States’ use of blocking or filtering technologies is frequently in violation of their obligation to guarantee the right to freedom of expression…
The types of action taken by States to limit the dissemination of content online not only include measures to prevent information from reaching the end-user, but also direct targeting of those who seek, receive and impart politically sensitive information via the
Internet. Physically silencing criticism or dissent through arbitrary arrests and detention, enforced disappearance, harassment and intimidation is an old phenomenon, and also applies to Internet users. This issue has been explored in the Special Rapporteur’s report to the General Assembly under the section on “protection of citizen journalists” (A/65/284). Such actions are often aimed not only to silence legitimate expression, but also to intimidate a population to push its members towards self-censorship.
The Special Rapporteur remains concerned that legitimate online expression is being criminalized in contravention of States’ international human rights obligations, whether it is through the application of existing criminal laws to online expression, or through the creation of new laws specifically designed to criminalize expression on the Internet. Such laws are often justified on the basis of protecting an individual’s reputation, national security or countering terrorism, but in practice are used to censor content that the Government and other powerful entities do not like or agree with…
- Launch of The International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance (privacyinternational.org)
- Two sides of the same coin – the right to privacy and freedom of expression (privacyinternational.org)
- Women bloggers face triumph & threats as they speak up on global corruption (womennewsnetwork.net)