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Policy Document
Transnational

Joint Declaration by the UN and OAS Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression (20 January 2012)

Joint Declaration by the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the IACHR-OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, UN and OAS (20 January 2012) (Catalina Botero and Frank LaRue)
The Special Rapporteurs were particularly concerned about then-pending US legislation, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act. Specifically, the creation of extrajudicial notice-and-termination procedures requiring a website to police user-generated content and targeting entire websites for even small portions of its content, that have potential impact on freedom of speech. At that time, the Special Rapporteurs were encouraged to see that Congress and the Obama Administration backed away from SOPA and reaffirmed they would not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression on the Internet. The summary of this document is part of the report produced on the Stanford Law School Intermediary Liability and Human Rights Policy Practicum and is based on the work of Mirena Taskova. The full report...
Paper/Research
Transnational

Freedom of Expression on the Internet, OSCE (2010) (Yaman Akdeniz)

A study of legal provisions and practices related to freedom of expression, the free flow of information and media pluralism on the Internet in OSCE participating States
There are 56 members of the OSCE out of which 46 participated in this survey. The survey contained questions that would help ascertain existing legislative provisions for regulation of internet content and also related government practices. The study tried to ascertain the effect of the practices and regulations on freedom of expression. The four corners of the study are: internet access; internet content regulation; blocking, filtering, and content removals; and licensing and liability related issues, and hotlines to report illegal content (Page 14). In relation to blocking, the study attempts to create a comparative analysis that contemplates: legal provisions which require closing down and/or blocking access to websites or any other types of Internet content legal provisions which require blocking access to web 0...
Policy Document
Transnational

General Comment No. 34 on Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Document published by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (2011)
This General Comment offers guidelines to States on what the freedoms of opinion and expression mean in a series of current contexts. The Committee places a particular emphasis on explaining that the exceptions to Article 19 could be applied in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The Committee says that the obligation to respect freedom of opinion and expression is binding on every part of the State as a whole (Paragraph 7), which means that it applies also to administrative agencies. At the same time, it draws a link between public and private action in light of the States’ obligation to ensure that citizens are protected from any acts, including by private entities that may impair freedom of opinion and expression (Paragraph 7). The Committee also interprets Article 19...
Policy Document
Transnational

UN Freedom of Expression Report, Document No.: A/66/290 (August 2011)

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression (Frank La Rue)
This report has been prepared pursuant to UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolutions 7/36 and 16/4. The report deals with two aspects of the internet, access to content online and access to internet connection, with a focus on the types of expression that can be permissibly restricted by the State to comply with international human rights law. The Rapporteur recognizes the concerns in relation to privacy, specifically who collects personal information, the duration of storing such information and the way such information is used. The report refers to A/HRC/17/27 to highlight the Government’s role in “fully protecting the right to privacy of all individuals” without which the right to freedom and expression cannot be enjoyed” (Paragraph 11). The international law regime to protect right to freedom and expression is...
Policy Document
Transnational

Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and the Internet (1 June 2011)

Joint Declaration signed by Frank LaRue, Dunja Mijatović, Catalina Botero Marino, and Faith Pansy Tlakula
Participating organizations : The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media, the Organization of American States (OAS) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (herein referred to as the “Organizations”). This document summarizes the main guiding principles and rules for promoting the freedom of expression agreed by and between the Organizations via the Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and the Internet (the “Declaration”). The Declaration is adopted by taking into consideration that: (a) freedom of expression is of significant importance...
Policy Document
Transnational

UN Freedom of Expression Report, Document No. A/HRC/17/27 (May 2011)

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression (Frank La Rue)
This report summarizes the findings of the Special Rapporteur that came from a series of communications, meetings, seminars, and country visits. The report highlights the fact that Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (‘UDHR’) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (‘ICCPR’) were crafted broadly enough to encompass freedom of opinion and expression on the internet and through other technological means. Categories of information that may be restricted include: child pornography, hate speech, defamation, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, and advocacy of national, racial, or religious hatred that constitutes incitement. Chapter III of the report summarizes the first principles of freedom of expression in general and on the internet. It underlines the applicability of...