IRHR - News
APC welcomes the recent ruling of an Egyptian court that fined former president Mubarak and two of his aides $90 million for cutting internet and cell phones during the Egyptian revolution.
The proposed bill criminalises a number of online activities, granting Japanese authorities extremely broad powers to monitor and investigate their citizens. It also requires network providers to record and hold communications data on all users so it can be used by law enforcement agencies.
On May 13 2011, the Lahore High Court in Pakistan ruled that Facebook and other websites were in violation of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and should be banned in the country. Curious to understand more about this ruling, Clea Caulcutt of Radio France International’s Web Watch programme speaks to Grady Johnson of APC’s Internet Rights are Human Rights campaign to get a better understanding of what is at stake. Listen to the interview
APC calls on the Human Rights Council to treat freedom of expression online as a human rights issue.
On Friday 3 June 2011, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, Frank La Rue, will present his annual report to the Human Rights Council. This year the report will focus on the internet. Learn how you can support your country’s involvement in the defense of hunan rights on the internet.
As part of APC’s Connect your rights! Internet Rights are Human Rights campaign, APC is co-hosted a side-event at the Human Rights Council’s seventeenth session in Geneva on 3 June.
A new ruling by the Lahore High Court may result in a total ban of social media in Pakistan reports APC. Critics condemn the ban as unnecessary, unjust and ultimately counterproductive.
Dramatic events recently such as the internet shutdowns in Arab states and the WikiLeaks clampdown are pressing reminders that an open and fair internet cannot be taken for granted. In March APC brought together 100 researchers, innovators and activists to strategise.
Former New Zealand human rights commissioner Joy Liddicoat has just joined APC to lead a new Internet Rights are Human Rights campaign. Although she is busy getting ready for Internet Governance Forum consultations on May 18-19, she took a few moments to talk to APCNews.
The WikiLeaks Cablegate affair is making it clear to governments that they cannot so easily control what is secret and what is not, said Anriette Esterhuysen, APC executive director. “We citizens need both carrot and stick approaches in demanding and enforcing accountability and transparency from our governments. WikiLeaks is a useful stick,” said Esterhuysen.
Restricting free expression, association and the free flow of information on the internet has become a global trend and its intensity and impact is greatest in countries lacking a culture of democracy or strong human rights regimes. People who speak out against repression risk their own freedom and safety and the sites that carry their online denouncements are often censored or banned. A new APC project “Internet rights are human rights” starting in November 2010 builds on our long-standing work including our Internet Rights Charter aims to secure freedom of expression and association on the internet to those who need it most: human rights defenders.
The Republic of Korea has one of the highest percentages of broadband internet connectivity in the world, yet it trails miserably behind on internet freedoms, said a UN Special Rapporteur on a recent visit to the country. APC member Jinbonet reports that “Freedom of expression on the internet in South Korea is facing a serious crisis.” Koreans who criticise the government have to be prepared to allow articles be deleted or face prosecution.
Pakistanis woke up on Thursday 20 May to find sites like Facebook and YouTube blocked after a government crackdown on “blasphemous” websites. “We consider this ban unnecessary, based on wrongful accusations against civil liberties and it will further instigate hatred among international Muslim and non-Muslim communities,” APC member Bytes For All tells APCNews. In an update, we are told that more than 1000 sites are now being blocked. “We are in the midst of a major crisis,” says Bytes For All.
2010 promises to be a significant year for the future of the internet with a number of potential changes on the horizon. It could be the last year of existence for the Internet Governance Forum and ICANN is confronting big changes as it moves out from under the control of the US government. In this time of flux, policy windows can open and close quickly. APC is building a worldwide network of civil society policy advocates from different spheres of policy work and with diverse campaigning experiences who all have a vested interest in ensuring that the internet is free and open.