Internet governance


Council of Europe triggers debate on ICANN & Human Rights

 The Council of Europe facilitated the preparation of a report by Dr Monika Zalnieriute and Thomas Schneider on ‘ICANN’s procedures and policies in the light of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democratic values’. The opinions expressed in the report are the opinions of the experts and do not engage the responsibility of the Council of Europe. The report was presented during the ICANN50 meeting in London that took place from 22 to 26 June 2014. It aims at catalysing community discussion on human rights and internet governance. It is expected that the debate continues at ICANN51. During the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul from 2-5 September 2014, a side meeting will be held on the report, to present the report to the public at large and have an open and inclusive dialogue and exchange of ideas. We welcome comments on the report to enrich the debate.

For more information, see: http://www.coe.int/t/informationsociety/icann-and-human-rights.asp.

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Conference on "Shaping the digital environment - ensuring our rights on the Internet"

(27/01/2014) Austria will organise within the framework of the Austrian chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe a Conference entitled “Shaping the Digital Environment – Ensuring our Rights on the Internet”.

The Conference will take place on 13 and 14 March 2014 in Graz (Austria) and will be held in the Aula of the Old University. It will look at the current challenges and responses to make the internet and inclusive and people-centred space in the follow-up of the Council of Europe Internet Governance Strategy 2012-2015, adopted in 2012. It will also discuss challenges and best practices in the light of recent developments in the field of Internet governance and address inter alia:

  • privacy and self-determination on the internet
  • public interest content on the Internet
  • business and human rights – industry responses to user rights

More information is available on the conference website.


Council of Europe multi-stakeholder conference on “Network Neutrality and Human Rights”, 29 - 30 May 2013

As a follow-up to the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on network neutrality, and in the implementation of the Internet Governance Strategy 2012-2015, a multi-stakeholder conference on “Network Neutrality and Human Rights” will be held in Strasbourg, at the Agora building, Room G 06, on Wednesday 29 May (13:30-18:00) and Thursday 30 May 2013 (9:00-12:45). The working languages will be English and French.

Programme and Practical information

Uruguay accedes to the Budapest Convention

Cybercrime vignetteUruguay becomes the first non-European state to accede to personal data protection “Convention 108”. The treaty will enter into force in respect of Uruguay on 1 August 2013 when it will become the 45th state party to the convention.
State of signatures and ratifications


Compendium of human rights of Internet users

As people rely more and more on the Internet as an essential tool for their everyday activities such as communicating with friends or colleagues, searching for information to improve knowledge, watching films, listening to music or on-line shopping and banking - to mention just a few - their fundamental rights and freedoms are exposed to new challenges. Are Internet users fully informed and equipped to understand and exercise their rights online?
The Council of Europe has started work on a compendium of existing human rights for Internet users, the aim of which is to help users understand and exercise their rights when they contact  key Internet actors and governments agencies to seek effective recourse if they believe their rights have been affected . A committee of experts composed of 13 government and independent experts is preparing this compendium.

Follow the work of the Committee of experts on rights of Internet Users  


The Council of Europe and the Internet >>>>

Maximise Rights - Minimise Restrictions

The Internet has become an essential tool for many people in their everyday lives. It is imperative that people can use the Internet with freedom and confidence. The most effective way to achieve this is through the promotion and respect of the Council of Europe’s core values on the Internet with regard to its use and governance.

An open, inclusive, safe and enabling environment must go hand in hand with a maximum of rights and services subject to a minimum of restrictions and a level of security which users are entitled to expect. Freedom of expression and information regardless of frontiers is an overarching requirement because it acts as a catalyst for the exercise of other rights, as is the need to address threats to the rule of law, security and dignity.

The Council of Europe fully supports the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance which ensures that the Internet remains universal, open and innovative, and continues to serve the interests of users throughout the world

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Brochure on The Council of Europe and the Internet

Maximise rights - Minimise Restrictions leaflet