[IRPCoalition] Fwd: Net of Rights

IRPCoalition info at irpcharter.org
Fri Mar 4 17:07:44 EET 2016






Forwarding Press Release

Hi all,

Today, 4 March, ARTICLE 19 and Coding Rights are launching ‘Net of
Rights’, a short film which explores the link between internet protocols
and human rights online. The film will screen at 6pm at the Internet
Freedom Festival.

Please find the film Net of Rights here:

and the teaser here:

If the teaser doesn't show in your browser, you can also use this link:

Here is the press release (also below):

and please get involved in the work at: https://hrpc.io/

It is too-often assumed that there is no link between protocols (the
standards which underpin the way the internet functions) and human
rights, but this is simply not the case, as the film argues.

The Internet aspires to be the global ‘network of networks’, providing
connectivity for all users, at all times, for any content. Connectivity
increases the capacity for individuals to exercise their rights, meaning
that the architectural design of the internet is, necessarily,
intertwined with the human rights framework.

Promoting open, secure and reliable connectivity is essential for the
rights to privacy, expression and assembly. But how are these concepts
addressed at the protocol level? Without proper definition, the human
rights-enabling characteristics of the internet are at risk.

The role of human rights in Internet policy is slowly becoming part of
the general discourse. Former United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on
the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and
expression, Frank La Rue, explicitly spoke of the replationship, leading
to the approval of the landmark resolution "on the promotion, protection
and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet" at the UN Human Rights
Council, and the resolution "The right to privacy in the digital age" at
the UN General Assembly.

Mapping the relationship between human rights and internet protocols and
architectures is a new research challenge, which requires the
development of a consistent methodology, bringing human rights experts
together with the community of researchers and developers of Internet
standards and technologies. The Human Rights Protocol Research Group is
a group chartered to research how standards and protocols (the rules by
which the internet functions) can enable, strengthen, or threaten human

The rights-enabling characteristics of the Internet will be increasingly
endangered if they are not properly defined, described and protected as
such. And, indeed, the other way around: by not protecting these
characteristics, we risk loss of functionality and connectivity in the
architecture of the internet itself.

To protect human rights online, it will be necessary to explore and map
the link between rights and protocol, ensuring the survival of a
decentralized and collaborative internet, in which freedom of expression
through unimpeded connectivity remains a central principle, and a
guiding force.

Conceived in partnership between ARTICLE 19 and Coding Rights, this film
aims to highlight the importance of addressing this issue within the
technical community and human rights advocates, but also to feed into
the work of the Human Rights Protocol Considerations research group
(HRPC) in the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF). This group is
currently mapping the relation between human rights and Internet
protocols, in order to strengthen the Internet as a human rights
enabling environment, in which freedom of expression through unimpeded
connectivity remains a central principle and guiding force.

All the best,


Niels ten Oever
Head of Digital

Article 19

PGP fingerprint    8D9F C567 BEE4 A431 56C4
                    678B 08B5 A0F2 636D 68E9

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