Freedom of expression
As governments and non-state actors find ways to restrict access to internet content and wireless connections to serve their own purposes, there is growing support for a human rights based approach to information and communication technology, and particularly the internet.
“The same rights that people have offline must also be protected online,” says an unprecedented resolution approved recently by the Human Rights Council.
Since 2007, freedom of expression on the internet has been compromised in Pakistan. The authorities started with blocking blasphemous content, went on to national security issues, then religious morality, and they are now targeting online content pertaining to minorities.
A collective that believes the internet should be an open and free space has agreed on some basic principles to start a global conversation: expression, access, openness, innovation and privacy. Join APC in supporting the declaration.
The Association for Progressive Communications is running three days of action this week – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – as part of its Connect Your Rights! campaign. Help us spread the word that Internet Rights are Human Rights! with three simple actions for you and your friends can undertake.
South Africa’s constitution guarantees freedom of expression and has been interpreted to include the right to community media and to creative journalistic content. However, online media and its regulation fall short.
This report, commissioned by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), is concerned with the relationship between human rights and the internet; and with perceptions of the internet, its impact on human rights and the concept of internet rights within mainstream rights organisations. It pays particular attention to the rights encapsulated in Articles 18, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (freedoms of conscience, expression and association). The study forms part of APC’s work on internet rights and freedom of expression and, in particular, the “Internet rights are human rights” project.
Watch the full (and very dynamic) discussion that took place in Geneva on May 17. Five seasoned human rights defenders faced off on the specific right to freedom of expression and how it relates to the internet. How to reconcile practice and principles when it comes to freedom of expression on the net? Anyone?
On Sunday, 20 May 2012, APC member Bytes for All (B4A) reported that “once again, Government of Pakistan has managed to block yet another social networking website Twitter.” Service to the website was restored the same day, yet civil society must “reject this oppressive slap on citizens basic human right to democracy, freedom of expression and access to information.”
The OpenNet Initiative released its 2011 Year in Review, a collection of the year’s top instances of filtering, surveillance, and information warfare around the globe. The spotlight was on the SOPA and PIPA bills in the US and on Asian and Middle Eastern countries and regimes as well as European and American companies for their role in internet censorship.