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Photo: ICT, by Anssi Koskinen on Flickr.

APC welcomes the focus of the Special Rapporteur on the protection and promotion of the right to freedom of opinion and expression on the responsibilities of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector to protect and promote freedom of expression in the digital age, and the opportunity to contribute to this study.

This submission takes the UN “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework and Guiding Principles (hereafter the Ruggie Principles) as the framework for considering the responsibility of the ICT sector in protecting and promoting freedom of expression in the digital age. The Ruggie Principles establish first, that the state has the duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business; second, that corporations have the responsibility to respect human rights, including by acting with due diligence to avoid infringing on human rights and addressing adverse impacts with which they are involved; and third, that there is a need for greater access by victims to effective remedy, both judicial and non-judicial.