U.N. Human Rights Council. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Protecting the human right to freedom of expression. I.V. Restriction of Content on the Internet. Summary.
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the
promotion and protection of the right to freedom
of opinion and expression
I.V. Restriction of Content on the Internet
must meet the strict criteria under international human rights law.
States’ use of blocking or filtering technologies is frequently in violation of their obligation to guarantee the right to freedom of expression.
Just in time blocking is used to prevent users from accessing or disseminating information at key political moments such as elections.
Social network platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are blocked.
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
Such actions are often aimed not only to silence legitimate expression, but also to intimi-
date a population to push its members towards self-censorship.
There is concern that legitimate expression is being criminalized in violation of existing laws or new laws being created.
One clear example of criminalizing legitimate expression is the imprisonment of bloggers around the world.
According to Freedomhouse, Vietnam is listed among the ten more repressive countries for bloggers (http://www.freedomhouse.org/images/File/FotN/Vietnam2011.pdf).
Is a distinguished feature of the Internet in the way in which information is transmitted on intermediaries who provide services and platforms to open the doors of communication between third parties either by giving access to, accommodating, or sending and indexing information.
Intermediary liability is decreed through privacy and data protection laws.
A court in Italy convicted three Google executives for violations of the Italian data protection code by way of the intermediary that permitted a video to be displayed showing cruelty to a disabled teenager through Google video service.
There are states that have initiated measures to cut off access to the internet entirely. There are concerns over the discussions centering around an “on/off” control over internet traffic.
Cyber-attacks can cripple or sabotage the functioning of a computer based system and includes hacking into programs or computer networks. Cyber-attacks cause website crashes and as a result these websites are not accessible. Often these attacks occur during political moments.
The internet has technology through which the state and private sectors can monitor and collect data concerning users’ communications and activities on the internet. This is concern to the internet users’ right to privacy.