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Internet Governance Forum, Fourth meeting IGF

 

Conference of Ministers
Reykjavik - Iceland
28-29 May 2009

 
Forum on Anti-terrorism legislation and its impact on freedom of expression and information
 
4th European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) 30 - 31 mai  2011

 

 

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Media freedom forum
 

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Article 8 - Right to respect for private and family life
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Previous News

2013

 


 


[19/0/12] Study on the alignment of laws and practices concerning defamation

This study investigates the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights on freedom of expression in the context of defamation cases and reviews Council of Europe and other international standards on defamation. It contains information on legal provisions on defamation in Council of Europe member States. It also attempts to identify trends in the development of rules on defamation, both in national legal systems and in international law, in particular as regards criminalisation of defamation.

The appendix to the study gives detailed information on the legislation and practices relating to defamation in the CoE member states as of September 2012. We welcome any information on more recent development. mail

See also the Committee of Ministers' Declaration on libel tourism, which points out that the prevention of libel tourism should be part of the reform of defamation laws in member states and calls for the creation of clear rules on applicable laws and jurisdiction in order to enhance legal predictability and certainty, in line with European Court of Human Rights' case law, and concerning the proportionality of damages in libel cases.

 

3rd meeting of the Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) - Strasbourg, 23-26 April 2013

The 3rd meeting of the CDMSI took place in Strasbourg, on 23 to 26 April 2013. The main outcome is the approval of a draft recommendation on Gender equality and media, which will soon be submitted to the Committee of Ministers for adoption. The Committee also progressed in the preparation of a Council of Europe Ministerial Conference on Freedom of expression and democracy in the digital age that will take place in Belgrade on 7 and 8 November 2013. Information on the Conference.

Karol Jakubowiczá: freedom of expression loses an inspiring voice and an indefatigable advocate

Karol JakubowiczThe Council of Europe Secretary General expresses deep sadness over the death, on 28 April, of Karol Jakubowicz. Prominent Polish professor and journalist, he chaired during several years the important work of the Steering Committee on Mass Media (CDMM), then of New Communication Services (CDMC), as well as the Standing Committee on Transfrontier Television (T-TT). It is mainly following his impetus that the Council of Europe engaged on the exploration of a new notion of media, which then became the basis for the work of other organisations as well (more...)

2011

 

02/12/2011] 15th and last meeting of the Steering Committee on Media and New Communication Services - CDMC. 29 November to 2 December 2011, Strasbourg

The CDMC approved three important standard setting texts and submitted them to the Committee of Ministers for adoption: two draft recommendations, respectively on he protection of human rights with regard to search engines and on the protection of human rights with regard to social networking services, and a draft declaration on libel tourism. An other draft remains to be finalised on gender aspects of Council of Europe standard setting texts. The CDMC also addressed the work for its successor Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) and opened the preparation of a specialised ministerial conference to be organised in 2013.

 

[08/11/2011] Council of Europe alerts against pressure and attacks on new media, whistleblowers and human rights defenders websites

Strasbourg, 08.11.2011 – The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers today alerted its member states about the risks to the rights to freedom of expression and association that may be created by politically motivated pressure on Internet platforms and online service providers. It also expressed concern about the threat to these rights caused by cyber attacks against websites of independent media, whistleblowers, human right defenders and dissidents.

In a Declaration the Committee of Ministers stressed the need to affirm the roles of these actors as facilitators of the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association. It also stated that human rights standards should be applied in situations were there is interference with Internet content and with access to websites hosting it, as well as with online community interactions.

Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on the protection of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association with regard to privately operated Internet platforms and online service providers

[26/09/2011] A new notion of media

States should adopt a new broad notion of media and acknowledge that social networks, online games or online whistleblower sites are entitled to media freedom rights and responsibilities established under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Recommendation on a new notion of media offers a set of criteria to be used when providing a graduated and differentiated policy response to different actors according to their role in the production and dissemination of information or content and in the operation of applications designed to facilitate mass communication, including platforms or applications for content-based interactive experiences. As a form of interference, regulation should be a measure of last resort; preference should be given to self-regulation and to new media embracing voluntarily journalistic standards. Attention has to be paid to situations of strong media concentration with a view to guaranteeing a satisfactory level of pluralism, diversity of content and consumer choice.
(adopted on 23 September 2011)

[26/09/2011] States should be prepared and cooperate to respond to disruptions to
the Internet

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a Recommendation on the protection and promotion of the universality, integrity and openness of the Internet laying out a framework of co-operation for member states with a view to preserve a global, stable and open Internet as a means of safeguarding freedom of expression and access to information.

The Committee of Ministers urged states to develop policies, in conjunction with other stakeholders, to prevent and respond to harm to the Internet. While not getting involved in day-to-day operational issues, states should develop emergency plans, share information and assist each other in preventing and managing major cross border incidents affecting the Internet. They should also strive to ensure that critical Internet resources are managed with respect for international human rights law.
(adopted on 23 September 2011) 

[29/09/11]The right to freedom of expression fully applicable to domain names

In a Declaration on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association with regard to domain names and name strings, the Committee of Ministers expressed its concern about measures proposed in some states to prohibit the use of certain words in domain names and name strings. The Committee stated that the right to freedom of expression is fully applicable to domain names and strings. This is particularly important in view of the extension of the domain name space to include generic names in 2012.
(adopted on 23 September 2011)

[28/09/11]2011 Council of Europe Exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue
28- 29 November, Luxembourg MEDIA, BELIEFS AND RELIGIONS  “The role of the media in fostering intercultural dialogue, tolerance and mutual understanding: freedom of expression of the media and respect towards cultural and religious diversity”. Programme.

[20/09/2011] 21-22 Strasbourg: MC-NM Meeting of the Expert Committee on New Media

On the agenda, further work towards the finalisation of a Draft Recommendation on measures to protect and promote respect for human rights with regard to social networking services and Draft Guidelines for social networking providers, and a Draft Recommendation on measures to protect and promote respect for human rights with regard to search engines and Draft Guidelines for search engine providers.

These texts were intensively discussed with the various stakeholders.

[14/06/2011] 14th meeting of the CDMC, Strasbourg

The Steering Committee on Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) met in Strasbourg from 14 to 17 June.  Important texts were finalised on a new notion of media, on Internet governance principles, on the protection and promotion of Internet's universality, integrity and openness, on the protection of freedom of expression and information and freedom of assembly and association with regard to Internet domain names and name strings, on the protection of freedom of expression and access to information and freedom of assembly and association with regards to privately operated Internet platforms and online service providers and on public service media governance.  These texts will then be submitted to the Committee of Ministers for adoption. Another important item on the agenda of the CDMC was the future steering committee, to be put into place in January 2012.

[14/06/2011] Freedom of expression, the mission of the Council of Europe special envoy in Turkey

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe appointed a special envoy in charge of assessing the situation of freedom of expression in Turkey in the context of regular co-operation between the Council of Europe and its member states.  He will publish a report by the autumn with precise recommendations related to the implementation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. => read the press release

[09/05/2011] Erecting electronic barriers contravenes universally recognised human rights

 - Text   Programme

The Council of Europe at the Public Hearing on Freedom of expression online - Interplay for Human Rights and ICT organised by the European Parliament (Brussels, 5 May 2011).

[15/02/2011]  Send us your comments! Human rights, Search engines and Social networking services Public consultation on draft recommendations and guidelines for self regulation

The Council of Europe's expert committee on new media (MC-NM) is preparing draft recommendations of the Committee of Ministers to its 47 member states on the protection of human rights with regard to search engines as well as on measures to protect and promote the respect of human rights with regard to social networking services.

The Committee, convinced that self-regulation is one of the most efficient ways to ensure respect of fundamental rights in the context of search engines and social networking services, complemented both draft recommendations with a proposal for guidelines intended to facilitate self-regulation.

In order to ensure that relevant service providers and other stakeholders are fully involved in this process, the expert committee invites all relevant stakeholders (service providers, user and civil society organisations etc) to comment on the text(s) of relevance to their activity.

[03/05/2011]  Meeting of the Bureau of the CDMC, Strasbourg, 9-11 May

The Bureau of the Steering Committee on Media and new Communication Services will meet from 9 to 11 May in Strasbourg. It will prepare the 14th meeting of the CDMC (14-17 June 2011).

The main part of its agenda will be devoted to the preparation of important standard setting texts on a new notion of media, on protection and promotion of human rights in respect of search engines, on protection and promotion of human rights on social networks, on the governance of public service media, on Internet governance principles, on protection and promotion of the Internet universality, sustainability and openess.

 [28/04/2011]      

Internet Freedom  Conference - From Principles to Global Treaty Law? Content, Stakeholders, Form

The Council of Europe held a conference on Internet freedom on 18th and 19th April 2011 in Strasbourg.

Over 150 participants representing Council of Europe member and non-member states,  and members of the business and technical communities, as well as civil society activists from both Europe and beyond, had fruitful discussions on Internet freedom and the normative frameworks that are needed to support it internationally. The Internet’s sustainability was considered a sine-qua-non condition for Internet freedom and the participants examined principles for Internet governance. Reflection on the global nature of the Internet and the legal constructs that could support it internationally, as well as on the role of stakeholders, should continue.  (more...)

  

 [27/01/2011] Council of Europe Conference Internet Freedom – From Principles to Global Treaty Law? Content, Stakeholders, Form 18 and 19* April 2011 Strasbourg, France

The issues of Internet freedom, universality and openness are increasingly relevant in the wake of recent events, such as, but not limited to, the WikiLeaks case.

After the first conference of the Council of Europe Ministers responsible for media and new communication Services in Reykjavik in 2009, the Council of Europe has been exploring possible international law responses to the need to ensure the proper functioning, stability and universality of the Internet, taking into account its fundamental cross-border nature (MC-S-CI report).

The Council of Europe is organising a multi-stakeholder conference to discuss with stakeholders work that is underway in these areas.

Some of the main topics to be discussed include Internet governance principles, international and multi-stakeholder cooperation on Internet resilience and stability, multi-stakeholder governance and international law options (whether soft or treaty).

Draft programme

Registration and possibility to comment on the conference texts will soon be available.

[04/02/2011]  Transfrontier television: the revision of the Convention discontinued

In a letter to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Ms Neelie Kroes, vice-President of the European Commission, recently confirmed the position of the European Commission with regard to the draft second amended protocol to the European Convention on Transfrontier Television. The letter underlines that the European Union has exclusive competence for the issues covered by the draft revised Convention and that EU member States are not allowed to become party to the Convention on their own. The letter furthermore indicates that the EU does not intend to become a party to the Convention as this would constrain the speed and scope of any future policy response in the areas covered.

For its part, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe endorsed proposals by the Secretary General for priorities in 2011 which included, in particular, to discontinue work on trans-frontier television following the termination of the negotiations of the Convention. This was confirmed by the Committee of Ministers when adopting the Programme of Activities and budget for 2011.

 

 

 

[10/02/2011]  Journalists’ sources should be protected everywhere

In a Recommendation adopted on 25 January 2011, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe calls on those member states which do not have legislation specifying the right of journalists not to disclose their sources of information, to pass such legislation in accordance with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee of Ministers Recommendation No. R(2000)7. (Read more)

[04/02/2011]   A new Standing Rapporteur on Media Freedom for the Parliamentary Assembly

“Democracies need many voices to work properly, and I intend to work closely with partners from other parts of the Council of Europe, international organisations and civil society to counter the increasing threats to media freedom in Europe" said Mr Johansson. The role of Standing Rapporteur, created in 2001, is to “pay particular attention to serious threats to media freedom in Europe”, launch Parliamentary Assembly reports on specific issues when necessary and serve as a point of contact for other bodies. (Read more)

 [13/01/2011] Media and Information Society + Data Protection = a new division within DG-HL

The new Information Society, Media and Data Protection Division centralises standard-setting activities concerning information technology, its use by the media and its impact on the definiton of media and its various forms. In the era of Internet, global exchanges and access to all kinds of information, the issue of data protection is more critical than ever. Grouping these activities within one division will enable a more co-ordinated approach and encourage crossover activities.

This website will soon be restructured to reflect these developments. In the meantime, click here for more about data protection activities.

[13/01/2010] From 2010 to 2011

2010 is over - here's to 2011!  Thank you to all of you for your interest in the work of the Council of Europe on media and the information society in 2010!  The activities planned for this coming year promise to be challenging  and exciting and keep us all very busy!  Here are the main dates you can mark on your calendar:

* 18-19 April: Conference on cross-border internet, Strasbourg

* 30-31 May: EuroDIG, Belgrade

* 14-17 June: 14th meeting of the CDMC

* 29-November - 2 December: 15th meeting of the CDMC

Happy New Year!

[16/12/2010] Council of Europe multi-stakeholder conference to examine alternative futures in international Internet-related public policy

18 and 19 April 2011

Strasbourg, France

The universality and openness of the Internet are essential conditions for exercising the right to freedom of expression and information globally. Decisions relating to the management of the Internet are likely to have a bearing on fundamental rights and freedoms. The borderless nature of the Internet's infrastructure and its decentralised management beg the question of how to address the challenges to its universality and openness through international cooperation.

What are the most viable options for international action? Decentralised and unpredictable development of standards by corporations and civil society, lobbies and bureaucrats or traditional treaty making? What architecture for participation and deliberation? Who are the stewards or facilitators of multi-stakeholder dialogue? What are the opportunities and the risks?

How to ensure impact? How to balance efficacy and accountability? What outputs in terms of international policy? How can we construct globally applicable solutions?

Following the IGF discussions in Vilnius, the Council of Europe body entrusted with developing media and information society policy has decided to work on a set of Internet governance principles to be included in a political statement of the organisation. It is also examining ways of international cooperation to preserve the ongoing functioning of the Internet. (MC-S-CI interim report)

The Council of Europe is organising an open conference to discuss these issues. Invitations will be issued in due course to representatives of governments, the private sector and civil society.

2010

[22/06/2010] The 12th CDMC meeting addresses important issues on Internet governance

The Steering Committee on Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) held its 12th meeting in Strasbourg, from 8 to 11 June. It worked on several draft Committee of Ministers declaration, respectively on network neutrality, the management of the Internet protocol address resources in the public interest and on the Digital agenda for Europe. It also discussed creative rights in the Internet age in light of the Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation on the subject. As regards the work programme of the CDMC for the coming months, a hearing will be organised during the next meeting (16-19 November 2010) on "jurisdiction shopping" in respect of defamation; possible action or guidance to offer to member states will be explored for the implementation of their commitment to review national legislation and/or practice on a regular basis to ensure that any impact of anti-terrorism measures on the right to freedom of expression and information is consistent with Council of Europe standards.

[28/05/2010] Council of Europe more closely involved in Internet governance

A declaration on enhanced participation of member states in Internet governance matters – Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 26 May.  The Committee of Ministers recognised the role that GAC can play in ensuring that activities carried out in connection with the management of Internet resources under the remit of ICANN take full account of international human rights law and other public policy objectives. It emphasised the contribution that the Council of Europe can make in encouraging due consideration of fundamental rights and freedoms in ICANN policy-making processes. Therefore, the Committee of Ministers encouraged all Council of Europe member states to actively participate in GAC and invited the Secretary General to make arrangements for the Council of Europe to participate as an observer in GAC’s activities. In consultation with GAC, ICANN and other relevant stakeholders, ways should also be explored for the Council of Europe to contribute to arrangement concerning GAC’s secretariat, subject to budget neutrality.  ==>Link to the declaration

05/03/2010] First meeting of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on Cross Border Internet (MC-S-CI)

The Ad hoc Advisory Group on Cross Border Internet (MC-S-CI) met for the first time in Paris on 1 and 2 March. It discussed the shared responsibilities of states with respect to the preservation and reinforcement of the protection of cross-border flow of Internet traffic and the protection of critical Internet resources. The MC-S-CI meeting concluded that a rights based approach should be adopted in the examination of these issues and that consultation with stakeholders will take place in EuroDIG in Madrid (April 2010) and IGF in Vilnius (September 2010). The report will be issued soon and published on the web site.

[03/05/2010] 6 and 7 May - Meeting of the Bureau of the CDMC
The Bureau of the Steering Committee on Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) met in Paris on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 May to prepare the 12th meeting of the CDMC (8-11 June). In particular, it discussed important texts and instruments to come on the Government Advisory Committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), on the Management of the Internet Protocol address space (IP), on human rights and social networking services, on new media.

[26/04/2010] EuroDIG 2010 – Telefonica Headquarters, Madrid / Spain, 29-30 April 2010
The Pan-European dialogue on Internet governance (EuroDIG) is an open platform for informal and inclusive discussion and exchange on public policy issues related to Internet Governance (IG) between stakeholders from all over Europe (read more) ... http://www.eurodig.org/. From 2010, the secretariat of EuroDIG is ensured by the Council of Europe, which brings human rights issues at the fore front of the discussions.

[05/03/2010] First meeting of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on Cross Border Internet (MC-S-CI)
The Ad hoc Advisory Group on Cross Border Internet (MC-S-CI) met for the first time in Paris on 1 and 2 March. It discussed the shared responsibilities of states with respect to the preservation and reinforcement of the protection of cross-border flow of Internet traffic and the protection of critical Internet resources. The MC-S-CI meeting concluded that a rights based approach should be adopted in the examination of these issues and that consultation with stakeholders will take place in EuroDIG in Madrid (April 2010) and IGF in Vilnius (September 2010). The report will be issued soon and published on the web site.

[19/03/2010] Second meeting of the Committee of Experts on New Media (MC-NM)
The MC-NM will consider possible policy answers to issues of protection of human rights in the context of social networking services and search engines. It will look into action to be taken by the CoE as regards network neutrality and the guarantee to access information. Finally it will continue working on a new notion of media, to determine what kind of mass communication should nowadays be considered media and what freedoms and responsibilities those media actors should have.

[17/02/10] IRIS – Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory has gone electronic!
 
Subscribe to this free new monthly newsletter in order to be more up to date and better informed about all legal developments relevant to the European audiovisual sector. IRIS aims to continue providing the accurate, fact-oriented, neutral reporting that you may already have come to know and appreciate in the old printed version. IRIS is a reliable source of information on new laws that have been adopted, as well as court rulings and other particularly important decisions that have been taken in Europe.
 Link to the current edition where you can subscribe to the newsletter

[09/02/2010] Safer Internet Day 2010
The Council of Europe is launching on 9 February – on Safer Internet Day – an online teacher’s guide to safer Internet for children in six languages. The Teacher’s Guide to the online game for children Through the Wild Web Woods aims to assist educators in helping children to use the Internet safely and responsibly.

[02/02/2010] Protection of Neighbouring Rights of Broadcasting Organisations: steps towards a Council of Europe Convention and call for stakeholders consultation

A consultation meeting with experts in intellectual property issues was held on 28-29 January in Strasbourg in anticipation of the constitution of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on the Protection of Neighbouring Rights of Broadcasting Organisations (MC-S-NR). The experts participating in the meeting discussed a number of key issues concerning the object and scope of protection under a possible legally binding instrument on the protection of neighbouring organisations as well as work modalities of the future group. There was consensus that the preparation of a legally binding instrument in this area should build on previous initiatives of the Council of Europe, the acquis communautaire of the EU and the work of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights of WIPO. Provisions of different treaty language proposals submitted in the framework of the WIPO processes can be the basis for outlining the content and explanatory memorandum of a possible broadcasting convention.
Participants considered also desirable to organise a consultation meeting with all stakeholders in the drafting process.

[01/02/2010] Parliamentary Assembly: More efforts to be done for media freedom
PACE adopted on 27th January a recommendation to the Committee of Ministers containing a series of measures to guarantee greater respect for media freedom and the safety of journalists. The Assembly proposes in particular a review of national legislation to ensure that anti-terrorism measures fully respect media freedom. It also reaffirms that defamation laws should not be used to silence critical comment and satire in the media, and calls on governments to ensure fair and equal access of all political parties and candidates to the media before elections.
The parliamentarians also asked the Committee of Ministers to assist member states in training their judges, law enforcement authorities and police in respecting media freedom in order to protect journalists against violent threats. Furthermore, they asked the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to allocate the resources necessary to collate information regularly on violations of media freedom, analyse this information on a systematic basis, country by country, and circulate it to the governments of the member states at least quarterly.
==> Link to Recommendation

[20/01/2010] Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on measures to promote the respect of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights
Adopted on 13 January 2010 at the 1074th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies
Freedom of expression and information, including freedom of the media, are indispensable for genuine democracy and democratic processes. When those freedoms are not upheld, accountability is likely to be undermined and the rule of law can also be compromised. All Council of Europe member states have undertaken to secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information, in accordance with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
==> Link to Declaration

[25/01/2010] Consultation meeting of the group of specialists on Neighbouring Rights of Broadcasting Organisations
(MC-S-NR ) - 28 and 29 January, Strasbourg

In view of the standstill of the negotiations on a legal instrument on the protection of Neighbouring Rights of Broadcasting Organisations within WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) and following of a stock taking in 2008 of the regional European interest in the matter, the Council of Europe decided to pursue work on drawing up an instrument to provide broadcasting organisations with an updated and modernised framework of protection. The group of specialists on Neighbouring Rights of Broadcasting Organisations (MC-S-NR) - subordinated to the Steering Committee on Media and new Communication Services (CDMC) - was given the mandate to pursue this work. With the support of Finland and the cooperation of the best experts in the field, the MC-S-NR will prepare an international legal instrument protecting neighbouring rights of broadcasting organisations. This meeting will aim at mapping up the work to be carried out.

[13/01/2010] Internet Literacy Handbook
The Internet Literacy Handbook is a guide for teachers, parents and students which explains on getting the most out of the Internet and how to protect privacy on websites and social networks.
Content
The third version of the handbook contains 25 fact sheets. Each sheet presents a specific theme related to the use of Internet.
The sheets point out ethical issues and security, provide advice on how best to use the Internet for educational purposes. They also provide ideas for practical activities in class or at home, present best practices in terms of the use of Internet and offer many definitions et links to websites giving practical examples and other detailed information.
What’s new in the third version? 
The third version suggests advice on how to use social websites like MySpace, Facebook or Friendster, and the Web 2.0. Thousands of young people and children are today interacting with their friends, classmates and people with common hobbies or interests, frequently publishing personal data and photographs. Sharing this information is a great opportunity for communication with others, but implies risks that users must know how to avoid.
==> Link Internet Literacy Handbook

2009

[16/12/2009] The report of the 11th meeting of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communications Services (CDMC) is now available.
The main outputs of the meetings were
- a draft declaration on measures to promote the respect of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It will be submitted for adoption to the Committee of Ministers in January 2010
- comments on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1878(2009) on the funding of public service broadcasting
- a hearing on multistakeholder participation
- the launching of the work of the new ad hoc advisory groups on Public Service Media Governance (MC-S-PG) and Cross-border Internet (MC-S-CI) and a decision to pursue work on a Council of Europe convention for the protection of neighbouring rights of broadcasting organisations
- the election of the Chair, Vice-chair of the CDMC and of three members of the Bureau of the CDMC.
==> Meeting report

[16/12/2009] 2009 Internet Governance Forum
At the 2009 Internet Governance Forum, the Council of Europe called for greater protection and respect for human rights, rule of law and democracy on the Internet.


==>
Internet Governance Forum
==>
IGF 2009
==>
Information Society and Internet Governance

[04/11/2009] 2009 Internet Governance Forum
The Council of Europe will be calling for greater protection and respect for human rights, rule of law and democracy on the Internet at the 2009 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) on 15-18 November in Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt). (more ...)
==>
www.coe.int/internetgovernance
==>
www.intgovforum.org
==>
http://igf09.eg
==>
http://www.coe.int/IGF


[04/11/2009] Thorbj°rn Jagland speaks at Google event in Berlin
''The Internet is a space of enormous opportunity and freedom, but also challenging the very exercise of this freedom,'' said the Secretary General in his speech at'the Google event ''Breaking borders'', on 3 November. He asked for cooperation among states and non-states actors to ensure that going online would become a true tribute to democracy. The event was organised to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
==>
Speech

[October 2009] Participation in CDMC work
The CDMC is currently engaging in a work on multistakeholder participation. A short questionnaire was sent to participants to the Reykjavik Conference of Ministers and the second European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) who had left their e-mail address, as well as to other contacts. We would welcome other contributions. Thank you.
>> Questionnaire
>> E-mail: media@coe.int

[October 2009] The Steering Committee on Media and New Communication Services will meet from 20 to 23 October in Strasbourg
It will discuss future activities following the 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and New Communication Services, Reykjavik, Iceland. A hearing will also be organised on multistakeholder architecture of participation, on Wednesday 22 October. Interested organisations can contact the Media and Information Society Division.

[01/10/2009] Internet and online media services 
On 28 September 2009, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a Recommendation on the promotion of Internet and online media services appropriate for minors.
The Assembly calls on the member states to increase protection for minors who use Internet and online media services, particularly through the use of parental filter systems. PACE also urges the member states to support the creation of secure, restricted-access networks which filter content harmful to minors and comply with codes of conduct

[21/07/2009]  New on-line publications 

Public Service Media : promoting social cohesion and a wider democratic participation of individuals, enabling public service media to discharge their remit…
Media Diversity: promoting cultural diversity, monitoring media concentration and media content diversity, democratic and social contribution of digital broadcasting, involving the public in consultative programming structures…
Human Rights in the Information Society: copyright and human rights, protecting children from hamful content…
You can find our new on-line publications at: >> link to publications

[20/07/2009] Terms of reference of bodies reporting to the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC):
On July 8, the Committee of Ministers approved the terms of reference of the Committee of Experts on New Media (MC-NM), of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on Public Service Media Governance (MC-S-PG), of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on Cross-border Internet (MC-S-CI) and of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on the Protection of Neighbouring Rights of Broadcasting Organisations (MC-S-NR).

[08/07/2009] The Committee of Ministers adopted a Recommendation to member states on measures to protect children against harmful content and behaviour and to promote their active participation in the new information and communications environment:
>> Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)5
This Recommendation encourages public-private partnerships to:
- create and facilitate confidence building environments (walled gardens) for children to safely explore the Internet,
- create a human rights based pan-European trustmark which harnesses new and existing online content labelling systems,
- and to improve children’s Internet literacy by addressing and mobilising those actors which play a key role in children’s lives.

[01/07/2009] >> New online publication - Living together A reference tool on Council of Europe standards on the contribution of the media to harmonious living among different communities and groups in a democratic society. Faced with challenges of multiculturalism, technology and fast-paced modern communication, it is necessary to build bridges, crossroads and links among cultures, traditions and lifestyles.
Also available in paper format upon request by email

[29/05/2009] 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and New Communication Services -  A new notion of media?
 Reykjavik (Iceland) 28-29 May 2009

 
Political declaration and resolutions: ADOPTED TEXTS

[22/04/2009] A new notion of media? 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and New Communication Services
Reykjavik (Iceland) 28-29 May 2009
Facing technology developments and the media–related change they trigger in the society,
the Council of Europe decided to address fundamental questions that will set the working direction for the coming years to meet these new challenges… Read more >>

[15 April 2009] Workshop on evaluation and implementation of human rights guidelines for online games providers and Internet service providers: 6 May 2009
Organised by the Council of Europe, the European Internet Service Providers Association (EuroISPA) and the Interactive Software Federation in Europe (ISFE), the workshop will bring together representatives from Internet service providers and online game providers to discuss the effectiveness of the ‘guidelines’ to promote human rights in their work, in particular with their ‘take-up’ by providers (more)

[2 April 2009] Revision of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (Consultation, Strasbourg 25-27 February 2009): work in progress
 
The consultation on the revision of the Convention on Transfrontier Television is going on. Discussion extended to Recommendation 1855 (2009) of the Parliamentary Assembly “on the regulation of Audiovisual Media Services” and allowed the 29 participating parties to come close to a common position. (know more…)

 
[2 April 2009] New ratification for the European Convention on Transfrontier Television
 
On 27 March 2009, Ukraine ratified the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (CETS No. 132). This Convention is the first international treaty creating a legal framework for the free circulation of transfrontier television programmes in Europe, through minimum common rules, in fields such as programming, advertising, sponsorship and the protection of certain individual rights. The Convention is presently being revised.  To-date, the European Convention on Transfrontier Television has been ratified by 33 European States. With regard to Ukraine, the Convention will enter into force on 1 July 2009. 

 
[2 April 2009] 9th meeting of the Steering Committee on Media and New Communication services (CDMC)
 
The CDMC will hold its 9th meeting in Strasbourg on 25 and 26 March. Its agenda will mainly be devoted to the preparation of the
1st Conference of the Council of Europe of Ministers responsible for Media and New Communications services (Reykjavik, 28-29 May 2009).
Draft agenda

The Bureau of the CDMC will also meet on the afternoon of 24 March.

[17/03/09]  EXPERT SEMINAR on "THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON TRANSFRONTIER TELEVISION IN UKRAINE"  Further to the upcoming accession of Ukraine to the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, the Council of Europe is organising an EXPERT SEMINAR on "THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON TRANSFRONTIER TELEVISION IN UKRAINE". The seminar, co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe, will take place in Kiev on 17 March 2009 and will address members of the Ukrainian Parliament and all major stakeholders concerned by the entry into force of the Convention. European Convention on Transfrontier Television

[26/02/2009] European Court of Human Rights. In the case of Kudeshkina v. Russia, the Court held that there had been a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) on account of Ms Kudeshkina’s dismissal from the judiciary having been a disproportionately severe penalty for statements she had made in the media in which she had criticised higher judicial officials. Press Release

The Committee of Ministers adopts a Declaration on the role of community media in promoting social cohesion and intercultural dialogue
[11/02/2009] The Council of Europe supports the positive role for social cohesion and intercultural dialogue played by community media. Their social value should be recognised, the various aspects of their contribution to intercultural dialogue should be encouraged and their capacities should be reinforced. Therefore, the Council of Europe insists that community media should enjoy the resources necessary for their functioning, both financially and in terms of frequencies and technical means.

[23/02/2009] 44th meeting of the Standing Committee on Transfrontier Television (T-TT): Strasbourg, 25 to 27 February. One of the main items on its agenda will be the agreement on the revision of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television. Draft agenda 

Meeting of the Bureau of the Media and New Communication Services
[23/02/2009]
The Bureau of the CDMC met in Strasbourg on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 February. The main item on its agenda was the organisation and the content of the 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and New Communication Services (Reykjavik, 28-29 May 2009). Draft agenda

The Steering Committee for Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) has a new mandate
[11/02/2009]
On 11 February, the Committee of Ministers renewed the terms of reference of the CDMC for a period of three years (2009 to 2011). It will receive a new action plan to be implemented during its life time at the 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers in charge of the Media and New Communication Services (28-29 May 2009, Reykjavik, Iceland).

The report of the 8th meeting of the Steering Committee for Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) (25 to 28 November 2008) is now available on line. (See under “Steering Committee”) [16/02/2009]

9 February - Safety for online networking : launching of a handbook 
[09/02/2009]
On the eve of Safer Internet Day 2009, the Council of Europe launched on 9 February, a new edition of The Internet Literacy Handbook, which offers teachers, parents and students a full   guide on getting the most out of the Internet while being protected from its risks. (more ...)
  Deputy Secretary General’s contribution to the 6th Edition of the Safer Internet Day of the European Commission
  The Internet Literacy Handbook

28-29 May – Council of Europe Conference of Ministers in charge of the media and new communication services
[09/02/2009] “A new notion of media?” will be the main theme of the first Council of Europe Conference of Ministers in charge of the media and new communication services which will be held in Reykjavik from 28 to 29 May 2009.

27 January – The Recommendation 1855 (2009) on the regulation of audiovisual media services has been adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
[27/01/2009)]

2008

11 December - Publication of the results of the Conference of anti-terrorism legislation in Europe and its impact on freedom of expression and information
(11/12/08) During this conference, concerns were raised over the effects of anti-terrorism legislation on freedom of expression and information in Council of Europe member states. The general report of the conference on “Anti-terrorism legislation in Europe since 2001 and its impact on freedom of expression and information” which was organised on 17 and 18 November by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam and hosted by the Dutch government, is now available online. The report includes the participants' recommendations on how national legislation and its implementation could be improved to better protect free speech and information access rights. (more)

3 December – Opening of the UN Internet Governance Forum in Hyderabad, India
(03/12/08) Statement by Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General :
 
 “The horror of the attacks in Mumbai is still fresh in everyone’s mind. They are a tragic reminder of the times we live in. Terrorist kill people because they want to destroy freedom. Their cause is doomed, but the danger they represent is real and we all have the obligation to do everything within our power to stop them. Before they kill more people. Before a new Mumbai.
 
I want to use this opportunity to convey, on behalf of the Council of Europe and in my name, a message of deepest condolence and sympathy to the families of the victims and to the people of India.
 
I also deeply regret that the attacks have prevented me, and my colleagues, to attend the IGF but I can assure you that we are determined to stay involved in the effort for an improved Internet governance. We may not be physically in Hyderabad, but rest assured that the Council of Europe will make its contribution. We strongly support the IGF process, and we want this to be very clear. The European Dialogue on Internet Governance that we facilitated in Strasbourg earlier this year in view of Hyderabad was unambiguous in that respect, and we are ready to facilitate it again next year before the next IGF. (more)

Pan-European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG 2008) - Messages from EuroDig
 
(03/12/08) The first Pan-European dialogue on Internet Governance was the initiative of a number of key stakeholders representing various stakeholder groups working in the field of Internet governance (more)

Provisional agreement on the revision of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television

(20/11/2008) During its 43rd meeting on 12 to 14 November 2008, the Standing Committee on Transfrontier Television reached a provisional agreement [pdf, 247KB] on the amendments proposed to the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, taking into account the comments by Observer States and stakeholders in the framework of the preliminary consultation procedure. (more...)

Conference on anti-terrorism legislation in Europe
 
(14/11/2008) On 17 and 18 November the Council of Europe, together with the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam and with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, is organising a European Conference in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) on "anti-terrorism legislation in Europe since 2001 an its impact on freedom of expression and information". (more...)

Freedom of the media and fight against terrorism: expert report
 
(10/11/2008) Today the Media and Information Society Division published a report "Speaking of terror - A survey of the effects of counter-terrorism legislation on freedom of the media in Europe" [pdf, 1049KB] by an independent expert, Mr David Banisar, Director of the Freedom of Information and Project at the INGO Privacy International. In his report, Mr Banisar gives an overview of legal and policy developments in the context of counter-terror action in Council of Europe member states since 2001 and the impact they have on Article 10 rights. The opinions expressed in the report engage only the author. Mr Banisar will present his report at a conference on "Anti-terrorism legislation in Europe since 2001 and its impact on freedom of expression and information", organised by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam and hosted by the Dutch government in Amsterdam on 17 and 18 November 2008.

The murder of two journalists in Croatia

(05/11/08) Following the killing of two journalists in Zagreb allegedly by organised crime, Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis declared that "these murders are not only a threat to public security but also a threat to the freedom of the media and the freedom of expression in Croatia''. For his part, Andrew McIntosh (United Kingdom, SOC), rapporteur on media freedom of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and Chair of the Sub-Committee on the Media declared himself deeply shocked; he stated that "murdering a journalist who has exposed organised crime, corruption and human rights violations is an attack on the democratic foundation of a state." He added that this "will not silence [the] newspaper, or the many other investigative journalists who seek to expose corruption, wrongdoing and abuses of human rights."

On 26 September 2007, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a Declaration on the protection and promotion of investigative journalism in which it underlines the importance of investigative journalism for a democratic society for it “contributes to the formation of enlightened and active citizenry, as well as to the improvement of society at large”. Further, in Guidelines adopted at the same time on protecting freedom of expression and information in times of crisis, the Committee of Ministers demands that member states “assure to the maximum possible extent the safety of media professionals” and that national authorities should “investigate promptly and thoroughly the killings and other attacks on media professionals.”

- To participate in a discussion on the possible impact of this murder on freedom of expression, please visit the Media Freedom Forum

Conference on anti-terrorism legislation in Europe

(24/10/08) On 17 and 18 (morning) November the Council of Europe, together with the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam and with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, is organising a European conference in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) on “anti-terrorism legislation in Europe since 2001 and its impact on freedom of expression and information”.

The aim of the conference is to exchange experiences on the impact of anti-terrorism legislation and its implementation on freedom of expression and information in Europe. Representatives from the media, civil society, national authorities and independent experts will discuss the observance, in law and practice, of Council of Europe standards that define the rights to freedom of expression and information in the context of the fight against terrorism (in particular, the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights).

Specific attention will be paid to:

- legislation and practice on glorification of terrorism,
- surveillance, state secrets/access to information and
- protection of sources.

Further information concerning this event, can be found on the conference website. Persons interested in participating and/or providing written input for the event are requested to consult the website and to complete the on-line registration form.

See also:

- the programme
- background documents

Last days for the preliminary consultation

Draft on the Convention on Transfrontier Audiovisual Media Services


(22/10/08) The Standing Committee on Transfrontier Television invites international organisations and bodies involved in the broadcasting sector to send their comments and proposals on the draft revised Convention. Deadline: 31 October 2008.

First European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG)

(09/10/08) Representatives from the business community, governments and civil society will be meeting, at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (France) on 20 and 21 October 2008, to discuss European perspectives on the Internet and its governance. (more...)

The Council of Europe contributes to 2008 Internet Governance Forum

(08/10/08) The Council of Europe has published its written contribution to the next UN Internet Governance Forum, which takes place from 3 to 6 December in Hyderabad (India). Under the slogan "Internet - a critical resource for all", the contribution places special importance on users' rights. The Council of Europe plays a leading role in the fight against Internet-based crimes drawing its action from key conventions and tools on cybercrime, terrorism, child protection and counterfeit medicines. Deputy Secretary General, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, will take part in the Forum and speak at the opening ceremony. Prior to the IGF the Council of Europe will host the first European dialogue on Internet governance (20-21 October 2008, Strasbourg).

Humoristic cartoon published in the French periodical "Ekaitza" in September 2001:

(06/10/08) No violation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (see the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Leroy v. France on 2 October 2008).

Protecting human rights on the Internet
Council of Europe launches guidelines in cooperation with online games and Internet service providers


(03/10/08) The Council of Europe today launched, in close cooperation with European online game designers and publishers and with Internet service providers, two sets of guidelines which aim to encourage respect and promote privacy, security and freedom of expression when, for example, accessing the Internet, using e-mail, participating in chats or blogs, or playing Internet games.

See guidelines for:
- online games providers [pdf, 1542KB]
- Internet service providers [pdf, 1599KB]

Invitation to a preliminary consultation

Draft on the Convention on Transfrontier Audiovisual Media Services


(16/09/08) During its 43rd meeting on 12 to 14 November 2008, the Standing Committee on Transfrontier Television will consider a first consolidated draft text prepared by its drafting Group in view of the revision of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television.

The Standing Committee invites international organisations and bodies involved in the broadcasting sector to send their comments and proposals on the draft revised Convention [pdf, 241KB] to the Secretariat. The deadline is 31 October 2008 so that they can be taken into consideration during their 43rd plenary meeting. During this meeting, the Standing Committee will also decide on the follow-up to be given to this preliminary consultation procedure.

The reasons for redrafting the European Convention on Transfrontier Television

The revision of this Convention is motivated by the technological, market and legal developments in the broadcasting sector and in particular the entering into force of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) at EU level.

The amendments proposed are based on the discussions held in the Standing Committee as from its 34th meeting (7 and 8 July 2003) and concern a widening of the scope of the Convention to on-demand services, harmonisation of the Convention with the AVMSD while taking into account the nature of the Convention and issues of particular concern to the Council of Europe. See the Note of the Secretariat.

- Send your comments to the Secretariat.

Meeting of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) (27-30 May 2008, Vienna)

(08/09/08) The report of the 7th meeting of the Council of Europe body entrusted with developing standards on freedom of expression, media and new communication services is now available. Highlights of the report include the approval of new human rights guidelines for Internet service providers and for online games providers, latest developments for a possible future mechanism for promoting respect of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and discussions on the preparation of the First Council of Europe Conference of Specialised Ministers responsible for Media and New Communication Services which is to be held in Reykjavik, on 28 and 29 May 2009.

Preliminary consultation on the revision of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television

(05/09/08) During its 43rd meeting on 12 to 14 November 2008, the Standing Committee on Transfrontier Television will consider a first consolidated draft text prepared by its drafting Group in view of the revision of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television. The revision of this Convention is motivated by the technological, market and legal developments in the broadcasting sector and in particular the entering into force of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) at EU level. The amendments proposed are based on the discussions held in the Standing Committee as from its 34th meeting (7 and 8 July 2003) and concern a widening of the scope of the Convention to on-demand services, harmonisation of the Convention with the AVMSD while taking into account the nature of the Convention and issues of particular concern to the Council of Europe.

The Standing Committee invites international organisations and bodies involved in the broadcasting sector to send their comments and proposals on the draft revised Convention [pdf, 240KB] to the Secretariat by 31 October 2008 so that they can be taken into consideration during their 43rd plenary meeting. During this meeting, the Standing Committee will also decide on the follow-up to be given to this preliminary consultation procedure.

European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG)

(27/07/08) European actors interested in Internet Governance issues will meet in Strasbourg on 20 and 21 October 2008 to discuss openly and freely their ideas, experiences and concerns in a fully multi-stakeholder format.

The main themes on the Agenda of the 3rd Internet Governance Forum (IGF), to be held in Hyderabad (India) from 3 to 6 December 2008, will be addressed with a particular emphasis on issues surrounding security, privacy and openness on the Internet.

This European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) is open to all interested stakeholders and will take place in the premises of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France (Agora building, Room G.01).

More information on EuroDIG

Terry Davis: "A victory for freedom of expression"

(18/06/08) "A victory for freedom of expression," the Secretary General declared after the judgment by the European Court of Human Rights on the case of the A1+ Armenian television station. "Television is a very influential part of the media. Decisions of regulator bodies on the award, refusal or withdrawal of a broadcasting licence can have a direct bearing on freedom of expression and therefore on the functioning of democracy", he added. (more...)

- Press release of the European Court of Human Rights
- Council of Europe standard-setting instruments on licensing and regulatory authorities include a 2008 Declaration on the independence and functions of regulatory authorities for the broadcasting sector and a earlier Recommendation Rec(2000)23 on the same subject.

Meeting of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) (27-30 May 2008, Vienna)

(09/06/08)The CDMC, the Council of Europe body entrusted with developing standards on freedom of expression, media and new communication services, held its 7th meeting from 27 to 30 May. The adoption of new human rights guidelines for internet service providers and for online games providers opens the way to a new type of cooperation with actors of the information society. In order to enhance the place it has started to take in the internet governance, the CDMC also encouraged the Council of Europe to organise a European-wide meeting in preparation for the 2008 Internet Governance Forum.

On the meeting agenda were also discussions on a new notion of media and related topics in preparation for the 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for the Media and New Communication Services (Reykjavik, 28 and 29 May 2009) and a stocktaking with regard to the development of a possible Council of Europe Convention on the protection of the neighbouring rights of broadcasting organisations.

The meeting, hosted by the Austrian authorities, took place in the Palace of Justice (Justizpalast) in Vienna. The meeting report will be available here in the coming weeks.

- Photos Gallery

Broadcasting regulatory bodies: independence remains crucial

(02/06/08) The Council of Europe was present at a conference on "The role and the importance of public-service media in Europe". Mr Jeroen Schokkenbroek, Head of the Human Rights Development Department at the Directorate of Standard-Setting, Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs delivered a keynote speech on ”Independent regulatory authorities for the broadcasting sector: Council of Europe standards”. The conference took place on 14 and 15 April 2008 in Warsaw (Poland). It was organised by the National Broadcasting Council of Poland and the Polish Television.

Council of Europe launches online discussion forum on freedom of speech in times of crisis

(07/05/08) To mark World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, the Council of Europe has launched an online discussion forum on media freedom in times of crisis.

The forum seeks to promote debate and analysis among journalists - but also anyone concerned about freedom of expression – on how tighter security measures enforced by governments during wars, terrorist threats or political instability could affect the way journalists access information and make their reports.

Promoting freedom of speech is a key aim of the Council of Europe and this initiative reflects the Council's concern with threats to freedom of expression and the safety of journalists in crisis situations.

Contributions may be made at http://mediafreedom.cws.coe.int.

- See also the statement by Council of Europe Secretary General;
- and the statement by Andrew McIntosh.

Expertise workshop on the independence of regulatory authorities in the field of media and telecommunications

(02/05/08) On 24 April in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), a workshop was organised to discuss European standards on the independence of regulatory authorities in the field of media and telecommunications focusing specially on the possible impact of the draft Law on Salaries and Other Compensations on financial independence of the Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA) of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The conclusions [pdf, 180KB] from The experts of the European Commission (EC), the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFOM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) advised against a change in the regulations of salaries within the CRA.

For Council of Europe standards on the independence and functions of regulatory authorities in the broadcasting sector please see a Declaration of the Committee of Ministers aiming at assisting member states in the concrete implementation of Recommendation (2000)23 on the independence and functions of regulatory authorities for the broadcasting sector.

Inquiry on the legal protection in member states of broadcasting and information society services offered against payment and based on, or which consist of, conditional access

(02/04/08) The Council of Europe is conducting an inquiry on the legal protection of broadcasting and information society services offered against payment and using conditional access in member states. This inquiry is carried out in the context of the follow-up to the European Convention on the legal protection of services based on, or consisting of conditional access.

The Convention (ETS n░178) seeks to protect operators and providers of paid radio, tv and on-line services against unlawful reception of such services The Convention is entered into force on the 1st of July 2003 and is now ratified by 8 members’ states.

The regulatory authorities for the broadcasting sector should be independent

(01/04/08) The Council of Europe is firmly attached to the objectives of the independent functioning of broadcasting regulatory authorities in its member states. This was stated again by the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of a Declaration aiming at assisting member states in the concrete implementation of Recommendation (2000)23 on the independence and functions of regulatory authorities for the broadcasting sector, by underlining the importance for regulatory authorities to be effective, transparent and accountable.

Committee of Ministers: Recommendation on the use of Internet filters

(28/03/08) The Committee of Ministers adopted on 26 March a new Recommendation on the use of Internet filters to strike a balance between freedom of expression and information and protection of children against harmful content on the Internet. The appended guidelines contain specific guidance to member states emphasising the importance of empowering users to understand and effectively use filters. In a Declaration, the Committee of Ministers also declared its firm attachment to the objectives of the independent functioning of broadcasting regulatory authorities in member states.

New ratification for the European Convention on Transfrontier Television

(26/02/08) On 13 February 2008, Montenegro ratified the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (CETS No. 132). This Convention is the first international treaty creating a legal framework for the free circulation of transfrontier television programmes in Europe, through minimum common rules, in fields such as programming, advertising, sponsorship and the protection of certain individual rights.

To-date, the European Convention on Transfrontier Television has been ratified by 32 European States.

Committee of Ministers adopts declarations on children's activities on the internet and on the digital dividend

(21/02/08) Strasbourg, 21 February 2008 - In its declaration on protecting the dignity, security and privacy of children on the internet, the Committee of Ministers asks member states to work together to explore the feasibility of removing or deleting content created by children and traces of their online activities within a reasonably short period of time, if such content and traces can cause them prejudice. "We are determined to ensure that our children can use the internet safely, and that the internet cannot be used against them", said Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

In a declaration on the allocation and management of the digital dividend and the public interest, the Committee of Ministers calls upon member states to acknowledge the public nature of the radio spectrum which will be freed as a result of the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting and to manage it as a public resource, efficiently and in the public interest, taking account of present and foreseeable future needs for radio spectrum.

Further, in view of a standstill in WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) negotiations on a convention on neighbouring rights of broadcasting organisations, the Committee of Ministers has asked the Council of Europe body entrusted with developing standards on freedom of expression, media and new communication services - the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) - to take stock of the situation and, if justified, to elaborate a draft Council of Europe convention designed to reinforce the protection of those rights (near copyright of broadcast signals). Such a convention would add to existing Council of Europe instruments on this and related subjects, which include a number of recommendations and declarations as well as a 1994 convention relating to questions on copyright law and neighbouring rights in the framework of transfrontier broadcasting by satellite and the 2001 convention on the legal protection of services based on, or consisting of, conditional access.

Meeting of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) (27-30 November 2007)

(18/02/08) During its last meeting (the report of which is now available), the Council of Europe body entrusted with developing standards on freedom of expression, media and new communication services finalised draft texts on: protection of children’s dignity, security and privacy with regard to the traces they leave when creating content on the Internet; management of the digital dividend (spectrum capacity freed due to digital broadcasting following switchover from the more spectrum-thirsty analogue transmission) and the need to take due account of the public nature of this resource and the public interest in its management; freedom of expression and filtering measures on the Internet; and the independence and functions of regulatory authorities of the broadcasting sector. These texts will be examined by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in the coming weeks.

The CDMC also pursued discussion on, and noted emerging agreement as to, the desirability of a specialised mechanism designed to promote the implementation in practice of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Council of Europe freedom of expression and media related standards. It also considered desirable to resume work discontinued in the late 1990s and to elaborate a Council of Europe Convention on the protection of the neighbouring rights of broadcasting organisations (following a WIPO deadlock in negotiations on the subject). The pursuit of work on these two fronts will be conditional upon Committee of Ministers decisions.

Council of Europe launches game for children in thirteen languages and participates in Safer Internet Day 2008

(12/02/08) The game Wild Web Woods, translated into thirteen languages, has been developed to help children learn the rules of internet safety in a fun format. The game, mainly for children aged between 7 and 10, has been developed in the spirit of the organisation's "Building a Europe for and with children" programme. It is a fundamental step in the Council of Europe’s efforts to curb the grooming of children by abusers through the internet, following the principles of the recently-launched Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.

In the framework of the "Safer Internet day", Deputy Secretary General Maud de Boer-Buquicchio also published a message on the blog created for this occasion. At the same time, the Media and Information Society Division has today launched a new website on Internet literacy.

New signature for the European Convention on Transfrontier Television

(04/02/08) On 30 January 2008, Montenegro signed the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (CETS No. 132). This Convention is the first international treaty creating a legal framework for the free circulation of transfrontier television programmes in Europe, through minimum common rules, in fields such as programming, advertising, sponsorship and the protection of certain individual rights.

It entrusts the transmitting States with the task of ensuring that television programme services transmitted comply with its provisions. In return, freedom of reception of programme services is guaranteed as well as the retransmission of the programme services which comply with the minimum rules of the Convention.