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.

21.09.2018 5 min read

HRC39: Oral statement on the adoption of Russia’s UPR outcome

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17.09.2018 2 min read

Lebanon: Stop judicial harassment of human rights defenders

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YouTube Community Guidelines: Analysis against international standards on freedom of expression
07.09.2018 6 min read

YouTube Community Guidelines: Analysis against international standards on freedom of expression

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06.09.2018 6 min read

Egypt: NGOs call for full repeal of “cybercrime” law and reform of dangerous law regulating media

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Twitter Rules: Analysis against international standards on freedom of expression
05.09.2018 6 min read

Twitter Rules: Analysis against international standards on freedom of expression

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28.08.2018 11 min read

Open letter to Google on reported plans to launch a censored search engine in China

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Free speech at the UN HRC: Mapping State support for freedom of expression
17.08.2018 15 min read

Free speech at the UN HRC: Mapping State support for freedom of expression

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Facebook Community Standards: Analysis against international standards on freedom of expression
30.07.2018 6 min read

Facebook Community Standards: Analysis against international standards on freedom of expression

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25.07.2018 15 min read

Privacy and consent in the age of browsers: The question of WebRTC

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