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.

HRC43: States must act on Iran
25.02.2020 1 min read

HRC43: States must act on Iran

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BLOG: Michelle Ferrier, PhD: Tackling online violence and abuse against women journalists: what media houses can do
20.02.2020 7 min read

BLOG: Michelle Ferrier, PhD: Tackling online violence and abuse against women journalists: what media houses can do

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ARTICLE 19 urges UK courts not to extradite Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange
20.02.2020 4 min read

ARTICLE 19 urges UK courts not to extradite Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange

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13.02.2020 7 min read

Myanmar: Lift Internet Restrictions in Rakhine and Chin States

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Online harms: Duty of care would restrict free speech in the UK
12.02.2020 3 min read

Online harms: Duty of care would restrict free speech in the UK

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11.02.2020 14 min read

Spain: The Royal Decree-Law 14/2019 threatens freedom of expression

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Spain: The Digital Royal Decree may give Government powers to censor and takedown online content
11.02.2020 6 min read

Spain: The Digital Royal Decree may give Government powers to censor and takedown online content

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Tanzania: SIM card deactivation poses a significant threat to freedom of expression
06.02.2020 5 min read

Tanzania: SIM card deactivation poses a significant threat to freedom of expression

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Uganda’s proposed tax on internet data threatens the rights to freedom of expression and access to information
31.01.2020 3 min read

Uganda’s proposed tax on internet data threatens the rights to freedom of expression and access to information

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