviour such as circumventing mutes or (re)joining channels against the wishes of the Radio Host as "generally obnoxious behaviour" under Rule 4 of the Discord Communication Rules.
(f) Radio Hosts shall not be rendered criminally responsible for the acts of their guest speakers or audience
(1) The above clause shall not be construed as providing Radio Hosts with immunity for acts they may have abetted, aided, ordered, demanded, or encouraged on their channel.
The August Achipel, OCS OHY OIN
Founder of the New West Indies
The Rt. Hon Celestiam, OSE OIF OIN
Office of the Secretary-General