Assessing the human rights impacts of Internet registries

Digital 2 min read
ARTICLE 19
Assessing the human rights impacts of Internet registries - Digital

ARTICLE 19, the Danish Institute for Human Rights, and the Dutch Internet Domain-registry SIDN, present a model for assessing the human rights impacts of Internet registries at the Internet Governance Forum in Geneva.

In April 2017, ARTICLE 19, the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR), and the Dutch Internet domain registry SIDN—which manages the top-level domain .nl-—joined forces to pioneer a model for assessing the human rights impacts of Internet registries. This week, we will mark the successful completion of this project by launching our model during the annual Internet Governance Forum in Geneva.

Human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) are a systematic approach through which infrastructure providers can understand their impacts—both real and potential—on the rights of Internet users. Beyond covering general supply-chain issue areas such as the procurement of goods and services and local community impact, our HRIA model for Internet registries seeks to evaluate potential human rights impacts that are specific to the actions and operations of these particular actors, including the provision and maintenance of domain names, transparency, privacy, and engagement with third parties such as law enforcement agencies.

Internet infrastructure providers—not only registries, but also registrars, service providers, content delivery networks, and the other technical actors that make the Internet work—have a responsibility to respect human rights. Identifying and measuring their real and potential impacts is a first step toward realizing this responsibility.

View the model

If you have comments or suggestions on the model, or if you are interested in completing an HRIA for your registry or infrastructure provider, please get in contact with our team.

To learn more about the relationship between HRIAs and Internet architecture (specifically the IETF and the DNS), watch ARTICLE 19’s workshop on “Human Rights Impact Assessments for the Future of the Internet,” held at the 2017 Internet Governance Forum in Geneva.