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Governments, companies, and other stakeholders can collaborate to protect rights to freedom of expression and privacy online, according to the authors of “Digital Freedoms in International Law: Practical Steps to Protect Human Rights Online” released today. The report, co-authored by Dr. Ian Brown and Professor Douwe Korff, examines the challenges facing governments and technology companies as they balance rights to expression and privacy with law enforcement and national security responsibilities.
"We hope this report will help governments and companies protect human rights and public safety online, especially in countries where the Internet is playing a key role in political debate and activism," said Dr. Brown.
The report draws from extensive research conducted by co-authors Dr. Brown and Professor Korff, including multi-stakeholder consultations held in London, Washington, and New Delhi.
"The new global-digital environment poses challenges to the application of traditional human rights standards, for states, companies and NGOs,” said Professor Korff. “In our report, we have tried to identify those challenges and formulate tentative recommendations on how to meet them. We hope this will lead to a wide debate, involving all stakeholders.'"
“GNI commissioned this report in order to engage on some of the most difficult and complicated questions about how to protect freedom of expression and privacy rights,” said GNI Executive Director Susan Morgan. “We hope it provokes a dialogue and debate that, over time, leads to practical steps that make a positive difference in how governments, companies, and other stakeholders address these issues.”
To download the executive summary, click here.
To download the full report, click here.
GNI is a multi-stakeholder group of companies, civil society organizations (including human rights and press freedom groups), investors and academics, who have created a collaborative approach to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector. GNI provides resources for ICT companies to help them address difficult issues related to freedom of expression and privacy that they may face anywhere in the world. GNI has created a framework of principles and a confidential, collaborative approach to working through challenges of corporate responsibility in the ICT sector.