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[liberationtech] Internet Rights at HRC24

Yosem Companys companys at stanford.edu
Fri Oct 4 11:07:21 PDT 2013


From: Shawna Finnegan <shawna at apc.org>

Hi all,

I was part of a group of
CS in Geneva for the 24th session of the Human Rights Council working
on internet rights and privacy issues, including Access, EFF, PI, HRW,
RSF and CDT.

APC, Access, RSF, EFF and PI made an oral statement
(
https://www.apc.org/en/pubs/civil-society-statement-read-apc-human-rights-coun
)
at the HRC highlighting the need to bring surveillance practices in
line with international human rights norms, and
referencing the
http://www.necessaryandproportionate.net/ principles, which were
launched in a side event during the session.

There were a number of resolutions adopted during the session, which
specifically refer to the internet and ICTs, including on equal
political participation, racial discrimination, and freedom of
peaceful assembly and of association: https://www.apc.org/en/node/18585

During the session, Pakistan on behalf of a group of countries made a
statement on mass surveillance, criticizing the IGF and calling for
the development of a new intergovernmental body on IG. B4A, PK and APC
have issued a response here:
https://www.apc.org/en/pubs/response-pakistans-submission-24th-human-rights-co

I have also written a blog post reflecting on my experience at the
HRC, which is here:
https://www.apc.org/en/blog/reflecting-human-rights-council-space-halt-mass-su

My general sense from the session, and meetings with government
delegates, was that while there is concern for the respect of human
rights in carrying out surveillance, national security concerns, and
insufficient pressure from internet users at the grassroots level, are
seriously impeding concrete action by States. The fact that States are
now bringing debates around the future of IG into discussion of
privacy and freedom of expression at the HRC could be seen positively,
 mainstreaming IG discussion, but I think these statements could also
further complicate and slow down action to hold government and private
actors accountable for their surveillance policies and practices.

I am very interested to hear others' perspectives on recent
developments in internet-related human rights discussion, not only at
the HRC, but also the UNGA, including Dilma's Rousseff's statement,
and other spaces.

Thanks and best wishes,

Shawna
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