[IRPCoalition] IGF 2017: Open Forum

VALES Hernan hvales at ohchr.org
Fri Dec 15 14:02:51 EET 2017

Dear colleagues,

You are kindly invited to the Open Forum on "Tackling violent extremism online: human rights challenges for States and businesses"

Date and time: Tuesday,  December 19, 2017 16:10 - 17:10
Location: Room XXV - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)

The scale and complexity of terrorism has evolved, and societies face serious challenges in trying to respond to these threats. In their responses, some States have adopted pervasive measures including through surveillance and interception of communications; the collection, retention and analysis of data; and the blocking and filtering of information, often on a widespread scale. The private sector also plays a key role in these activities, and States increasingly are requesting ICT businesses to take measures such as blocking, filtering or removing content, denial of services, and collecting and retaining personal data of Internet users. Internet companies, partly in response to such calls for action, increasingly appear to intensify their efforts to combat "extremist" messages, often in cooperation with States agencies, such as Internet Referral Units.
It is crucial that any measures to prevent and counter violent extremism online are taken in full compliance with international human rights law, in particular the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, privacy, and freedom of religion or belief. Such measures also must not undermine the enormous potential the Internet has to foster democratic participation in public life, stimulate debate on issues of public importance and enhance development. However, the interplay and at times cooperation and collaboration of States and business enterprises in responding jointly to extremism online is often problematic due, for example, to poorly defined legal concepts (such as "extremism" or "national security"), insufficient oversight and lack of transparency and accountability. The session will focus on a sharing of experiences and initiatives to prevent violent extremism online, with a view to addressing some of the human rights challenges and recommendations for ways to move forward.

 Name(s) of Speaker(s):
Kate Gilmore, OHCHR, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights (moderator)

David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

Fiona Asonga, CEO, Technology Service Providers Association of Kenya, Kenya

Brett Solomon, Access Now, Executive Director, Australia

Chinmayi Arun, National Law University Delhi, Centre for Communication Governance, Executive Director, India

Alexandria Walden, Public Policy and Government Relations Counsel, Google

For more info:


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[Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights]


Hernan Vales
Human Rights Officer
Rule of Law and Democracy Section
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
E-mail: hvales at ohchr.org<mailto:hvales at ohchr.org>
Tel: +41 22 917 9404
Web: www.ohchr.org<http://www.ohchr.org>
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70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
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