The Internet and Human Rights

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  • by Anup Shah
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The Internet is the new medium for communications. It has been ideal to learn more information and get connected to others with similar interests. It has allowed more participation in social issues and even helped see the temporary derailing1 of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, as well as promoting a number of large campaigns on a number of global, social issues.

However, while it may be easier to disseminate and receive diverse information, it is also subject to censorship itself, often by countries with political objectives in mind.

Another particular area of controversy is racial prejudice2 and free speech -- the argument for one to say what they want on the grounds of free speech compared to the ability to legislate against works that incite racial or ethnic hatred.

For more information on this issue you can start off at the following:

  • Human Rights Watch has a great section regarding Free Expression on the Internet3 with various reports on censorship, human rights and the internet, cryptography and so on. It is definitely worth checking out.
  • Index on Censorship has a list of additional web sites4 following this issue.
  • The Global Internet Liberty Campaign5 also brings together a number of these issues.
  • Digital Opportunity6 also raises issues related to the empowering of people and communities using information technology. Many issues related to rights, such as the right to information, the issue of access, the "digital divide" etc are looked at.

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  • by Anup Shah
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