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

Content Regulation and Censorship

Author: Simin Kargar
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"This research bulletin analyzes the aftermath of the Telegram ban in Iran and presents detailed data on the performance of Psiphon, one of the most widely used circumvention tools among Iranians. The bulletin concludes by reviewing the overarching Internet policies in Iran behind the Telegram ban. In addition, it presents the challenges that arise from the implementation of these policies, both to users and circumvention tool providers, especially as increasingly aggressive network interference becomes the norm."

Simin Kargar, “Censorship and Collateral Damage: Analyzing the Telegram Ban In Iran” (September 5, 2018), https://cyber.harvard.edu/publication/2018/censorship-and-collateral-damage

Author: Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Agnès Callamard
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In this segment of the MOOC 'Freedom of Expression in the Age of Globalization' created by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Agnès Callamard will highlight the implications of the liability of intermediaries on the realization of the right to freedom of expression. Callamard will focus, in particular, on the concept of censorship by proxy, or the privatization of censorship through the role and the functions of intermediaries. What is the significance of these various liability regimes for free speech? How may they interfere with the realization of my and your freedom of expression and information? These are the two questions I will try to answer in the remaining of that segment.

Author: IACmHR, Catalina Botero Marino
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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
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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
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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: Yaman Akdeniz
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"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: ARTICLE 19
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"In this policy brief, ARTICLE 19 outlines its position on the compatibility of blocking and/or filtering of online content with international standards on human rights, in particular the right to freedom of expression"

Article 19.Freedom of Expression Unfiltered: How blocking and filtering affect free speech. London: Article 19, 2016. https://www.article19.org/data/files/medialibrary/38586/Blocking_and_filtering_final.pdf

Internet Censorship and the Intraregional Geopolitical Conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa

Author: Helmi Noman
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"This report investigates how adversarial relationships between states in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) translate into Internet censorship practices. Based on analysis of Internet censorship data collected from 16 countries, the study finds that it is becoming increasingly common for governments in the MENA region to block content that originates from or is affiliated with rival states in the region."

Helmi Noman, "Internet Censorship and the Intraregional Geopolitical Conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa" (Jan 16, 2019), https://cyber.harvard.edu/publication/2019/internet-censorship-and-intraregional-geopolitical-conflicts-middle-east-and-north

Author: UN, OSCE, OAS and ACHPR Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression
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"This Joint Declaration addresses systematic or targeted attacks on freedom of expression which are aimed at silencing certain perspectives or voices, whether internationally, nationally or locally, and State responses to such attacks. Such attacks are perpetrated in different contexts, including of international and non-international armed conflicts, terrorist attacks and widespread organized crime."

UN, OSCE, OAS and ACHPR Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression. Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and Responses to Conflict Situations, May 4, 2015.

Author: UNESCO, Avani Singh
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This toolkit for judicial officials in Africa on international and regional standards on freedom of expression "encompasses a broad variety of issues, which should be considered by judi-cial actors in the course of their work to protect human rights. It covers legal standards of freedom of expression according to international and regional instruments and core texts and surveys pertinent jurisprudence on freedom of expression from regional and sub-regional courts or quasi-judicial bodies that deal with human rights issues.

The toolkit explicates conditions under which speech can be legitimately restricted, while also giving prominence to the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity, the latter representing one of the main obstacles to guaranteeing freedom of expression and freedom of information. Finally, the toolkit also addresses recent challenges to freedom of expression on the internet, including on social media, which have become vital means for sharing information and expressing views. The question of gender representation in media content and careers, and gender-specific threats for women journalists, are also addressed.The protection of freedom of expression requires the active efforts of a great variety of actors. While this toolkit has been conceived primarily for judges, prosecutors, trainers of judges, lawyers and other legal experts, it is my hope that civil society actors, members of security forces and media professionals will also find its contents of great value to their work. Given the importance of freedom of expression as a foundational value of free societies, I believe the toolkit’s material and messages will be of relevance to all concerned stakeholders — that is to say, to all individuals everywhere."