Digital rights

The Internet is the most disruptive communication technology of our time, revolutionising the free flow of information between individuals by offering anyone with an Internet connection the ability to gather and share information and ideas. Yet the technologies that make this possible can also be used to limit access to information through content blocking and full-scale Internet shutdowns, or stifle expression through surveillance on a scale previously unimaginable.

In recent years, States have adopted myriad laws to regulate content online, increasingly putting pressure on private actors to censor content which they deem illegal or simply “harmful.” Much of the world’s online content is now regulated by the community standards and algorithms of a handful of Internet companies, whose operations and processes lack transparency. Internet users’ right to free expression is easily subject to abuse in this regulatory environment, the complexity of which is compounded by the fact that the Internet is a public space built on decentralized private infrastructure. Though often described as neutral or apolitical, standard-setting bodies and infrastructure providers wield great influence by determining what is or is not possible on the Internet.

The open flow of information has been key to the Internet’s transformative effect in modern society. In order to safeguard its benefits, the right to free expression must be defended when addressing issues of content and defining the technical management of the Internet’s architecture.

22.02.2018 1 min read

Lebanon: The laws that affect you LGBTQ factsheet

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22.02.2018 1 min read

Egypt: The laws that affect you LGBTQ factsheet

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22.02.2018 1 min read

Iran: The laws that affect you LGBTQ factsheet

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22.02.2018 2 min read

Apps, arrests and abuse in Egypt, Lebanon and Iran

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Apps and traps: dating apps must do more to protect LGBTQ communities in Middle East and North Africa
22.02.2018 15 min read

Apps and traps: dating apps must do more to protect LGBTQ communities in Middle East and North Africa

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21.02.2018 2 min read

UNHRC: Oral statement on the right to freedom of expression online

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Vietnam: Hanoi government must stop attacks against Vietnam’s Facebook community
07.02.2018 2 min read

Vietnam: Hanoi government must stop attacks against Vietnam’s Facebook community

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06.02.2018 5 min read

Civil society to European Court: Russia website blocking of “extremist” material violates freedom of expression

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01.02.2018 5 min read

Civil society: how to participate at ITU PP-18

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