Freedom of Expression Online

Freedom of Expression Online

The resources on this Module focus on some of the complex issues related to the digital exercise of freedom of expression. Internet, social media, search engines have largely transformed expression, information, communication. The selected readings highlight the mismatch between practices and the law trying to catch up with the advances of the technology, while seeking to make sense of the normative cacophony.

10 items found, showing 1 - 10

Overall Normative Framework

Author: UNESCO
Media Type Icon

The report “provides a new perspective on the social and political dynamics behind the threats to expression. It develops a conceptual framework on the ‘ecology of freedom of expression’ for discussing the broad context of policy and practice that should be taken into consideration in discussions of this issue.”

Dutton, William H. Freedom of connection, freedom of expression: the changing legal and regulatory ecology shaping the Internet. Paris: UN, UNESCO, 2011.

Author: Columbia Global Freedom of Expression
Media Type Icon

Here you will find the Syllabus for the MOOC 'Freedom of Expression in the Age of Globalization' created by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression. This course will examine the norms, institutions and forces that altogether have founded a global system of protection for freedom of expression and information. This Advanced  Course will focus on the multiple challenges brought about by the technology revolution of the last two decades. On one hand, it has given the world the means to realize its commitment to freedom of information without frontiers. Technology has shaped, reshaped, and radically transformed the production and distribution of information, profoundly impacting whole societies and greatly influencing, if not defining, information and communication. On the other hand, it has also precipitated or heightened a range of normative, regulatory and political issues related to the protection of freedom of expression, on and off line. This course will examine the complex, and often awkward, interplay of global information flows with national jurisdiction and state sovereignty, and what it means for the realization of a borderless vision for the right to freedom of expression.

Author: IACmHR, Catalina Botero Marino
Media Type Icon

The report “includes a systematization of standards aimed at promoting respect for freedom of expression on the Internet. This report analyzes best practices in this field, along with applicable international doctrine and jurisprudence.” It includes an explanation of: the Guiding Principles (Universal Access, Pluralism, Non-discrimination, Privacy); Net neutrality; Access to the Internet; Legislative limitations and subsequent liability: Standards of legitimacy and deliberative factors for resolving online rights conflicts; Filters and blocking; Intermediaries; Cybersecurity, privacy, and freedom of expression (Cybersecurity, Privacy, Internet communications surveillance); and, Principles for the protection of freedom of expression through multisector participation in Internet governance.

OAS, IACmHR, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Catalina Botero. Freedom of Expression and Internet. OEA/Ser.L/V/II. CIDH/RELE/INF. 11/13. 31 December 2013

Author: IACmHR, Catalina Botero Marino
Media Type Icon

Video summarizing the report "Freedom of Expression and Internet". The report “includes a systematization of standards aimed at promoting respect for freedom of expression on the Internet. This report analyzes best practices in this field, along with applicable international doctrine and jurisprudence.” It includes an explanation of: the Guiding Principles (Universal Access, Pluralism, Non-discrimination, Privacy); Net neutrality; Access to the Internet; Legislative limitations and subsequent liability: Standards of legitimacy and deliberative factors for resolving online rights conflicts; Filters and blocking; Intermediaries; Cybersecurity, privacy, and freedom of expression (Cybersecurity, Privacy, Internet communications surveillance); and, Principles for the protection of freedom of expression through multisector participation in Internet governance.

Author: ARTICLE 19
Media Type Icon

ARTICLE 19 submitted a response to the UN Special Rapporteur on free expression’s call for comments on the role of the private sector in the digital age. In their submission, ARTICLE 19 addressed the following issues: 1) The categories of actors in the digital sector whose activities implicate the freedom of opinion and expression; 2) The main legal issues raised for freedom of opinion and expression within the digital sector; 3) The conceptual and normative work already in place to develop corporate responsibility and human rights frameworks in these spaces, including governmental, inter-governmental, civil society, corporate and multi-stakeholder efforts; and 3) they also provide country specific information (Brazil).

Article 19.Freedom of expression and the private sector in the digital age. London: Article 19, 2016. https://www.article19.org/data/files/medialibrary/38294/FOE-and-the-private-sector-in-the-digital-age-A19-response-to-UNSR-call-Feb-2016.pdf

Author: Yaman Akdeniz
Media Type Icon

"A study of legal provisions and practices related to freedom of expression, the free flow of information and media pluralism on the Internet in OSCE participating States"

Yaman Akdeniz, Freedom of Expression on the Internet, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, 2011

Author: Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Agnès Callamard
Media Type Icon

In this segment of the MOOC 'Freedom of Expression in the Age of Globalization' created by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Agnès Callamard focuses on the impact of Internet and the information technology on the realization and protection of freedom of expression. In this first segment, Callamard introduces some of the challenges that Internet has created for the protection of free speech. Callamard highlights four of them: 1) the tension between the borderless nature of Internet and national sovereignty; 2) the impact of media convergence on medium specific regulation; 3) the responsibility or reliability of all the actors involved with the production and circulation of information; and 4) the global governance of Internet.

Author: UNESCO
Media Type Icon

The report “provides an overview of encryption technologies and their impact on human rights. It analyzes in-depth the role of encryption in the media and communications landscape, and the impact on different services, entities and end users. It highlights good practices and examines the legal environment surrounding encryption as well as various case studies of encryption policies. Built on this exploration and analysis, the research provides recommendations on encryption policy that are useful for various stakeholders.”

Schulz, Wolfgang and van Hoboken, Joris. Human rights and encryption. Paris: UN, UNESCO, 2012.

Author: Association for Progressive Communications
Media Type Icon

These materials are part of the Multimedia Training Kit (MMTK). Here you will find links to a) Module Handout; b) Module Trainers' notes; c) Module Questions and case studies; d) Module Power Point Slides. "The MMTK provides an integrated set of multimedia training materials and resources to support community media, community multimedia centres, telecentres, and other initiatives using information and communications technologies (ICTs) to empower communities and support development work. [...] This module explores the relationship between human rights, as understood in the Inter-American Human Rights System, and ICTs such as the internet. As well as this handout, it includes a set of presentation slides, exercises and case studies, and a list of additional readings. It raises the following general questions which should be considered by participants: 1. How has the internet changed people’s lives? What rights have been affected positively or negatively due to access to the internet? 2. Should online and offline human rights be understood differently? 3. What should the role of the state be regarding the exercise of human rights online? 4. What are the implications of the global nature of the internet for national human rights laws and international human rights instruments?" 

Association for Progressive Communications, Inter-American Human Rights System instruments and their application to the digital environment, May 2016.

Author: CIMA, Special Rapporteur Edison Lanza, UNESCO and Silvia Chocarro
Media Type Icon

“The report aims to translate in a concise and clear manner more than 70 years of international jurisprudence on freedom of expression, and outline a road map for judicial operators so that they can make decisions that are in line with international standards.” Available only in Spanish.