w Overview
w Security
w Openness
w Health
w Access
w Human Rights - Democracy
w Diversity
w Critical internet


Rights of Internet users


Internet Governance Strategy


Unlimited connections - A brochure for young people

Human rights guidelines for Internet service providers

Human rights guidelines for online games providers

Calendar of events and meetings

"Our Internet -
Our Rights,
Our Freedoms"


w EuroDIG

w United Nations/Internet Governance Forum


News 2011


[17 November 2011] "Our Internet - Our Rights, Our Freedoms". Council of Europe Conference in Vienna

A high level conference organised by the Council of Europe and the Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs of Austria on the theme “Our Internet – Our rights, Our freedoms” will take place in Vienna on 24 and 25 November.
Council of Europe member states, the private sector, parliamentarians, civil society and the Internet community will look for ways to give better protection to human rights, democracy and the rule of law online.

·What are the legal standards needed to protect privacy online effectively?
·How can interference or harm to the Internet affect rights such as freedom of expression and information?
·What are the next steps in fighting cybercrime?
·How should children be empowered to use the Internet safely?
·How can users be empowered to exercise their rights

More information


[3 November 2011] United Kingdom Chairmanship of the Council of Europe

The UK takes over the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for six months on 7 November; the government published its chairmanship programme on Wednesday, 26 October.

Extract of the programme:

D – Internet governance, including freedom of expression on the Internet
The UK strongly supports an open internet, not only in terms of access and content but also freedom of expression. Our Chairmanship will work towards the adoption of the Council of Europe Internet governance strategy by the Committee of Ministers. We will also give impetus to the principles that the Council of Europe has developed to uphold freedom of expression on the internet and provide support to other initiatives, to ensure that all member states live up to their international obligations in this area.”


[27 October 2011] "Our Internet - Our Rights, Our Freedoms". Towards the Council of Europe strategy on Internet governance 2012-2015

Hosted and organised by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of Austria together with the Council of Europe
Vienna Diplomatic Academy, 24 and 25 November 2011

The background to and aim of the Conference - which is open to people with a professional interest in the Internet - is the elaboration of a new four-year Council of Europe strategy to advance the protection and respect for human rights, rule of law and democracy on the Internet.

More information


[23 September 2011] Council of Europe calls for state cooperation to respond to disruptions to the Internet

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has adopted two recommendations and two declarations that call on states to uphold free speech online, including when it is threatened by disruptions or interferences to the Internet. In a Recommendation on the protection and promotion of the universality, integrity and openness of the Internet the Committee laid 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.


[20 September 2011] Maximising rights, minimising restrictions in cyberspace

Rights should be maximised and restrictions minimised while protecting the Internet from disruptions, protecting human rights online and fighting cybercrime. This will be the key message of the Council of Europe at the 6th Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which the UN is organising in Nairobi from 27 to 30 September.
Access to the Internet has become a pre-condition for people’s freedom of expression and ability to assemble and participate in public life. However, the Internet is exposed to threats; international cooperation is needed to address them. How can states, companies and civil society cooperate to protect users´ freedom, privacy and security in order for them to trust and feel safe on the Internet?
The Council of Europe will present its work to answer these questions and is organising four workshops and an open forum, and is supporting a session on the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG). Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General, will participate in several meetings, including the opening ceremony.
Press release
Special file


[21 July 2011] Conciliate respect for private life and right to information

You go somewhere, you buy something, you apply for a job, you pay your bills : you live ... and at each of those moments of your life, your personal information is used, collected, processed. In order to protect your right to private life, with regard to the automatic processing of your personal data, the Council of Europe drafted the "Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data".

Press kit


[6 June 2011] Fourth EuroDIG: multistakeholder dialogue on Internet governance must be further strengthened

The fourth "European Dialogue on Internet Governance” conference, EuroDIG 2011, finished with a broad support of participants to further strengthening the multistakeholder dialogue model for Internet governance, based on the understanding that it is the only way to effectively address the challenges the Internet brings to public policy. Participants stressed that events such as the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and the EuroDIG  - with its concept spreading to regional and national levels - are already influencing decision making. (more)

EuroDIG website


[13 April 2011] Council of Europe - Internet Freedom Conference - Strasbourg (France) - 18 and 19 April 2011

How to guarantee Internet freedom? What are the principles for this freedom? What could be the global legal framework for this freedom? Who are the relevant stakeholders of such a freedom and what are their respective roles?
These questions will be addressed by the Council of Europe Conference: Internet Freedom – From Principles to Global Treaty Law? (Programme, Registration, Information)


[15 March 2011] The religious dimension of intercultural heritage; private information on the internet, 18 March, Paris (France)

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Committee on Culture, Science and Education

During its meeting, the committee will hold an exchange of views with leading academics on “Privacy and the management of private information on the internet and other online media” in the framework of a report by Andreja Rihter (Slovenia, SOC). Other topics on the agenda include access to and protection of the audiovisual cultural heritage, reform of the Parliamentary Assembly, and the Council of Europe Museum Prize. Draft agenda (PDF)


[23 February 2011] 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 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. Both texts will be supplemented by 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. Read more


[8 February 2011] Safer Internet Day: Stopping sexual predators using Internet to solicit children

"We must ask ourselves whether we are doing enough to protect children on the Internet. Child pornography and grooming of children for sexual purposes are crimes that can be prevented and have to be prosecuted. I call upon the internet community to join our "one in five campaign" and work together to put a stop to sexual violence against children including through intensive awareness raising efforts", said Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, to mark Safer Internet Day on 8 February. (more)

Children and the Internet: safe surfing
Website ==> INSAFE


[2 February 2011] The protection of journalists' sources

In its Recommendation 1950 (2011), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recalls that the free exercise of journalism is enshrined in the right to freedom of expression and information, which is guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5) ("the Convention"). This right constitutes the foundation of a democratic society and an indispensable requirement for its progress and the development of every individual. Link to Recommendation


[28 January 2011] Data Protection Day: guaranteeing individuals' privacy rights

The annual Data Protection Day aims to give people the chance to understand what personal data is collected and processed about them and why, and what their rights are with respect to this processing.
Today we mark the 30th anniversary of the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (“Convention n°108”).

“Confronted with the challenges raised by the rapid development of information technology, privacy rights matter more than ever. The Data Protection Convention has been a key tool ensuring this right for 30 years and must be adapted to ensure this for the next 30 years as well,” Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland said, emphasising “the need for a truly international framework that is human rights based, flexible, transparent and inclusive.”

Link to video
Link to Press release


[27 January 2011] The Internet Literacy Handbook now available in Armenian

The Internet Literacy Handbook, intended for parents, teachers and young people, is a guide to getting the most out of the Internet and how to protect privacy on websites and social networks. Since the first publication in 2006, the handbook has been updated. It is available in more than 10 languages and in different formats: flash, HTML, PDF and a printed edition (link). The Armenian HTML version was prepared by Media Education Center with the support of World Vision. Link to Armenian HTML version


News 2010

[30 November 2010] Council of Europe adopts recommendation on profiling and data protection

The council of Europe Committee of Ministers has adopted a new recommendation on profiling and data protection, the first text to lay down internationally-agreed minimum privacy standards to be implemented through national legislation and self-regulation.
Profiling is the technique of observing, collecting and matching people’s personal data online, which can now be performed easily, rapidly and invisibly with new communications technology.
Profiling techniques can benefit both individuals, the economy and society by, for instance, leading to better market segmentation or permitting an analysis of risks and fraud. However their use without precautions and specific safeguards could severely damage human dignity by unjustifiably depriving individuals from accessing certain goods or services. (more)


[27 September 2010] The council of Europe at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

“Internet should be a space of freedom, justice and democracy”, said Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General, at the opening of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held in Vilnius (Lithuania) from 14 to 17 September.  (more)


[17 June 2010] EuroDIG 2010 - Messages from Madrid

The European Dialogue on Internet Governance is an open platform to promote multi-stakeholder dialogue on the operation and functioning of the Internet.

The Messages from Madrid are not a negociated text. They have been put together by the rapporteurs in consulation with the organising teams of each plenary and workshop session and serve as key messages from Europe into the global debate.
Link to Messages from Madrid