Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  Slideshare

  Steering Committee (CDMSI)
  Bureau of the Committee (CDMSI-BU)
  Former Steering Committee (CDMC)
  Former Bureau of the Committee (CDMC-BU)
  Committee of experts on Media Pluralism and Transparency of Media Ownership (MSI-MED)
  Committee of experts on Internet Intermediaries (MSI-NET)  
  Transfrontier Television
  Conditional Access
  Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists
  Cross-border flow of Internet traffic and Internet freedom
  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
  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)
  Committee of Ministers texts
  Parliamentary Assembly texts
  Ministerial Conferences
Useful links

Rights Theme


1. Internet access for all

1. Progressive development and social justice (guarding against reinforcement of existing inequalities)
2. The right to access to infrastructure
3. The right to the skills to use and shape the Internet
4. Inclusive design
5. The right to equal access for men and women
6. The right to affordable access
7. The right to access in the workplace
8. The right to public access
9. Cultural and linguistic diversity

2. Freedom of expression and association

1. Protection from infringement by government and non-state actors
2. The right to freedom from censorship
3. The right to engage in online protest

3. Access to knowledge

1. The right to access to knowledge
2. The right to freedom of information (e.g. from government)
3. The right to access to publicly-funded information

4. Shared learning and creation

1. The right to share, as well as protection of the interests of creators
2. The right to free and open source software (FOSS)
3. The right to open technological standards
4. The right to benefit from convergence and multi-media content

5. Privacy, surveillance and encryption

1. The right to data protection; clear privacy policies
2. The right to freedom from surveillance
3. The right to use encryption

6. Governance of the Internet

1. The right to multilateral democratic oversight of the Internet
2. The right to transparency and accessibility of governance decisions
3. The right to a decentralised, collaborative and interoperable Internet
4. The right to open architecture

7. Awareness, protection and realization of rights

1. The right to open standards
2. The right to Internet neutrality and the end-to-end principle
3. The right to the Internet as an integrated whole
4. The right to rights protection, awareness and education
5. The right to recourse when rights are violated

Rights Theme


1. Access to the Internet

a) Quality of service
b) Freedom of choice of system and software use
c) Ensuring digital inclusion
d) Net neutrality and net equality

2. Human Dignity


3. Non-Discrimination in the Enjoyment of all Rights

a) Equality of access
b) Gender equality
c) Marginalized groups and people with different needs

4. Liberty and Security

a) Protection against all forms of crime
b) Security of the Internet

5. Equality and Diversity on the Internet


6. Development

a) Poverty reduction and human development
b) Environmental sustainability

7. Freedom of Opinion and Expression

a) Right to Information
b) Freedom of Online protest
c) Freedom from prior censorship
d) Freedom from illegal blocking and filtering

8. Freedom of Religion and Belief


9. Freedom of Assembly and Association

a) Participation in Assembly and Association on the Internet
b) Freedom to set up Online Communities and freedom of online protest

10. Privacy

a) National legislation on privacy
b) Privacy policies and settings
c) Standards of confidentiality and integrity of IT-Systems
d) Protection of the virtual personality
e) Right to anonymity and to use encryption
f) Freedom from surveillance
g) Freedom from defamation

11. Data Protection

a) Protection of Personal data
b) Obligations of data collectors
c) Minimum Standards on Use of Personal Data
d) Monitoring data protection

12. Education

a) Education through the Internet
b) Education about the Internet and Human Rights

13. Access to Knowledge and Culture

a) Right to participate in the cultural life of the community
b) Diversity of languages and cultures
c) Right to use one’s own language
d) Freedom from Restrictions of Access to Knowledge by Licensing and Copyright
e) Knowledge Commons and the Public Domain
f) Free/Open Source Software and Open Standards

14. Children and Child Protection

a) Right to benefit from the Internet
b) Freedom from exploitation and child abuse imagery
c) Right to have views heard
d) Best interests of the Child

15. Work

a) Respect for Workers’ Rights
b) Internet at the workplace

16. Participation in Public Affairs

a) Right to equal access to electronic services
b) Right to participate in electronic government

17. Consumer Protection


18. Health and Social Services Online

a) Access to health-related content online

19. Legal Remedy and Fair Trial

a) Right to a Legal Remedy
b) Right to a Fair trial

20. Appropriate Social and International Order for the Internet

a) Governance of the Internet for Human Rights
b) Multilingualism and Pluralism on the Internet
c) Effective Participation in Internet Governance

21. Duties and Responsibilities on the Internet

a) Respect for the Rights of Others
b) Responsibility of power holders

22. General Clauses

a) Interdependence of all rights in the Charter
b) Non-exhaustive nature of the Charter
c) Interpretation of Rights and Freedoms of the Charter


Content of the right


Freedom of expression and information

- Right to express opinions and seek information on the Internet;
- Right to choose provider, search engine, social network etc.;
- Right to be informed about filtering and blocking measures;
- Right to control personal filtering settings;
- Right to have search results discarded only on basis of Art. 10, para. 2.

- Recourse to national courts and the ECtHR;
- Recourse to service provider/company;

Right to Online Assembly and Association

- Right to meet on the Internet
- Right to protest online;
- Right to organise online;

Complaint to competent authorities and recourse to courts and service providers.

Right to privacy and data protection

- Right to informed consent to use of data, default settings, activation of filters, data breaches and losses etc.
- Right to anonymity and to use encryption.

- Rights to complain to service provider;
- Right to complain to data protection authority or to ombuds-institution;
- Right to court procedures.

Freedom of Religion and Belief exercised on the Internet

- Right to manifest one’s religion or belief on the Internet in teaching and practice or to proselytize;
- Restrictions to be in conformity with the limitation clauses.

- Right to bring cases to competent courts;
- Right to complain to competent authorities.

Rights of the child

- Right to appropriate information on content;
- Right to relevant information on filtering;
- Right to protection from violent and other harmful content and to be informed of available tools of protection.

- Right to address authorities, helplines, police, courts.

Rights of people with disabilities on the Internet

- Right to accessible Internet;
- Right to availability and affordability of the Internet.

- Right to complain to responsible authorities/service providers.

Right to education

- Right to digital education;
- Right to access to digital educational materials;
- Right to fair use exceptions to copyright.


- Right to complain to competent authorities and courts.

Right to culture

- Right to participate in cultural life on the Internet;
- Right to use one’s own language/diversity.

Right to complain to competent authority/service provider.

Right to Online Participation in Public Affairs

- Right to equal access to electronic services;
- Right to participate in online government.

- Right to judicial procedure;
- Right to complain to competent authorities.

Right to Non-discrimination

- Right to non-discrimination in access to the Internet;
- Right to non-discrimination in enjoyment of all rights regarding the Internet including net neutrality;
- Right to gender equality and elimination of any form of discrimination against women;
- Right to special attention to the needs of marginalised groups.

- Right to address cases to competent courts and authorities;
- Right to complain to service providers.

- collection of personal data for explicit, specified and legitimate purposes and not processed in ways incompatible with those purposes;

- the right of the data subject to receive all available information on their origin as well as any other information that the controller is required to provide to ensure the transparency of data processing;

- the right to obtain knowledge of the reasoning underlying in the data processing, the results of which are applied to him/her ;

- privacy by design principle - the products and services intended for the data processing shall take into account the implications of data protection from the stage of their design and include easy-to-use functionalities allowing the compliance of the processing with the applicable law to be ensured;

1 European Training and Research Center for Human Rights and Democracy of the University of Graz

2 Internet Governance – Council of Europe Strategy 2012-2015, CM (2011) 175 final of 15 March 2012.

3 See Karen Coyle (2004), XrML – A History of Usage Rights, http://kcoyle.netXrml.html.

4 See Wolfgang Kleinwchter, Internet Principle Hype: How soft law is used to regulate the Internet, see at: http://news.dot-nxt.com/2011/07/27/internet-principle-hype.

5 Council of Europe, Declaration on Internet Governance Principles, adopted on 21 September 2011.

6 Cf. European Union, Council of Ministers, Granada Ministerial Declaration on the European Digital Agenda, agreed on 19 April 2010, http://ec.europa.eu/ceskarepublika/pdf/press/ks7rada.pdf, para. 12.

7 See Andy Woodworth (2011), The e-Book User’s Bill of Rights, The Digital Reader, http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2011/02/28/the-ebook-user%E2%80%99s-bill-of-rights/.

8 Cf. Matthias C. Kettemann, Where humor overrules hate speech and crushed limbs are "ok to show": Facebook's Content Moderation Standards leaked, 22 February 2012, http://internationallawandtheinternet.blogspot.co.at/2012/02/where-humor-overrules-hate-speech-and.html.

9 APC Internet Rights Charter (2006), http://www.apc.org/en/node/5677/ .

10 See Geneva Declaration on Internet Freedom, adopted by the Human Rights Defenders and Civil Society Representatives assembled at the 2nd Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy, March 9 2010, available at http://www.genevasummit.org/outcome/2/2010

11 See Granada Ministerial Declaration on the European Digital Agenda agreed on 19 April 2010, paras.12 and 13, available at http://ec.europa.eu/ceskarepublika/pdf/press/ks7rada.pdf

12 See http://www.praxis.ee/index.php?id=27&L=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=1252&cHash=3d6a324f64

13 See http://boingboing.net/2012/07/02/declaration-of-internet-freedo.html

14 See Nicolas Mendoza, Metal, code, flesh: Why we need a “Rights of the Internet” declaration, http//www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/02/201228715322807.html; see also We, the Web Kids, by Piotr Czerski, 15.02.2012, http://pastebin.com/0xXV8k7k and Timothy Garton Ash, Ten principles on free speech, http://freespeechdebate.com/en/media/timothy-garton-ash-at-the-brandenburg-gate/.

15 For an overview, see Matthias C. Kettemann, Ensuring Human Rights Online: An Appraisal of Selected Council of Europe Initiatives in the Information Society Sector in 2010, in Wolfgang Benedek et al. (eds.), European Yearbook on Human Rights 2011, Vienna 2011, 461-482; and Matthias C. Kettemann, Internet Governance and Human Rights in Europe, in Wolfgang Benedek et al. (eds.), European Yearbook on Human Rights 2010, Vienna 2010, 335-352.

16 See the Case studies in IV.

17 Available at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/11/58/49258588.pdf

18 Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework, A/HRC/17/31.

19 See European Court of Human Rights, Research Division, Internet: Case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, Council of Europe 2011.

20 Resolution 1843 (2011); see also Recommendation 1984 (2011) of 7 October 2011 on the Protection of Privacy and Personal Data on the Internet and Online Media and Explanatory Memorandum, by Ms. Rihter, Rapporteur.

21 Based on Andreja Rihter, Towards the Council of Europe Strategy on Internet Governance 2012-2015: Privacy on the Internet – what standards do we want?, Council of Europe Conference on “Our Internet - Our Rights – Our Freedoms”, Vienna 24-25 November 2011.

22 See http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/dataprotection/TPD_documents/T-PD_2012_04Mos.pdf

23 Directive on Privacy and Electronic Commerce, No. 2002/58/EC, amended by the “Telecom Reform Package” of 2009, Directive 2009/136/EC/to be implemented by 2011.

24 See the White House Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World, http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/privacy-final.pdf

25 See Executive Summary, ibid.

26 See http://www.ftc.gov/os/2012/03/120326privacyreport.pdf.

27 See Resolution A/HRC/20/L.13 of 2012 by the Human Rights Council on 5 July 2012, available at http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G12/147/10/PDF/G1214710.pdf?OpenElement. See also Matthias C. Kettemann, EJIL Talk of 23 July 2012.