Empowering Internet Users – which tools?

06 November 2012 - A Workshop on Baku,Azerbaijan


Theme Question:

Freedom of expression and free flow of information: how do legal framework, regulations, and principles impact this?

Concise Description of Workshop:

Offline rights are online rights. Both governmental and non-governmental actors agree that the international corpus of human rights and fundamental freedoms remains valid and applicable to activities on, and access to, the Internet. There is, however, a shared feeling in different Internet communities that there is a need to elaborate further on how the Internet has shaped the application of existing human rights standards, and how accepted rights can shape the Internet. In light of the different collections of Internet Governance principles developed in 2011, stakeholders are in need of orientation as to how rights and freedoms can be actualised on the Internet and how their exercise and enjoyment can be fully ensured in online environments. Numerous initiatives by different actors have focused on this particular issue. The Internet Rights & Principles Coalition (IRP) has elaborated 10 Internet Rights and Principles and a Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet. There are also community collaborative projects such as 10 draft principles for global free speech launched by Timothy Garton Ash and an international team based at Oxford University, We The Web Kids – Manifesto, the Internet Blueprint and many others. The Council of Europe pursuant to its Internet Governance Strategy 2012-2015, will work on a compendium of existing human rights for Internet users to help them in communicating with and seeking effective recourse to key Internet actors and government agencies when they consider their rights and freedoms have been adversely affected. The IGF provides an opportunity to discuss the content and nature of tools which would best serve the goals of enabling and empowering users to fully exercise and enjoy their rights on the Internet. The workshop is thus a place where synergies among stakeholders can be explored and strategies discussed.