freedom of expression
On February 5, 2013 the Philippines Supreme Court extended until further notice the temporary restraining order issued on the implementation of the controversial Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. This sets a milestone for organisations and individuals advocating for internet rights.
In his 2011 annual report, the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression focused on the Internet.
In doing so, the Rapporteur developed a broad framework for assessing freedom of expression on the Internet. Using this framework, General Comment 34 on Article 19 of the ICCPR, and recommendations made by UN Special Mandate holders, APC’s Internet Rights project has developed a draft checklist for civil society groups to monitor legislation, raise awareness, defend internet rights, and influence policy.
Last week the US Federal Trade Commission announced the results of its 19 month investigation into Google, concluding that the company had not violated antitrust laws in the algorithms used to arrange its web search results.
South Africa is one of several countries that possesses a “notice and take down regime” for online content, meaning that internet service providers are obliged to take down content that is deemed controversial by a complainant. Understanding this regime as unconstitutional since its inception in 2002, an attorney in Johannesburg has embarked on crusade to change it.
At 10:26 UTC on November 29th, Syria’s international internet connectivity was shut down. APC strongly condemns this shut down, which threatens the safety and security of the Syrian people, and clearly violates international human rights law.
In edition 4 of the MIND magazine, which questions human rights in internet governance, Joy Liddicoat of the Association for Progressive Communications makes the point that freedom of expression only takes its full force for democratic change when we can exercise it together with all of our other rights and freedoms. She argues that human rights must be a main focus of all discussions at the IGF.
GenderIT.org contributor Daysi Flores looks at a number of new cybercrime laws in Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala that pose a threat to online security, the right to privacy, and freedom of expression and association for the countries’ citizens in general, but for women human rights defenders in particular.
APC stands in solidarity with the Expression Online Initiative, which expressed serious concerns regarding violations of UN principles currently taking place at the 7th annual Internet Governance Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan. The violations include restrictions on freedom of expression and association and failure to guarantee equal rights for every participant. Read Expression Online’s open letter.