[IRP] Joint declaration on Freedom of Expression and the Internet

Dixie Hawtin Dixie
Fri Jul 1 13:16:21 EEST 2011

FYI - This Joint declaration on Freedom of Expression and the Internet by four Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression (from the UN, OAS, OSCE and ACHPR) contains some very useful thinking about how human rights standards apply to the Internet. http://www.osce.org/fom/78309 All the best, Dixie


1. b. When assessing the proportionality of a restriction on freedom of expression on the Internet, the impact of that restriction on the ability of the Internet to deliver positive freedom of expression outcomes must be weighed against its benefits in terms of protecting other interests.
1.c. Approaches to regulation developed for other means of communication - such as telephony or broadcasting - cannot simply be transferred to the Internet but, rather, need to be specifically designed for it.
1.e. Self-regulation can be an effective tool in redressing harmful speech, and should be promoted.
2. b. Consideration should be given to insulating fully other intermediaries, including those mentioned in the preamble, from liability for content generated by others under the same conditions as in paragraph 2(a). At a minimum, intermediaries should not be required to monitor user-generated content and should not be subject to extrajudicial content takedown rules which fail to provide sufficient protection for freedom of expression (which is the case with many of the 'notice and takedown' rules currently being applied).
3.a. Mandatory blocking of entire websites, IP addresses, ports, network protocols or types of uses (such as social networking) is an extreme measure - analogous to banning a newspaper or broadcaster - which can only be justified in accordance with international standards, for example where necessary to protect children against sexual abuse.
4. e.       States are under a positive obligation to facilitate universal access to the Internet. At a minimum, States should:
                                                               i.      Put in place regulatory mechanisms - which could include pricing regimes, universal service requirements and licensing agreements - that foster greater access to the Internet, including for the poor and in 'last mile' rural areas.
                                                             ii.      Provide direct support to facilitate access, including by establishing community-based ICT centres and other public access points.
                                                            iii.      Promote adequate awareness about both how to use the Internet and the benefits it can bring, especially among the poor, children and the elderly, and isolated rural populations.
                                                           iv.      Put in place special measures to ensure equitable access to the Internet for the disabled and for disadvantaged persons.
4. f.        To implement the above, States should adopt detailed multi-year action plans for increasing access to the Internet which include clear and specific targets, as well as standards of transparency, public reporting and monitoring systems.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org/pipermail/irp-internetrightsandprinciples.org/attachments/20110701/4565920b/attachment.htm>

More information about the IRP mailing list