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

Internet Governance

Author: ARTICLE 19
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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: ARTICLE 19
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"In this policy, ARTICLE 19 examines the obligations of telecommunications (telcos) and Internet service providers (ISPs) to protect and respect human rights, in particular the right to freedom of expression, and to remedy violations of these rights."

Article 19. ARTICLE 19's Getting connected: Freedom of expression, telcos and ISPs. London: Article 19, 2017. https://www.article19.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Final-Getting-Connected-2.pdf

Author: Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Agnès Callamard
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In this segment of the MOOC created by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Agnès Callamard focuses interviews  Mishi Choudhary on India's Internet Ecosystem

Author: Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Agnès Callamard
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In this segment of the MOOC created by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Agnès Callamard focuses interviews  Mishi Choudhary on the Repeal of Section 66A

Author: Centre for Human Rights at University of Pretoria, Guy Berger
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In this segment of the MOOC 'International and African Legal Framework on Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and the Safety of Journalists' developed by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria with the support of UNESCO, professor Guy Berger talks about safety in the digital world.

This segment is part of Module 3 of the MOOC: The safety of journalists and the issue of impunity.

Author: Centre for Human Rights at University of Pretoria, Guy Berger
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In this segment of the MOOC 'International and African Legal Framework on Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and the Safety of Journalists' developed by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria with the support of UNESCO, professor Guy Berger talks about the internet and access to information.

This segment is part of Module 4 of the MOOC: The right of access to information in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and African standards.

Author: UN Special Rapporteur Ambeyi Ligabo
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The report (A/HRC/4/27) is divided in three chapters. Chapter III addresses, among others, "future establishment of an intergovernmental body dealing with Internet governance and its role in limiting commercial pressure on, inter alia, a human rights approach to Internet freedom. The Special Rapporteur also addresses the necessity of swift action from Governments and Parliaments in order to decriminalize defamation and related offences. Finally, the Special Rapporteur examines the most recent initiatives with regard to security and protection of journalists and media professionals, and their repercussion on the availability of independent information and opinion-making. In addition to the proposed study on this matter, the Special Rapporteur also launches the idea of a voluntary fund to provide financial relief to the families of journalists killed while performing their duties or because of their activities, especially in developing countries” 

UN, Human Rights Council, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Ambeyi Ligabo. Report on the Special Rapporteur’s visit to Denmark, Internet governance and digital democracy, decriminalization of defamation offences, and security and protection of media professionals.A/HRC/4/271. 2 January 2007.

Author: Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Tais Gasparian
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In this segment of the MOOC created by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Tais Gasparian explains the Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for Internet Use. In June 2014, Law 12,965 came into force, which established principles and guarantees and rights for internet use in Brazil. Due to its significance, it was called the Civil Rights Framework for Internet Use, and it aims to secure rights and liabilities in regard to use of digital media. Basically, this law is characterized as being legislation that guarantees rights, and that does not restrict freedoms.

Author: Christopher T. Bavitz
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"This paper offers thoughts on the evolving nature and scope of Internet governance in the context of the development of the right to be forgotten. It summarises traditional frameworks for: (a) defining and operationalizing principles of Internet governance; and (b) distinguishing the types of issues that raise transnational governance concerns from the types of issues that are commonly considered the domain of local laws and norms.

If an issue falls within the ambit of Internet governance, it may lend itself to a certain set of solutions (with input from a broad cross-section of global public and private stakeholders). Issues outside that domain tend to be subjects of local regulatory mechanisms, in accordance with notions of national sovereignty. Categorizing a set of legal, policy, or technical considerations as one or the other, thus, has consequences in terms of the types of approaches to governance that may best be deployed to address them.

The paper provides examples of how recent technical and legal developments have put pressure on narrow conceptions of Internet governance as concerned primarily with Internet architecture and infrastructure. It posits that Internet governance models may be relevant to more and more conduct that occurs above the level of Internet’s metaphorical pipes, including developments that occur at what is traditionally conceived of as the content layer. The paper suggests that various global implementations of the right to be forgotten —and, in particular, implementations that are directed at the activities of search engines— offer a useful case study in examining and assessing this transformation."

Christopher T. Bavitz, “The Right to be Forgotten and Internet Governance: Challenges and Opportunities”. Latin American Law Review n.º 02 (2019):

Author: Lex Gill, Dennis Redeker, Urs Gasser
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"The idea of an “Internet Bill of Rights” is by no means a new one: in fact, serious efforts to draft such a document can be traced at least as far back as the mid-1990s. Though the form, function and scope of such initiatives has evolved, the concept has had remarkable staying power, and now — two full decades later — principles which were once radically aspirational have begun to crystallize into law. In this paper, we propose a unified term to describe these efforts using the umbrella of “digital constitutionalism” and conduct an analysis of thirty initiatives spanning from 1999 to 2015. These initiatives have great differences, and range from advocacy statements to official positions of intergovernmental organizations to proposed legislation. However, in their own way, they are each engaged in the same conversation, seeking to advance a relatively comprehensive set of rights, principles, and governance norms for the Internet, and are usefully understood as part of a broader proto-constitutional discourse. While this paper does not attempt to capture every facet of this complex political behavior, we hope to offer a preliminary map of the landscape, provide a comparative examination of these diverse efforts toward digital constitutionalism, and — most importantly — provoke new questions for further research and study. The paper proceeds in four parts, beginning with a preliminary definition for the concept of digital constitutionalism and a summary of our research methodology. Second, we present our core observations related to the full range of substantive rights, principles and themes proposed by these initiatives. Third, we build on that analysis to explore their perceived targets, the key actors and deliberative processes which have informed their character, and the changes in their substantive content over time. Finally, we look forward, identifying future directions for research in this rapidly changing policy arena and for the broader Internet governance community."

Lex Gill, Dennis Redeker and Urs Gasser, Towards Digital Constitutionalism? Mapping Attempts to Craft an Internet Bill of Rights (November 9, 2015). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2015-15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2687120