Strasbourg, 17 May 2005

MM-S-IS(2005)006

 

PDF

GROUP OF SPECIALISTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS
IN THE INFORMATION SOCIETY

(MM-S-IS)

______

1st meeting
4 and 5 April 2005
Strasbourg, Human Rights Building

______

REPORT

______

    Introduction

    1. The Group of Specialists on Human Rights in the Information Society (MM-S-IS) held its 1st meeting in Strasbourg on 4 and 5 April 2005. The meeting was chaired by Ms Alexandra KRICK (Belgium).

    2. The list of participants appears in Appendix I. The agenda, as adopted, is reproduced in Appendix II, which also lists the working documents of the meeting.

    3. At this meeting, the Group, inter alia:

    - elected Ms Alexandra KRICK (Belgium) Chairperson and Mr Bengt Olav HERMANSEN (Norway) Vice-Chairperson for a one-year term office;

    - held an exchange of views on the results of the 7th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy (Kyiv, 10 and 11 March 2005);

    - analysed in detail its Terms of Reference with a view to taking the preliminary decisions required for launching its work;

    - were presented with the preliminary research and findings by the expert consultant, Ms Rachel O’CONNELL, of her paper provisionally entitled “The elaboration of the meaning of ‘harmful content’, as referred to in the Council of Europe instruments, in order to promote coherence in the protection of minors in all media in the Information Society”;

    - defined the framework for the pan-European Forum on Human Rights in the Information Society which is to take place during the second week of September 2005 (precise dates and place to be confirmed by the Secretariat in early May);

    - decided to hold its second meeting also during the second week of September 2005 (precise dates and place to be confirmed by the Secretariat in early May);

    - decided to hold its third meeting in Strasbourg on the 5 and 6 December 2005.

    Item 1 of the agenda: Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda

    4. Mr Lee HIBBARD, Secretary to the MM-S-IS, opened the meeting and welcomed the participants to the first meeting of the Group.

    Item 2 of the agenda: Election of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson for 2005

5. Ms Alexandra KRICK (Belgium) was elected as Chairperson and Mr Bengt Olav HERMANSEN (Norway) was elected Vice-Chairperson, both unanimously.

    Item 3 of the agenda: Exchange of views on the results of the 7th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy (Kyiv, 10 and 11 March 2005) and their impact on the future work of the MM-S-IS

    6. The Group took note of the results of the Ministerial Conference, in particular as regards Resolution No. 3 and the Action Plan sub-theme 3 on human rights and regulation of the media and new communication services in the Information Society, both of which have a bearing on the future work of the Group.

    7. Certain participants underlined the important contributions made by non-governmental organisations to the Ministerial Conference and considered that there was considerable added value in incorporating their expertise and participation, as far as possible, into the Group’s work.

    8. The Group asked the Secretariat to investigate the possibility for relevant NGOs to be involved in necessary elements of the work of the Group.

    Item 4 of the agenda: Examination of the Terms of Reference of the MM-S-IS

    9. Although the issue of copyright is not expressly referred to in the Terms of Reference, the development of new communication and information services on the protection of copyright and neighbouring rights1 was considered by several participants to be of particular pertinence to the Group’s work in particular as regards the moral aspects of copyright and the protection of property pursuant to Article 1 of the Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights.

    The Chairperson considered that further information was required in order to better understand copyright issues and invited the participants to send their written contributions to the Secretariat by the end of April 2005.

    10. The Chairperson asked the Secretariat to communicate the issues concerning copyright to the next meeting of the CDMM Bureau in order for it to decide whether copyright should be addressed by the Group as part of its Terms of Reference.

    Item 5 of the agenda: Elaboration of the meaning of “harmful content”, as referred to Council of Europe instruments, in order to promote coherence in the protection of minors in all media in the Information Society:

11. Ms Rachel O’CONNELL, expert consultant to the MM-S-IS, gave a presentation summarising the main lines of her draft paper provisionally entitled “The elaboration of the meaning of “harmful content”, as referred to in the Council of Europe instruments, in order to promote coherence in the protection of minors in all media in the Information Society”.

12. There were active discussions which resulted in a number of suggestions for the paper to incorporate the following comments:

- the problems arising from gaps in the various regulatory systems for media content which is capable of crossing over from one medium to another (e.g. the regulation of on-line gaming content in a mobile phone environment);

    - making reference to the European Convention on Transfrontier Television and the “Television Without Frontiers” Directive;

- highlighting the many benefits of new communication technologies, such as web logs, which serve to enhance Human Rights in particular the right to freedom of expression and information pursuant to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

    13. The Group thanked Ms O’CONNELL for her excellent presentation and stated that they looked forward to receiving the text of her paper.

    Ms O’CONNELL was invited to send the first draft of her paper to the Secretariat by the end of June 2005 in order for it to be transmitted to the participants for written comments and further discussion at the second meeting of the Group in September 2005 so that it may be finalised soon thereafter.

    Item 6 of the agenda: Set up a pan-European forum on Human Rights in the Information Society, comprising member States and all other interested stakeholders, in order to:

    (i) examine the roles and responsibilities of different Internet actors so that guidelines may be developed to promote their ethical conduct and responsibility, while being respectful of freedom of expression

    14. This item was discussed together with Item 7 (ii) of the agenda.

    15. The Group took note of the main direction and proposed themes of the draft programme of the European Forum which addresses the Human Rights implications of the work carried out by key private sector actors such as Internet service providers and mobile phone operators as well as by public sector authorities.

    16. As regards the timing and venue of the Forum, the Group asked the Secretariat to investigate the possibilities of holding the event together with the second meeting of the Group in a venue other than Strasbourg as a means of maximising their impact and visibility.

    The Secretariat was also asked to inform the Group about progress made, including as regards the venue, by early May 2005.

    (ii) examine ways to promote the Council of Europe standards concerning Human Rights in the Information Society, for example through the setting-up of national contact points

    17. The Group considered it useful to encourage the setting up of national contact points in member States, where such contact points do not exist already, in order to raise awareness of the Council of Europe’s standards on Human Rights in the Information Society. It took note that such contact points could in particular serve as a point of reference and information for the Group and be used as a means of promoting the campaign for safer internet awareness in countries which do not already have such contact points. They agreed that the pan-European Forum was the logical starting-point for the development of such contacts.

    Item 7 of the agenda: Develop strategies:

    (i) to promote digital inclusion, inter alia, by means of media education

    18. The Group welcomed the written proposals made by Mr Dominic VENTER to develop and strengthen the Council of Europe Internet Literacy Handbook in order to promote digital inclusion as a means of media education in particular with regard to parents and teachers. Considering his valuable experience (in drafting part of the original version of the Handbook) and his constructive written proposals, the Group asked the Secretariat to invite Mr VENTER to update the Handbook as soon as possible. It also asked the Secretariat to invite him to present his work to the Group in its second meeting in September 2005.


    19. The Group expressed support for the translation of the updated Handbook into as many languages as possible. It decided to discuss this matter and also ways of maximising its dissemination at the second meeting of the Group in September 2005.

    (ii) to encourage respect for Council of Europe principles and standards by the different actors in the Information Society, with particular regard given to the transparency of their work in the processing and presentation of information

    See Item 6 (i) of the agenda

    Item 8 of the agenda: Examination of the implementation of the Committee of Ministers Declaration on freedom of communication on the Internet

    20. The MM-S-IS considered the Declaration and decided that the starting point for examining its implementation should be a questionnaire addressed to member States as, Internet service providers and consumer associations. It requested the Secretariat to prepare a draft to be examined and finalised by the Group at its second meeting.


    21. The Chairperson asked the Secretariat to prepare a draft questionnaire in the light of other relevant materials and resources in order for it be examined and finalised by the Group at its second meeting in September 2005.

    Item 9 of the agenda: Examination of whether the principle of Recommendation No. R (99) 15 on media coverage of election campaigns should be reviewed in the light of the development of digital broadcasting services and other new communication services.

    22. The Group considered the Recommendation and, in particular, the challenge of updating it to cover media coverage of election campaigns which lay beyond the scope of traditional print and electronic media.

    23. The Group asked the Secretariat to prepare a draft questionnaire on the Recommendation in the light of the development of digital broadcasting services and other new communication services in order for it to be examined and finalised by the Group at its second meeting in September 2005, so that it may be sent thereafter to member States for their response.

    Item 10 of the agenda: Definition of orientations for the other future work of the MM-S-IS

    24. Several participants highlighted the importance of the Second Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), to be held in Tunis in November 2005, to the work of the Group. The Group agreed that the WSIS should be added to the Group’s agenda for its second and third meetings in September and December 2005. The Group also expressed an interest in learning more about work of the Council of Europe Multidisciplinary Ad Hoc Committee of Experts on the Information Society (CAHSI), and invited the Secretariat to inform the Group at its next meeting of the results of its work.

    Item 11 of the agenda: Other business

    25. No matters were raised under this item.

    Item 12 of the agenda: Dates of next meeting

    26. The Chairperson invited the Secretariat to confirm the precise dates of the second meeting of the Group and the pan-European Forum by early May 2005.

    27. It was agreed that the Group will hold its third meeting in Strasbourg on 5 and 6 December 2005.

    * * *

    Appendix I

    List of participants

    MEMBER STATES/ETATS MEMBRES

    Albania/Albanie
    <Apologised/Excusée>
    Ms Lidra ZEGALI, Director of the Press and Information Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bull “Gjergj Fishta N° 6", TIRANA

    Armenia/Arménie

    Mr David SANDUKCHIAND, Head of Legal Department, Project Manager, Internews Armenia, 3 Arshakunjats ave., 3rd floor, AM-375023 YEREVAN

    Austria/Autriche

    Mr Matthias TRAIMER, Director of the Media and Information Society Department, Federal Chancellery, Constitutional Service, Ballhausplatz 2, A-1014 VIENNA

    Belgium/Belgique

    Ms Alexandra KRICK, Ministère de la Communauté française de Belgique, 44 Boulevard Leopold II, B-1080 BRUXELLES

    Bulgaria/Bulgarie

    Ms Nelly STOYANOVA, Head of Sector, Information Society Development, Ministry of Transport and Communications, 9 rue Diakon Ignatii, BG-1000 SOFIA

    Mme Zornitza ANGUELOVA, Expert supérieur, Département Société de l’Information et Technologies de l’Information, Ministère du Transport et des Communications, 9 rue Diakon Ignatii, BG-1000 SOFIA

    Finland/Finlande

    Ms Kristina HAUTALA-KAJOS, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Education and Culture, Science and Culture, Meritullinkatu 10, PO Box 29,.00023 Government, FIN-00171 HELSINKI

    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, Palace Square, VALETTA CMR02

    Moldova
    <Apologised/Excusé>
    M. Iurie VITION, Deputy Head of Mass Media Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, No. 80, 31 August Street, Ministerul Afacerilor Externe, MD 2012 CHISINAU

    Norway/Norvège

    Mr Bengt Olav HERMANSEN, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Cultural and Church Affairs, PO Box 8030 Dep. NO-0030 OSLO

    Portugal
    <Apologised/Excusé>
    M. José Manuel MENDES, Alta Autoridade para Comunicaçao Social, Av D. Carlos I, 130 , 6°, 1249-068 LISBONNE

    Slovakia/Slovaquie

    Mr Zeljko SAMPOR, Media Department, Ministry of Culture, Nám. SNP 33, SK - 813 31 BRATISLAVA

    Turkey/Turquie

    Mr Mehmet Bora SÖNMEZ Radio and Television Supreme Council, Bilkent Plaza B2 Blok, 06530 Bilkent, TR-ANKARA

    Ukraine

    Ms Maryna ZLOBINA, Information Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mykhaykurska square 1, UA-01018 KYIV

    United Kingdom/Royaume-Uni

    Mr Nigel HICKSON, Head of the Trade and Industry Department, ICT EU Policy, 151 Buckingham Palace Road, LONDON

    OTHER PARTICIPANTS / AUTRES PARTICIPANTS

    Parliamentary Assembly / Assemblée Parlementaire

    Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe / Congrès des Pouvoirs Locaux et Régionaux de l'Europe
    [Apologised/Excusé]
    European Commission/Commission européenne
    [Apologised/Excusé]

    CDDH

    Mr Ignacio BLASCO LOZANO, Government Agent, Abogacia des Estado ante el TEDH, Abogacia General del Estado, Ministry of Justice, c/Marquès del Duero, 4, ES-28001 MADRID, Spain

    PROJECT « GOOD GOVERNANCE IN THE INFORMATION SOCIETY »

    Mr Michael REMMERT, Project manager

    OBSERVERS /OBSERVATEURS

    Canada

    Holy See/Saint-Siège
    <Apologised/Excusé>
    R. Père Gabriel NISSIM

    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]

    Alliance for a Media Literate Europe
    [Apologised/Excusé]

    Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) /
    Association des Télévisions Commerciales Européennes (ACT)

    Ms Julie RUFF, Chargée d'Affaires européennes et de la Communication, ACT, Rue Joseph II n° 9-13, BE-1000 BRUSSELS, Belgium

    European Audiovisual Observatory / Observatoire européen de l'audiovisuel

    European Broadcasting Union / Union Européenne de Radio-Télévision
    [Apologised/Excusé]
    Mr Jacques BRIQUEMONT, Head of Public Affairs, Union Européenne de Radio-Télévision, Rue Wiertz 50, B - 1050 BRUXELLES, Belgium

    European consumers’ Organisation
    <Apologised/Excusé>
    Mr Dominic FOREST

    European Federation of Journalists / Fédération européenne des Journalistes
    <Apologised/Excusé>
    Mr Gustl GLATTFELDER, Senior Adviser, European Federation of Journalists, IPC-Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi 155, B-1040 BRUSSELS / Haupstr. 10, D-77836 RHEINMÜNSTER, Germany

    European Newspaper Publishers’ Association / Association européenne des éditeurs de journaux

    Ms Santha RASAIAH, European Newspaper Publishers Association, 29, rue des Pierres, BE-1000 BRUXELLES, Belgique / Direct contact address: The Newspaper Society, Bloomsbury House, 74-77 Great Russell Street, LONDON, United Kingdom

    EuroISPA
    <Apologised/Excusé>
    Mr Richard NASH

    Europol
    [Apologised/Excusé]

    European Schoolnet / INSAFE

    Ms Janice RICHARDSON, European Schoolnet, Insafe Project Manager, 61 rue de Treves, B-1040 BRUSSELS, Belgium

    Association of Internet Hotline Providers in Europe

    Mr Ian BROWN, Co-ordination of global hotlines, INHOPE Association, PO Box 3010, GORING BN12 4WF, United Kingdom

    Internews

    Mr Taras SHEVCHENKO, Lawyer, Internews Ukraine

    Internet content Rating Association

    Réseau européen de co-régulation de l’Internet

    M. Mathieu LERONDEAU, Chargé de mission, European Internet Coregulation Network / Forum des droits sur l'Internet, 6 rue Déodat de Séveac, FR-75017 PARIS, France

    UNESCO
    <Apologise/Excusée>
    Ms Elisabeth LONGWORTH

    CONSULTANT

    Ms Rachel O’Connell;Clovelly Drive, PR1 0QX, PRESTON

    SECRETARIAT

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

    Ms Franziska KLOPFER, Trainee, Media Division, Directorate General of Human Rights – DG II/Stagiaire, Division Media, Direction Générale des Droits de l’Homme - DG II

    INTERPRETERS/INTEPRETES

    Mme Christine FARCOT
    Mr Olivier OBRECHT
    Mme Christine TRAPP

    * * *

    Appendix II

    Agenda

    1. Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda

    Working document:

    - Draft agenda
    (Document MM-S-IS (2005) OJ 1)

    2. Election of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson for 2005

    Working document:

    - Election of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson
    (Document MM-S-IS (2005) 1)

    3. Exchange of views on the results of the 7th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy (Kyiv, 10-11 March 2005) and their impact on the future work of the MM-S-IS

    Information document:

    - Texts adopted at the 7th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy, including:

      . Resolution No. 3 on Human rights and regulation of the media and new communication services in the Information Society

      . Action Plan Sub-theme 3 (Human rights and regulation of the media and new communication services in the Information Society)

    (Document MCM (2005) 5)

    4. Examination of the terms of reference of the MM-S-IS

    Working documents:

    - Compendium of the terms of reference of the CDMM and its subordinate bodies
    (Document CDMM (2005) 2)

    - Extracts from the report of the 63rd meeting of the CDMM (9 March 2005)
    (Document MM-S-IS (2005) 2)

    - Draft work plan for the Groups of Specialists subordinate to the CDMM for 2005
    (Document CDMM (2005) 3)

    Information document:

    - Timetable of meetings of the CDMM and its subordinate bodies for 2005
    (Document CDMM (2004) 13)

    5. Definition of “harmful content”, as referred to Council of Europe instruments, in order to promote coherence in the protection of minors in all media in the Information Society

    Ms Rachel O’Connell (Ireland), Consultant expert.

    Working document:

    - Outline paper of consultant report
    (Document MM-S-IS (2005) 3)

    6. Set up a pan-European forum on Human Rights in the Information Society, comprising member States and all other interested stakeholders, in order to:

    (i) examine the roles and responsibilities of different Internet actors so that guidelines may be developed to promote their ethical conduct and responsibility, while being respectful of freedom of expression

    Working document:

    - Draft agenda for Pan-European Forum on [Key Actors in the Information Society: how responsible and transparent should they be?] (place to be confirmed, 22-23 September 2005)
    (Document MM-S-IS (2005) 4)

    (ii) examine ways to promote the Council of Europe standards concerning Human Rights in the Information Society, for example through the setting-up of national contact points

    7. Develop strategies:

    (i) to promote digital inclusion, inter alia by means of media education

    Working documents:

    - Council of Europe Internet Literacy Handbook

    - Proposals of Mr Dominic Venter to update and develop the Handbook
    (Document MM-S-IS (2005) 5)

    (ii) to encourage respect for Council of Europe principles and standards by the different actors in the Information Society, with particular regard given to the transparency of their work in the processing and presentation of information

    8. Examination of the implementation of the Committee of Ministers Declaration on freedom of communication on the Internet

    Information document:

    - Committee of Ministers Declaration on freedom of communication on the Internet (2003)

    9. Examination of whether the principle of Recommendation No. R (99) 15 on media coverage of election campaigns should be reviewed in the light of the development of digital broadcasting services and other new communication services.

    Information document:

    - Recommendation No. R (99) 15 on media coverage of election campaigns

    10. Definition of orientations for the other future work of the MM-S-IS

    Working documents:

    - Compendium of the terms of reference of the CDMM and its subordinate bodies
    (Document CDMM (2005) 2)

    - Extracts from the report of the 63rd meeting of the CDMM (9 March 2005)
    (Document MM-S-IS (2005) 2)

    - Draft work plan for the Groups of Specialists subordinate to the CDMM for 2005
    (Document CDMM (2005) 3)

    11. Other business

    12. Dates of next meeting


1 Point 18, sub-theme 3 of the Action Plan on human rights and regulation of the media and new communication services in the Information Society of the 7th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy (Kyiv, 10 and 11 March 2005).