Media - Freedom of expression and information

 Committee of experts on protection of journalism and safety of journalists (MSI-JO)

Activities
STANDARD-SETTING
  Steering Committee (CDMSI)
  Bureau of the Committee (CDMSI-BU)
  Former Steering Committee (CDMC)
  Former Bureau of the Committee (CDMC-BU)
  Committee of Experts on Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists (MSI-JO)
  Committee of Experts on cross-border flow of Internet traffic and Internet freedom (MSI-INT)  
CONVENTIONS
  Transfrontier Television
  Conditional Access
COOPERATION
  Legal and Human Rights Capacity Building
FORMER GROUPS OF SPECIALISTS
  Rights of Internet Users
  Information Society
  New Media
  Public Service Media Governance
  Cross-border Internet
  Protection Neighbouring Rights of Broadcasting Organisations
  Media Diversity
  Public service Media
 
Events
  Conference Freedom of Expression and Democracy in the Digital Age - Opportunities, Rights, Responsibilities, Belgrade, 7-8/11/2013
  Conference "The Hate factor in political speech - Where do responsibilities lie?", Warsaw18-19 September 2013
  Conference of Ministers, Reykjavik - Iceland, 28-29 May 2009
  European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG)
 
Documentation
  Conventions
  Committee of Ministers texts
  Parliamentary Assembly texts
  Ministerial Conferences
  Publications
  Translations
 
Useful links

    NB_CE
    Committee of Experts on

    Rights of Internet Users
    (MSI-DUI)

    MSI-DUI (2012)07
    29/11/2012

    2nd Meeting - 13 to 14 December 2012 (Strasbourg, Agora, Room G05)
    Compilation of responses to questionnaire
    As of 29 November 2012

    1. The MSI-DUI agreed at its last meeting to address the following questions to their communities:
    What Internet-user problems adversely affecting human rights/user rights have you/your networks encountered?

          o Which specific human rights/user rights were challenged?
          o What practical and/or legal action was taken to address the problem?
          o Was the problem resolved?
          o What remedies, if any, were granted? In your opinion, were they effective in responding to the human rights/user rights challenged? If not, what remedies/measures would be desirable?

    2. Inputs, comments and responses to these questions are collated in this document.
    Input from Mr Alexander Borisov

    Preliminary comments.
    It took more time than could be expected to identify the cross-section of professional opinion in Russia on questions outlined in the questionnaire. All in all 2 professional conferences and a workshop were visited and about 10 IT practitioners were interviewed. Still the responses are rather contradictory and ambivalent and one may say typical for a pluralist society without a single “party line”. A popular perception of the establishment is that in a democratic society rights, including rights of internet users, must go hand in hand with responsibilities while the professional internet community takes a stronger stand for social media freedoms without outside regulations or with minimum state involvement. In a balance it hardly can be concluded that some basic/fundamental rights of net users such as right to free access, freedom of expression in internet or privacy of users have been adversely affected in any significant or openly discussed manner.
    1/ There is an attempt brewing in the Russian legislative body (the State Duma) to challenge the right of anonymity in internet ( provided we agree that anonymity is indeed a “right” and not an established practice as in some CoE member-countries). When last time I visited Rome I had to present my passport in a café to get online. Some legislators are strong proponents of the idea that there should not be any anonymous accounts in social media or nick-named blogs etc.
    2/ A more heated professional discussion in Runet is going on concerning so called “ black lists” of malicious web-sites with content of propaganda of drugs and drug-trafficking , child pornography and child abuse, violence and propaganda of suicides. Federal Law 139 was recently adopted (effective as of 1 November) to this extent titled “On protection of minors from information harmful to their health and development”. Some people especially among opposition are inclined to interpret the law as a way to censorship.
    3/Though the problem has been resolved based on a compromise between the authorities and the public or civil society. It is the public or internet users themselves who must alert the state supervisory body of the malicious content discovered in the net and broadly recognized as such to be over a short period of time blacklisted and exempted by the providers voluntarily.
    4/As regards the remedies and their effectiveness or desirability of introducing new ones it should be noted that all sides (legislators and internet users) strive to find the optimum balance of major interests – commercial, users’, government’s etc, to settle the problems and meet the challenges as they occur on a consensual basis with due regard to basic rights of internet users. There is a clear understanding “at the top” that internet freedom is a very explosive issue in modern society and it is much better and safer to find middle ground and reconcile opponents than to restrict and outlaw.
    What Internet-user problems adversely affecting human rights/user rights have you/your networks encountered?
    Illegal content sharing and running websites promoting harmful social practices have been puzzling Russia‘s internet, so called “Runet”, for many years now, with child pornography and suicide HOW-TOs being the most notable examples. In the “deep internet” supply kept meeting demand in the drug and arms trafficking via such programs as Tor. Financial frauds, including money laundering , and organized DoS and DDoS attacks have also been an indivisible part of Russia’s Internet.

      · Which specific human rights/user rights were challenged?

    All of the abovementioned can be referred to as undesirable social phenomena fundamentally breaching human rights, such as the Right to life, the Right of children to enjoy social protection, the Right to own property, etc. As such they should be dealt with by Governments and respective bodies no matter where their promotion takes place – be it the internet or social media.

      · What practical and/or legal action was taken to address the problem?

    With a view to this, Russia has joined numerous countries‘ and NGOs‘ (incl. the Internet Watch Foundation‘s) efforts in making Internet safer tool to work with, especially for children. On July 18 this year, the Bill #89417-6 was approved by the Council of Federation that authorized a surervising body, Roskomnadzor, to blacklist websites upon a relevant request. Following the bill, the federal law of Russian Federation 139-FZ of 2012-07-28 “On Amendments to Federal Law On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation” was introduced and later implemented. Following an October decree, the „Unified register of domain names, Internet web site names and network addresses enabling to identify Internet sites containing information prohibited to disseminate in Russian Federation“ was launched in November, which stimulated an intensive public and expert discussion on user rights and ensuring their security.

    It should not be overlooked that the new law was partly elaborated by users themselves through the Safe Internet Initiative (along with state-run telco company Rostelekom‘s, Kaspersky AV company‘s and major mobile carriers‘ representatives). Russian users have proven themselves to care even elsewhere. Notably, certain user groups deal with child abuse directly through releasing photos and videos of alleged child-abusers.

    Interestingly, AIG has pioneered the Russian cyber insurance market when it introduced an insurance product against cyber risks just weeks ago.

      · Was the problem resolved?

    The problem was resolved just partially. The Internet has become way too complex to be subject to universally applicable restrictions. The recent measure does not really cope with the issue of virtually untraceable deep internet, which continues to exist. It also lacks the ability to cope with DDoS attacks, which have become part of a harshly competitive Russian market, in which companies seek to disable websites of others. In addition, the blacklist is said to have little or no chances to assist in eliminating online financial frauds.

    As for illegal content on specific websites, the problem was more or less resolved, both on traditional websites and social media networks. Notably, some sites (groups) on popular Russian Facebook-alike, Vkontakte, were blocked, since the blacklist allows blocking by URL along with domain name- or IP address-based blacklisting.

      · What remedies, if any, were granted? In your opinion, were they effective in responding to the human rights/user rights challenged? If not, what remedies/measures would be desirable?

    During the first days of the register, often referred to as “Russia’s Internet Blacklist”, seemingly non-harmful websites had been blocked, such as Lurkomore, Russian Wikipedia parody known for its offending content, as well as a popular file sharing website Rutracker.org. The former, Lurkomore, was banned on a request by the Russian Federal Service for Drug Control for circulating narcotics use-promoting content on some of its pages. After deletion of those pages the resource became available again, although it still raises concerns in the eyes of many. The latter, Rutracker, was blacklisted not for illegal content, as one could suggest, but for providing users with a “suicide encyclopedia”, with suicides, including organized ones, being an increasing issue of youth around Russia. After the website‘s administrators had removed the suicide-promoting information the website was delisted. These two cases are the most notable and were intensively covered by the Russian and even international media outlets. During the first three days, since the blacklist has been on, 21 web resources were unblocked (including pages on the aforementioned Vkontakte social network).

    The total amount of blocked websites reached at least a hundred just a few weeks after the blacklist was launched. To certain extent, it is possible to say that the new blacklist is an addition to an existing Federal List of Extremist Materials (since 2007), which addresses mainly materials spread on the Internet. We can expect further development in defining content illegal to own and share, e.g. via Internet.

        The vast majority of blacklisted resources were blocked because of child pornography and drug use promotion. Some suggested that the blacklist might be used to filter politically-sensitive websites but such fears are unsubstantiated.
        Multiple requests have appeared calling on blocking a Vkontakte page of Dmitry Vinogradov, a murderer of 6 referred to as Russian Breivik, whose manifesto is an example of hate speech addressed at entire mankind . Even such a contradictory page was not deleted on, even though a request by prosecutor’s office was filed. It was clearly said by Roskomnadzor that the deletion of such a page would have to be preceded by a court decision. Without a court decision, Roskomnadzor is only authorized to blacklist pages on grounds of child pornography sharing and narcotics and suicide promotion. No pages‘ deletions on political grounds were detected.
        In terms of internet freedom as now defined by Russian legislation, a few factors breached users‘ freedom and right to safe internet. When the Bill #89417-6 was discussed in the Russian Duma in July, Wikipedia became unavailable for Russian users because of its authors decision to do so in protest. Additionally, some mobile carriers, such as Vimpelcom (marketed as Beeline), were reported as not applying blacklist quickly enough, thus enabling users to browse websites officially banned in Russia. Some networks such as university networks seem to completely ignore the blacklist – perhaps for research purposes.
        In general, administrators of affected websites tend to find ways around if their respective webpages turn unresponsive to users. This was also the case of Lurkomore. After its IP address was blocked, it quickly became available through another IP address. Some users have even published list of blocked websites, while some media outlets, including an increasingly popular Ridus.ru, provided users with detailed instructions how to bypass the Russian blacklist, employing VPN tunnels, cascades of proxy servers, alternative DNS servers or the abovementioned Tor technology. Although some users suggested that such instruction would be also blacklisted, its deletion did not take place.
        While to some the blacklist may seem to be too restrictive, for some purposes, such as elementary schools, its level of filtration is not sufficient. That is why the aforementioned Safe Internet Initiative and the Pirate Party currently work up another list, a whitelist. Time to time the Safe Internet Initiative’s website is unavailable, possibly because of DDoS attacks by opposers of both, the blacklist and the proposed whitelist.
        Internet freedom is a notion way too broad to pinpoint. Right to information is undoubtedly one of the fundamental advantages of world’s democracies, especially if it comes to the Internet which has been known for anonymity for the last two decades. Absolute freedom of internet users, however, turned out to violate fundamental human rights even outside the internet and led to promoting harmful social phenomena. In terms of absolute internet freedom, the current Russian blacklist, came up with certain, although reasonable, limitation to such an absolute freedom.

    List of blacklisted website as it circulated in the Russian Internet

    Input and answers from Mr Jeremy Malcolm, Senior Policy Officer, Consumers International

    I have two responses from members of Consumers International to pass along:
    This comes from Consumer Focus, which is a UK-based member:
    What Internet-user problems adversely affecting human rights/user rights have you/your networks encountered?

      · Which specific human rights/user rights were challenged?

    Significant freedom of expression, that is the right to receive and impart information, issues we have encountered relate to:
    ·         end-user disconnection for alleged copyright infringement (as part of a graduated or three strikes schemes),
    ·         website blocking (in relation to denying all consumers access to legal content, and impact on network speeds and reliability for all consumers),
    ·         notice and takedown (again in relation to denying all consumers access to legal content),
    ·         and lack of copyright exceptions which allow for the re-use of copyright protected works (particularly in relation to exceptions for criticism, review, comment, research, parody, and user-generated content more generally).
     Significant human rights issues for consumers have also emerged in relation to internet intermediaries, namely ISPs and online hosts, and their responsibilities.
     A pressing issue are disclosure orders against ISPs and online hosts for the personal data that would help to identify a user. ISPs and online hosts frequently face requests to hand over such personal data without a court order. Large ISPs and online hosts rightly insist on a court order. However, not all ISPs and hosts subject such applications for disclosure orders to a due diligence process, meaning that they effectively consent to applications which potentially violate consumers’ rights. There is a need for all ISPs and online hosts to ensure that they scrutinise such applications, and if necessary challenge them in court, to protect the rights of their users, which include the right to privacy, due process and freedom of expression. 
    Another issue, which is primarily discussed in the context of notice and takedown, is the widespread emergence of processes whereby online hosts remove content uploaded by users on the basis of mere allegations that this content may infringe other people’s civil rights. Such as for example in relation to alleged copyright infringement and alleged libel. Notice and takedown processes have had a significant chilling effect on legitimate speech, and consumers’ right to due process is not respected.
     

·           What practical and/or legal action was taken to address the problem?

    In relation to end-user disconnection we embarked on a policy and public campaign to explain why end-user disconnection, or really the disconnection of an entire household form the internet, is a disproportionate punishment even if one member of a household was found guilty of a civil offence. In relation to influencing the jurisprudence, we intervened in the judicial review of the Digital Economy Act 2010 and to secure a recognition from the High Court that reducing or terminating consumers’ internet access falls within the right to freedom of expression, ie that there could be a chilling effect. We also raised awareness of existing case law in relation to “Sexual Offences Prevention Orders” (SOPOS), some of which included total bans on internet access, or bans on using any device that is internet enabled. These early orders were eventually over-turned in court because they were judged to be disproportionate and not necessary to protect the rights of others. SOPOS can only be imposed on individuals which have been found guilty of a criminal sex offence. Thus we highlighted that total bans on internet access as a punishment for civil offences are likely to be regarded as disproportionate by courts. We also raised awareness of the fact that if a household is denied internet access, members of this household will find it difficult or impossible to access a range of public and private services, and will find it hard to participate in economic and social life (for example finding a job). There is now an increasing political recognition that disconnecting consumers from the Internet is not a proportionate response to alleged civil offences.
     In relation to website blocking we commissioned a legal opinion on a proposal for voluntary website blocking by the BPI and MPAA. The legal opinion came to the conclusion that the proposal did indeed violate the right to freedom of expression and the right to due process. Following the submission of this legal opinion, the UK Government decided to not support voluntary website blocking in relation to alleged copyright infringement. Overall we have campaigned to raise awareness of the fact that website blocking needs to be subject to judicial oversight, so as to allow the court to consider the rights of all affected parties and ensure that freedom of expression is not unduly limited.
     In relation to notice and takedown we responded to the European Commission review, and encouraged freedom of expression NGOs to do likewise.
     In relation to a lack of copyright exceptions to fully protect the re-use of copyright protected work we have campaigned at a UK level for the widening of existing exceptions or the introduction of new exceptions. It is expected that the UK Government will make an announcement shortly on whether a parody exception will be introduced to UK copyright law, and whether the existing exceptions, for example on review and criticism, will be widened.
     In relation to disclosure orders against ISPs and online hosts we have intervened in such an application on behalf of consumers to establish appropriate case law in the UK. We are also engaging with UK ISPs and online hosts to ensure that they establish due diligence processes for such applications, and if necessary challenge such applications to protect the rights of their customers.

      · Was the problem resolved?

    Overall law, jurisprudence and policy in the UK is moving in the right direction. ECJ case law on the right to freedom of expression online has also assisted in providing greater clarity. Awareness of freedom of expression as relevant legal principle online is increasing, among political and the legal profession. However, it is fair to say that some work remains to be done in terms of explaining the applicability of human rights law in the online context to politicians, the legal profession and the general public. When we argued four years ago that the right to freedom of expression and the right to due process do apply in the online world, we met with universal ridicule. However, recognition for the applicability of human rights online has increased, we believe, in line with increasing recognition for the economic and social benefits, if not necessity, of the internet.  It is because consumers now access so many important services online that the idea of disconnecting an entire household from the Internet for alleged copyright infringement is perceived as increasingly outlandish.

      · What remedies, if any, were granted? In your opinion, were they effective in responding to the human rights/user rights challenged? If not, what remedies/measures would be desirable?

    There is an overwhelming need to reform and update statute law, for example copyright exceptions or notice and takedown processes, to ensure that consumers’ human rights are protected and respected. Online intermediaries, such as ISPs and online hosts, need to be provided with a clear legal framework, it cannot be left to such companies to protect their customers rights on an ongoing basis. Often statute law does not even allow online intermediaries to fend for their customers’ rights, even if they wanted to. In relation to notice and takedown procedures need to be clarified in statute law, which could happen at an EU level or UK level.
    Issues with disclosure orders, which in the UK rests entirely on the jurisdiction established by case law and the court’s discretion, can be addresses through new case law. However, intervention in such applications by consumer organizations required the necessary know-how and resources. 
    A key challenge in the moment is that the idea persists among many stakeholders that ISPs and online hosts can simply block, filter and remove content voluntarily. ISPs and online host receive requests for such voluntary action frequently, and such request not only come from other industries (such as the music and film industry), but also Government agencies. The challenge for consumer organizations is to work closely with ISPs and online hosts to challenge such demands. In the UK consumer groups and civil society organizations have most recently worked closely with UK ISPs and online hosts to counter demands for a “adult content” filter at network level. It is becoming increasingly clear that the “law enforcement” community in particular is looking for quick fixes and magic technologies, and they believe that ISPs and online hosts can just make a given problem, such as child abuse, go away. The challenge in the future is for consumer groups, and civil liberty groups, to work with the law enforcement community to foster a more intelligent approach that looks at tackling the root causes of a problem, rather than calling for ISPs and online hosts to block, filter and remove content. 
    This comes from the Consumer Coordination Council of India:
    What Internet-user problems adversely affecting human rights/user rights have you/your networks encountered? 
    • UNSOLICITED CALLS , SMS, MAILS VIOLATES THE RIGHT TO PEACE, PRIVACY AND SOMETIMES CHEATS THE HUMAN RIGHTS/USERS.
    • MANY E-COMMERCE WEBSITES HAVE BEEN CHEATING USERS. THEY CANNOT BE CONTACTED FOR HELP OR REDRESS. REGULATORS ARE ALSO ABSENT IN THIS AREA.
    • MANY WORKERS ARE  CHEATED BY SOME WEBSITE EMPLOYERS. AFTER TAKING THE SERVICES OF THE WORKERS THEY ARE NOT PAID THEIR FEES/WAGES. SOME WEBSITES ALSO COLLECTS INITIAL REGISTRATION FEES FROM THE WORKERS FOR GIVING THE WORKERS SOME WORKS.
    • Which specific human rights/user rights were challenged? SEE ABOVE
    • What practical and/or legal action was taken to address the problem? IN RESPECT OF ITEM 2 COMPLAINT HAS BEEN FILED IN CONSUMER COURT AND THE COURT HAS AWARDED COMPENSATION.
    • Was the problem resolved? NOT. COMPENSATION AMOUNT HAS ALSO NOT YET BEEN PAID 
    • What remedies, if any, were granted? In your opinion, were they effective in responding to the human rights/user rights challenged? If not, what remedies/measures would be desirable? TO SOME EXTENT SATISFACTORY. BUT THERE SHOULD BE PUNITIVE DAMAGES AGAINST THE E-COMMERCE WEBSITES COMMITTING UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES.

    Input received from Ms Eva Kushova

    The most common problem raised by internet users in Albania is insecurity of their data protection.
    There are three main bodies that accept claims from internet users: 1. Consumer Protection Commission (Office), Commissioner for Persona Data Protection (independent body established by parliament) and State Police.

    1. The Office for Consumer Protection, this year received about 18 complains, but this complains were not accompanied with evidence and facts, and this make impossible to treat them in legal way. Citizens claim that in the internet cafés, administrators or owners have illegal power to control their personal data. So they claim for their personal data stolen. No legal procedures have been followed on these cases.

    2. Commissioner for Personal Data Protection, which also receives claims from citizens for their personal data, by filling special forms online, or by calling in telephone numbers for citizens provided by this body. This institution for this year had received about 15 complains, on the following issues: lack of confidentiality of personal data, illegal publication of personal data, distribution of their personal data from service providers etc. These cases have been treated according to the law for protection of personal data, which authorizes this Body to force companies to protect personal data of internet users. A special case: A former employee left the job and even though he was not working anymore in a certain company, it still has in its web page the photo and personal data of the former employee. After his complain, the Commissioner for Personal Data protection inspected the office of company and asked it to fix the problem. The controller (the company) agrees to delete immediately the data of the former employee, without application of fines toward that company from the Commissioner for Personal data protection.
    This body also have received complains for spam’s and cybernetic viruses and also for the creation of false profiles in the social network Facebook. But in this case is impossible for this body to interfere because Facebook is situated outside our territory and the only thing this body can do is to raise awareness for all citizens how to protect their privacy while using social networks. Several brochures and leaflets are published such as: Information on spam E-mails, or Guidelines how to use social networks, how to protect privacy in that cases, etc.

    3. The third body is State police, where internet users complain mostly about their problems especially regarding threats through Facebook or Emails. Some internet users complained that some people produce their mounted photo or video and pressure them to publish in exchange of money. These cases were treated in accordance with Criminal Code for computer falsification crime.
    Other complains are related to: computer frauds, illegal computer interference, stolen of identities in internet, and breaking of passwords, etc. In total, only for this year Albanian state police has treated about 55 cases. At least 15 perpetrators have been detected and only 3 of them are arrested (for the others there were not sufficient facts or evidence). Internet users complains that in their email address received messages which offer an amount of money (fictive lottery), and many people are deceived. State police treat these cases in compliance with Penal Code (Cyber Crimes articles). Also police interfere when there are indications of racist or xenophobic claims in social network and treat these cases on CoE Convention on cybercrime ratified from Albania.
    Children Pornography in the internet is also a special case treated by police, folowing the internet users complains. These cases consisted on distributing or exchanges photos of adults with children in the internet.

    4. Ombudsman or People Advocate in Albania has received no case regarding claims from internet users for violation of their human rights.

    5. The most important body regarding electronic communications is Electronic and Postal Communications Authority (AKEP in Albanian), which is the regulatory body in the field of electronic communications and postal service. This body supervises the regulatory framework defined by the law on electronic communications, by the Law on postal service and the development policies, defined by the Council of Ministers. But this body treats only complains towards companies or service providers for violations of contracts with citizens, speed of internet etc, and force companies to obey the rules or contract they have with internet users.

    6. The Ministry for Information, Communications Technology and Innovation in Albania also has raised awareness for protection of vulnerable groups in internet, In collaboration with Ministry of Education, it has asked schools to filter programs in computer schools, forbidding such programs such as facebook, youtube etc.
    Under the Ministry is established ‘The National Agency for information society’ is dedicated for safer internet in Albania, undertaking a lot of activities on raising awareness of different interesting groups: schools, families, financial institutions, business companies, consumer associations, IT association etc; and supervising and filtering the information spread through Internet network in schools to avoid risks that might come by using Internet;

    Input received from Mr Gry Hasselbalch 

    With reference specifically to the rights of the child as enshrined in the UN Convention of the Child respectively their rights to be protected from harm etc. and more generally the fundamental rights to FoE, Privacy etc. as enshrined in the ECHR, UDHR as well as the Convention of the Rights of the Child.

    I can only answer in a more general manner, but hope to point towards a problematic slide in the prioritizing of fundamental rights of internet users. I am not representing the organization I work for in this answer.

    With the introduction of the internet there has been a slide in the prioritizing of fundamental human rights primarily caused by the positive obligations of states in regards to the rights of the child.
    In a networked environment based on open access and interaction, a state’s positive obligations to protect minors will often have precedence over their obligations to protect the right to freedom of expression and privacy. This can have chilling effects on 1) the general rights of users to FoE and privacy 2) the rights of minors to the same.

    Two examples from ECHR case law can be used to exemplify how the application of human rights principles to the open access network and online user conduct have prioritized a somewhat “absolute” concept of minors’ rights to the protection from harm at the expense of fundamental rights to privacy, FoE and other civic, social and cultural rights. In Perrin against the UK a French national residing in the UK was sentenced to 30 months in prison under the UK Obscenity Act 1959 for making “obscene material” available online to minors in the UK. The applicant saw this as a transgression of his right to FoE. However, the ECHR regarded the criminal conviction necessary in a democratic society as a measure put in place to protect the morals and rights of minors. The ECHR emphasized that the government had not exceeded its margin of appreciation when prosecuting and convicting the applicant, because the images were freely available to anyone surfing the net including minors.
    In KU v. Finland, an anonymous person had placed a fake ad of a 12 year old boy on a website effecting several sexual advances to the boy. However, the identity of the person who had placed the ad could not be obtained from the ISP due to the domestic legislation in place at that time (“malicious misrepresentation” was not stipulated as an offence that gave the police a right to obtain the identification data from the ISP). The ECHR held that the state had failed its positive obligations when not providing an efficient legislation to protect the physical and moral integrity of a minor online (§ 43) and emphasized the greater importance of the state's positive obligations in regards to the protection of minors (criminal law provisions through effective investigation and prosecution) (§ 46). Importantly, the case illustrated the ECHR expectations’ to a state party’s response to the specifically anonymous potential for acts of crime that the internet had introduced. The government had failed to respond to this technological progress by not putting in place a system to protect children online (§48). It was further accentuated that the right to freedom of expression and privacy is not absolute online and that it is the legislators’ task to provide the framework for reconciling the various claims which compete for protection in this context (§49).

    These are of course older cases. But they are precedent for the present day development of child protection policies and initiatives. A number of recent national cases illustrate how this positive obligation of states to reconcile the claims for protection, have resulted in the prioritizing of one set of rights at the expense of others. One response has been to put pressure on intermediaries to take on, almost in its entirety, the responsibility of the protection of children from harm. This has e.g. resulted in a number of sporadic and uncoordinated self-regulatory initiatives which at times include heavy monitoring and restriction of youth and adults’ communication, because when pushed to act as at the same time police, judge, jury and executioner, private companies’ will increasingly end up policing our communication in a way that is often much stricter than the actual law.
    Input from Mr Ole Olsen, Danish UN Association

    An answer:
    For my part, living in Denmark, my main concerns is about monitoring of my use of IT-tecnology, where it is not clear for me, what exacly is happening.
    One element is if my work and viewpoint is followed by some kind of intellegence service, interpreting thing in a – maybe – wrong context.
    Another element is possible commercial use of my traffic at internet etc. Does private enterprises find out if im am interested in specific topics and take the change to come up with offers.
    So my maim problem is confidence. Better information is needed about what is happening “behind the screens”
    At my saleried work, at lot of IT-service is blocked. However, I won’t call it violation of humans rights, even it is maybe stipid to prohibit access to professional networks.
    Input from Nils Mulvad, Chairman of Åbenhedstinget, Denmark

    On behalf of Oluf and Åbenhedstinget, I can tell:
    We have big problems getting access to data from the authorities to inform the citizens on important issues. Especially we have been working to get environmental data. The cases are running as complaints, often ending at the Danish Ombudsmand. Normally after a long period we will win the single case, but next time very often everything starts again. The authorities try to stop access and FOI on a broad scale.
    Input from Mr Pernille Tranberg, journalist and author of FakeIT

    Questions:

    - What Internet-user problems adversely affecting human rights/user rights have
    you/your networks encountered?

    The fact that you HAVE to give you real identitity to Facebook and Google Plus to
    participate in the worlds two leading social networks. It is preventing me from being
    anonymous which I consider a fundamental human rights within the right to privacy.
    Because these two networks does not give you a chance to participate with a
    pseudonym (I do it anyway and many other does but they close down you account
    when they find out). Further, both networks track you both on their own sites but also
    on external sites and does not give you chance to e.g. participate and pay in stead of
    being tracked. It should be an offer they gave us: We dont track you, we dont “serve”
    you with ads and we dont sell any info about you to anybody if you pay for our
    services.

    o Which specific human rights/user rights were challenged?
    right to privacy

    o What practical and/or legal action was taken to address the problem?
    nothing. I just breach their contract when signing up

    o Was the problem resolved?
    no, they can throw me out anytimes

    o What remedies, if any, were granted? In your opinion, were they effective
    in responding to the human rights/user rights challenged? If not, what remedies/measures would be desirable?

    nothing