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.

Social Media Councils: One piece in the puzzle of content moderation
12.10.2021 4 min read

Social Media Councils: One piece in the puzzle of content moderation

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Turkey: Press freedom crisis compounded by increasing digital censorship
08.10.2021 8 min read

Turkey: Press freedom crisis compounded by increasing digital censorship

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Cambodia: UN must increase scrutiny of human rights crackdown
07.10.2021 3 min read

Cambodia: UN must increase scrutiny of human rights crackdown

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UK: Digital markets reform must prioritise human rights
07.10.2021 3 min read

UK: Digital markets reform must prioritise human rights

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Blog: Indonesia’s intermediary regulation imperils internet freedom
30.09.2021 12 min read

Blog: Indonesia’s intermediary regulation imperils internet freedom

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Indonesia: Ministerial Regulation 5 will exacerbate freedom of expression restrictions
29.09.2021 3 min read

Indonesia: Ministerial Regulation 5 will exacerbate freedom of expression restrictions

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Tunisia: Greater presidential powers threaten rights and freedoms
27.09.2021 11 min read

Tunisia: Greater presidential powers threaten rights and freedoms

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Myanmar: UN High Commissioner must examine free expression violations in ongoing investigation
24.09.2021 2 min read

Myanmar: UN High Commissioner must examine free expression violations in ongoing investigation

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Russia: Google and Apple must fight election-related censorship
22.09.2021 7 min read

Russia: Google and Apple must fight election-related censorship

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