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Strasbourg, 16 January 2007

MC-S-IS(2006)022

 

PDF

GROUP OF SPECIALISTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS
IN THE INFORMATION SOCIETY

(MC-S-IS)

______

6th meeting
4 and 5 December 2006
Human Rights Building, Strasbourg
Room of the Directorate General
______

REPORT
______

Item 1 of the agenda: Presentation by Mr Jan Kleijssen, Director, Directorate II, Directorate General of Human Rights

Mr Kleijssen informed the Group of the difficulties regarding the budgetary situation of the Council of Europe and the importance of producing high quality intergovernmental work. In this context, he underlined the importance of the opportunities offered by the far reaching nature of the Group’s work.

Item 2 of the agenda: Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda

The Group of Specialists on Human Rights in the Information Society (MC-S-IS) held its 6th meeting in Strasbourg on 4 and 5 December 2006. In the absence of both the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, and following the proposal and agreement of the Group, Mr Thomas Schneider (Switzerland) chaired the meeting.

Item 3 of the agenda: Decisions of the CDMC of interest to the work of the MC-S-IS

The Group took note of the results of the CDMC’s 4th meeting, held in Strasbourg from 28 November to 1 December 2006, including their agreement on the new terms of reference of the Groups of Specialists1 to be submitted for approval to the Committee of Ministers 31 January 2007.

Item 4 of the agenda: Other information of interest to the work of the MC-S-IS

    Internet Governance Forum (Athens, 30 October to 2 November 2006)

The Secretariat informed the Group of the Council of Europe’s (written) contributions to, and its participation during, the Internet Governance Forum which included the participation of its experts2 as panellists both in the main plenary sessions on "openness" and "security" and in several other workshops one of which was organised by the Organisation itself3; all of which brought a strong human rights dimension to the event and established the Council of Europe as a fully-fledged partner in the IGF process.

In preparation for the next IGF, to be held in Rio de Janeiro from 12 to 15 November 2007, the Group took note of the need to bear in mind the importance of transferable standards, guidelines and tools for key state and non-state actors in order to promote the practical understanding of, and compliance with, rights, freedoms and responsibilities on the Internet.
Follow-up to the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
The Secretariat informed the Group of its contributions to, and the general outcome of, the UNESCO meetings on action lines C9 on "Media" and C10 on "the ethical dimension of the Information Society"4. The Group took note that much of the discussion and planned follow-up in these fields will focus on many areas of the Organisation’s acquis and on-going work in the field of the media and new communication services.

    Ad-hoc Committee on E-democracy (CAHDE)

    Mr Mats Lindberg, Co-Secretary to the Ad-hoc Committee on E-democracy (CAHDE) provided information regarding inter alia the media dimension of e-democracy and the links with the CDMC and its subordinate bodies.

    Mr Lindberg transmitted the comments of CAHDE representatives regarding the review of Recommendation No. R (99) 15 on media coverage of election campaigns in the light of the development of digital broadcasting services and other new communication services, most notably:

    - the increased growth of internet-only television and radio (and their delivery in the future using the same equipment which people use to watch television) poses a challenge to regulatory frameworks;

    - the possibility of referring to new media linked to the Internet;

    - the challenge to the Recommendation’s reference to opinion polls;

    - reference to the recommendations of the Forum des droits de l’Internet on acceptable usage of the Internet during electoral campaigns5 and of the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés6 regarding political campaigning during election periods and the usage and protection of personal data.

    The Group took note of this information and of the forthcoming Forums for the Future of Democracy which will take place in Sweden, from 13 to 15 June 2007, and in Spain, in Autumn 2008.

Items 5 and 9 of the agenda: Decisions of the Committee of Ministers of interest to the work of the MC-S-IS and

the Pan-European Forum on Human Rights in the Information Society: Empowering children and young people (Yerevan, 5 and 6 October 2006)

The Group took note of the Committee of Ministers adoption of Recommendation (2006) 012 on empowering children in the new information and communications environment7 and of the results of the Pan-European Forum, namely the Action Lines and General Report which the CDMC has invited the Committee of Ministers to take note of.

The Chairperson encouraged the Group to take action to facilitate the translation, discussion and implementation of these texts in their respective countries and to report back on their progress at the 7th meeting of the MC-S-IS in Strasbourg on 26 and 27 March 2007. The Secretariat underlined the importance of the human rights dimension of children’s literacy and training with regard to information communication services and technologies.

As regards the Forum, the Secretariat thanked the representative of Armenia, Mr David Sandukhchyan, for his support in co-chairing this event.

Action: for the Group to take action to facilitate the translation, discussion and implementation of the Forum texts, namely the Action Lines and General Report, and to report back to the Group at its 7th meeting.

Item 6 of the agenda: Reviewing Recommendation No. R (99) 15 on media coverage of election campaigns in the light of the development of digital broadcasting services and other new communication services

At the invitation of the Secretariat, the independent expert consultant, Mr Wolf Ludwig (Switzerland), presented his research and findings regarding the Recommendation in the light of the development of digital broadcasting services and other new communication services8.

The Chairperson invited the Group to work out further revision of the Recommendation in informal working group sessions.

Several members of the Group, together with Mr Ludwig and the Secretariat, met and prepared a revised and updated draft Recommendation which was later presented, discussed and generally agreed upon by the Group9 10 11.

The Chairperson invited the Group to consider the revised and updated draft Recommendation and thereafter provide comments to the Secretariat at the latest by 15 February 2007.

Action: for the Group to examine the revised and updated version of the draft Recommendation and, where necessary, to send their comments to the Secretariat at the latest by 15 February 2007.

Item 7 of the agenda: (Draft) guidelines on the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in the Information Society
The representatives from Austria and Armenia, with the assistance of the Secretariat, presented their revised draft guidelines. The Group provided useful comments regarding the need to refer to, and distinguish the text from, the principles contained in the outcome documents of the World Summit on the Information Society, and to the need to make clearer and more specific reference to the roles and responsibilities of state and non-state actors addressed.

The Chairperson concluded by inviting the representatives from Austria, Armenia and the Netherlands, together with the Secretariat, to rework the draft guidelines based on the discussions. The Chairperson invited the Group to examine this revised draft and to send comments to the Secretariat at the latest by 15 February 2007.

Action:

- for the Secretariat to revise the draft guidelines in the light of the comments made by the Group and to make this available to the Group as soon as possible;

- for the Group to examine the revised version of the draft guidelines and, where necessary, to send their comments to the Secretariat at the latest by 15 February 2007.

Item 8 of the agenda: Following the implementation of 2003 Declaration on freedom of communication on the Internet by the member States

The representative of Bulgaria presented a revised synthesis of her analysis and findings of the 16 responses received to the questionnaire on the Declaration. The Group took note of, and generally concurred with the proposed conclusion that there was general compliance with the Declaration and that there was no need to generally revise nor develop the instrument further.

The Group agreed to complete its work by preparing a report on their findings and discussions regarding member states’ compliance with the Declaration. The Chairperson invited the representative of Bulgaria and the (absent) representative of the Netherlands, with the assistance of the Secretariat, to prepare this report in order for the Group to provide their comments to the Secretariat at the latest by 15 February 2007.

Action:

- for the representatives of Bulgaria and the Netherlands, together with the assistance of the Secretariat, to prepare a report on the implementation of the Declaration with a view to submitting it to the CDMC;

- for the Secretariat to make this report available to the Group as soon as possible;

- for the Group to examine and, where necessary, send comments on this report to the Secretariat at the latest by 15 February 2007.

Item 10 of the agenda: Developing strategies to promote digital inclusion, inter alia by means of media education

The Group discussed and took note of the proposals made by the representatives of Malta and Switzerland to insert additional information and references to human rights in each of the 21 fact sheets of the Handbook on Internet Literacy.

The Chairperson invited the representative of Malta, together with himself (as the representative of Switzerland), to consolidate and insert their merged proposals into each fact sheet in order for these to be sent to the Group, via the Secretariat, for their comments and other proposals, including possible reference and links to local content and to new fact sheets, which should be sent to the Secretariat at the latest by 15 February 2007.

Action:

- for the representatives of Switzerland and Malta to prepare a revised consolidated version of their proposals;

- for the Secretariat to make this revised version of their proposals available to the Group as soon as possible;

- for the Group to examine the revised version of their proposals and to send any comments to the Secretariat at the latest by 15 February 2007.

Item 11 of the agenda: Other business

Future meetings of the MC-S-IS:

The Group took note that of the planned meetings of the MC-S-IS in 2007 which will be held at the Palais de l’Europe12, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, on 26 and 27 March 2007 and 17 and 18 September 200713.

Noting the reduction in the overall number of its future annual meetings (from three to two meetings in 2007), the Group considered it desirable, subject to available financing, for at least one of its meetings in 2007 and/or 2008 to be extended from two to three days in duration. This additional day could be used to hold open consultations (e.g. with private sector actors) with other interested stakeholders on certain areas of the Group’s work.

Terms of reference for 2007 and 2008:

The Group also took note of the proposed terms of reference and discussed the most effective working methods in order to implement them. The Chairperson considered that there was a need to create informal working groups on each of its elements to facilitate their development and discussion.

Action:

The Group agreed on the need to work together between meetings of the MC-S-IS in order to prepare discussion papers and/or draft reports and, thereafter, to report back to the Group. On this basis, the following representatives of the Group agreed to participate in the following informal working groups14:

Representatives of Bulgaria and Turkey to work on: (i) the preparation of a standard-setting instrument which promotes a coherent pan-European level of protection for children from harmful content when using new communication technologies and services and the Internet, while ensuring freedom of expression and the free flow of information (cf. items 17, 19 and 23 of the Kyiv Action Plan), and (ii) the follow-up to Recommendation Rec (2006)12 on empowering children in the new information and communications environment (cf. items 23 of the Kyiv Action Plan);

Representative of Austria to work on: the preparation of a report on the use and impact of technical filtering measures for various types of content in the online environment, with particular regard to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and, if appropriate, make concrete proposals (e.g. in the form of a draft standard-setting instrument) for further action in this area (cf. items 19 and 23 of the Kyiv Action Plan);

Representative of Switzerland to work on: the examination of the respect for human dignity in the new communication services and, if appropriate, make concrete proposals for further action designed to complement or reinforce existing standards in this area (cf. item 27 of the Kyiv Action Plan);

Representatives of Malta, Norway and Slovakia to work on: the preparation of a report on emerging issues and trends in respect of, on the one hand, the protection of intellectual property rights and technical protection measures in the context of the development of new communication and information services (and the Internet) and, on the other hand, the fundamental right to freedom of expression and free flow of information, access to knowledge and education, the promoting of research and scientific development and the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions and artistic creation and, if appropriate, make concrete proposals for further action in this area (cf. item 18 of the Kyiv Action Plan);

Representative of Bulgaria and the Secretariat to work on: the follow-up Council of Europe work on Internet governance and on the implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society action lines regarding the media (C9) and the ethical dimensions of the Information Society (C10);

Representative of Armenia to work on: the development of tools to assist key state and non-state actors in their practical understanding of, and compliance with, human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Information Society in particular with regard to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (cf. items 19 and 23 of the Kyiv Action Plan).

The Chairperson invited the representatives of these informal working groups to contact each other and to work together to develop and prepare discussion papers and/or draft reports on the abovementioned elements of the terms of reference and to send their discussion papers and reports to Secretariat at the latest by 15 February 2007.

* * *

List of participants

MEMBER STATES/ETATS MEMBRES

Albania/Albanie
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr. Taulant TOPCIU, Desk Officer in the Press and Information Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Armenia/Arménie
Mr David SANDUKHCHYAN, Head of Legal Department, Project Manager, Internews Armenia

Austria/Autriche
Mr Michael TRUPPE, Federal Chancellery, Constitutional Service, VIENNA

Belgium/Belgique
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Ms Alexandra KRICK, Ministère de la Communauté française de Belgique, BRUXELLES

Bulgaria/Bulgarie
Ms Zornitza ANGUELOVA, Ministry of Transport and Communications, SOFIA

Ms Nelly STOYANOVA, Ministry of Transport and Communications, SOFIA

Finland/Finlande
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Ms Kristina HAUTALA-KAJOS, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Education and Culture, Science and Culture, HELSINKI

Greece/Grèce
Mme Maria GIANNAKAKI, Press Attaché, Permanent Representation of Greece to the Council of Europe, Press Office, STRASBOURG, France

Malta/Malte
Mr Hubert THEUMA, Senior Counsel for the Republic, handling Human Rights litigation as well as Intellectual Property issues, Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, VALETTA

Moldova
Mrs Dorina ROMAN, Head of Mass Media and Public Relations Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CHISINAU

The Netherlands/Pays-Bas
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Ms Heleen JANSSEN, Ministry of the Interior, DEN HAAG

Norway/Norvège
Mr Bengt HERMANSEN, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Cultural and Church Affairs, OSLO

Portugal
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Russian Federation
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Slovakia/Slovaquie
Mr Zeljko SAMPOR, Media Department, Ministry of Culture, BRATISLAVA

Switzerland/Suisse
Mr Thomas SCHNEIDER , Service des Affaires internationales, Office fédéral de la communication, BIENNE

Turkey/Turquie
Mr Mehmet Bora SÖNMEZ Radio and Television Supreme Council, ANKARA

Ukraine
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

United Kingdom/Royaume-Uni
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

OTHER PARTICIPANTS / AUTRES PARTICIPANTS

Parliamentary Assembly / Assemblée Parlementaire
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe / Congrès des Pouvoirs Locaux et Régionaux de l'Europe
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

European Audiovisual Observatory/Observatoire européen de l’Audiovisuel
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Wolfgang CLOSS, Executive Director

European Commission/Commission européenne
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
M. Gilbert DUBOIS, Chef de l'Unité de coordination pour le Conseil de l'Europe, BRUXELLES, Belgique

CDDH
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

OBSERVERS /OBSERVATEURS

Canada

Holy See/Saint-Siège
Monsieur Louis TER STEEG

Japan/Japon

Mexico/Mexique

United States of America/Etats-Unis d’Amérique

Nordic Council of Ministers/Conseil nordique des Ministres

Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) / Organisation pour la Sécurité et la Coopération en Europe (OSCE)
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Alliance for a Media Literate Europe
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT)/Association des Télévisions Commerciales Européennes (ACT)
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

European Digital Rights in Europe (EDRI)
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

European Federation of Journalists / Fédération européenne des Journalistes
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

European Newspaper Publishers’ Association / Association européenne des éditeurs de journaux (ENPA)
Mr Henrik MUNTHE, Attorney at Law, Norwegian Businesses' Association, Member of ENPA, OSLO, Norway

EuroISPA
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mr Richard NASH, Secretary General, BRUSSELS, Belgium

Europol
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

European Schoolnet / INSAFE
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Association of Internet Hotline Providers in Europe/INHOPE
Mr Denton HOWARD, Coordinator – INHOPE, International Association of Internet Hotlines, DUBLIN, Ireland

Internews
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Internet Content Rating Association
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Internews International
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

European Internet Coregulation Network / Réseau européen de co-régulation de l’Internet
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

European Broadcasting Union / Union européenne de Radio-Télévision (UER)
[Apologised/excusé(e)]
Mme Anne-Catherine BERG, Conseiller juridique

European consumers' Organisation
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

UNESCO
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

CONSULTANT

Mr Wolf LUDWIG, Journalist, Author, NEUCHÂTEL, Suisse

SECRETARIAT

Mr Jan KLEIJSSEN, Director of Directorate II - Directorate General of Human Rights - DG II

Mr Jan MALINOWSKI, Head of Media Division, Directorate General of Human Rights - DG II/ Chef de la Division Media, Direction Générale des Droits de l’Homme - DG II (Secretary to the Committee/Secrétaire du Comité)

Mr Lee HIBBARD, Administrator, Media Division, Directorate General of Human Rights – DG II/Administrateur, Division Media, Direction Générale des Droits de l’Homme - DG II

Mr Mats LINDBERG, Co-Secretary to the Ad-hoc Committee on E-democracy (CAHDE)

INTERPRETERS/INTEPRETES

Mme Pascale MICHLIN

Mr Christopher TYCZKA

***

Appendix II

Agenda

1. Presentation by Mr Jan Kleijssen, Director, Directorate II - Directorate General of Human Rights

2. Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda

3. Decisions of the CDMC of interest to the work of the MC-S-IS

4. Other information of interest to the work of the MC-S-IS

5. Decisions of the Committee of Ministers of interest to the work of the MC-S-IS

6. Reviewing Recommendation No. R (99) 15 on media coverage of election campaigns in the light of the development of digital broadcasting services and other new communication services

7. (Draft) guidelines on the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in the Information Society

8. Following the implementation of 2003 Declaration on freedom of communication on the Internet by the member States

9. 2006 Pan-European Forum on Human Rights in the Information Society: Empowering children and young people (Yerevan, 5 and 6 October 2006).

10. Developing strategies to promote digital inclusion, inter alia by means of media education

11. Other business

1 CDMC (2006) 017 add1rev.

2 The participating Council of Europe experts were: Senator Paschal Mooney, Government Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs (Ireland), broadcaster/journalist, human rights activist; Mrs Hanne Sophie Greve, Justice (Norway), former judge at the European Court of Human Rights; Professor dr. Dirk Voorhoof, Ghent University-Belgium/Copenhagen University-Denmark (Belgium); Professor dr. Yves Poullet (Belgium), Director of the CRID - University of Namur-Belgium. In addition, the following took part in the Council of Europe workshop: Ms Rikke Frank Jørgensen, Senior adviser, The Danish Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen (Denmark); Mr Fred Tipson, Senior Policy Counsel and Director for International Development Policy, Microsoft, US.

3 Council of Europe workshop on human rights and the Internet: how anonymous can and should we be? (Athens, 1 November 2006).

4 These and other WSIS action lines are appended to the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society that was adopted during the Second Phase of the WSIS in Tunis in November 2005.

5 See http://www.foruminternet.org and http://foruminternet.org/activities_evenements/lire.phtml?id=148

6 http://www.cnil.fr/index/php?id=2132

7 The Recommendation was adopted on the occasion of the 974th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies.

8 See Mr Ludwig’s discussion paper (MC-S-IS(2006)017) and powerpoint presentation.

9 MC-S-IS(2006)009rev3.

10 The representative of the Slovak Republic indicated his reservation to these proposals.

11 The representative of ENPA supported the concerns of the representative of the Slovak Republic.

12 Please take note that the Palais de l’Europe is the headquarters of the Council of Europe nearby to the Palais des Droits de l’Homme.

13 Please take note that the proposed dates announced during the meeting (i.e. 17 and 18 October 2007) have since changed and are now 17 and 18 September 2007.

14 Representatives of the Group who were absent for this meeting are invited to join these working groups.