[IRP] FW: Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression discusses internet access with General Assembly, 11/11/2011

Dixie Hawtin Dixie
Mon Nov 14 14:16:48 EET 2011


From: International Service for Human Rights [mailto:reply=ishr.ch at mail22.us1.rsgsv.net] On Behalf Of International Service for Human Rights
Sent: 11 November 2011 17:10
To: Dixie Hawtin
Subject: Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression discusses internet access with General Assembly, 11/11/2011


Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression discusses internet access with General Assembly
Nov 11, 2011 03:08 pm
View article online<http://ishr.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=97549cf8cb507607389fe76eb&id=0551c97a2a&e=22eaf17a58>

On 21 October 2011, the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. Frank La Rue, presented his report to the General Assembly<http://ishr.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=97549cf8cb507607389fe76eb&id=8b71800a55&e=22eaf17a58>'s Third Committee.[1] The report<http://ishr.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=97549cf8cb507607389fe76eb&id=3338d3e196&e=22eaf17a58> explores trends and challenges to the right of all individuals to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through the internet. In his oral statement<http://ishr.us1.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=97549cf8cb507607389fe76eb&id=72edb20c65&e=22eaf17a58>, Mr. La Rue addressed this issue through two dimensions of internet access: access to online content and access to internet connection.

The Special Rapporteur highlighted the importance of the internet in enabling people to access diverse forms of information, which can provide them with enhanced knowledge, and enable them to participate in the democratisation process of their countries. Despite these positive effects, Mr. La Rue raised concerns about the use of increasingly sophisticated tactics to censor internet content, and the arbitrary arrests and detention of individuals who express critical opinions in some countries. He urged all States to maintain the free flow of information and ideas on the internet and to ensure that the internet is made widely available, accessible and affordable.

Contributing to the ongoing debate on what types of content should be restricted on the internet, the Special Rapporteur highlighted differences between illegal content and content that is considered harmful, offensive, objectionable, or undesirable. He also shared best practices of countries implementing the right to access of information in an effective manner, including Brazil, Uruguay, Sweden and Botswana.

A dynamic dialogue followed the Special Rapporteur?s presentation.  The European Union (EU), the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Switzerland stressed the link between the exercise of the freedom of assembly and expression and a free and accountable democratic society. Switzerland underscored the pivotal role of the internet in times of demonstrations, stating that broad access to the internet can enable citizens to exercise their voice, which contributes to holding government to account.  The Czech Republic raised concerns about advocates and bloggers as targets of reprisals, and asked for Mr. La Rue?s views on bans and sanctions especially during elections.  Sweden lamented the censoring of internet content, and looked forward to a Human Rights Council panel in 2012 that would discuss the issue.[2]

Read more...<http://ishr.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=97549cf8cb507607389fe76eb&id=24eb4fd215&e=22eaf17a58>



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