Internet governance

w Overview
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w Health
w Access
w Human Rights - Democracy
w Diversity
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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


Newsletter N° 1 - March/April 2011


The Internet is one of the greatest liberating forces of our age, making information and global communications accessible to anyone who can log on to the World Wide Web. It is overtaking other forms of communication and making it easier for us to transact. Unfortunately it can also be used to perpetrate crimes or knowingly peddle misinformation.
The Council of Europe is working with its 47 member states to make sure the Internet provides a safe and open environment where freedom of expression, democracy, diversity, education and knowledge can flourish. We are also helping national and international organisations stop the use of the Internet for trafficking in human beings, terrorist recruitment, and other forms of cybercrime.

The Council of Europe is actively cooperating with other stakeholders involved in the Internet. It has developed a complementary approach to its work on the Internet by jointly developing projects with the private sector, governments and other organisations. In 2007 it developed human rights guidelines for the European Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and for the providers of online games. In 2008 guidelines were prepared to strengthen co-operation between the police and criminal justice authorities and ISPs in the investigation of cybercrime. The Organisation promotes and supports the global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) the regional European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG), and is an observer to the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Journalism Ethics and Self-regulation in Europe: New Media, Old Dilemmas
27 January 2011, UNESCO

In his opening session statement at the UNESCO Conference “Journalism Ethics and self-regulation in Europe: new media, old dilemmas”, Jan Kleijssen, Director of Standard Setting in the Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs of the Council of Europe, pointed out that 

“The importance of new media actors in our society is increasing. So is the need for certainty about their rights and responsibilities. Every effort has to be made to ensure that freedom of expression and freedom of the media, and Internet freedom, are preserved. At the same time, duties and responsibilities should be assumed.
This is why the Council of Europe is currently finalising a recommendation which proposes that governments of our 47 member states base their media policy and legislation on a new, broad notion of media. The recommendation will give practical guidance on how Council of Europe standards, that were developed for traditional forms of mass communication, could apply to new media.”

==> Opening session statement, Jan Kleijssen

European Dialogue on Internet Governance 2011

The fourth edition of EuroDIG will take place in Belgrade on 30-31 May 2011. EuroDIG 2011 is being hosted by the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society of the Republic of Serbia, with the support of the Council of Europe, the Swiss Federal Office of Communication (OFCOM), DiploFoundation, and a number of other stakeholders.

EuroDIG is an open platform for informal and inclusive discussion and exchange on public policy issues related to Internet governance between stakeholders from all over Europe. This dialogue helps all the actors to best practice on the issues to be discussed at global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) meetings, increase visibility and promote European values. Topics to be addressed include data protection, cybersecurity and cybercrime, new media freedoms and responsibilities, critical Internet resources, ethics and corporate responsibility, hate speech and freedom of expression, identity, anonymity and privacy, digital literacy and skills, as well as new and emerging Internet services and business models. (Link to website)

Judgements of the European Court of Human Rights related to new technologies

The Press Service of the European Court of Human Rights has compiled a factsheet on the Court’s case-law and pending cases related to new technologies and to Article 8 and Article 10 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (as amended by Protocol No. 11) (more)



The Council of Europe has released a hard-hitting short film highlighting the dangers posed by those who wish to illegally obtain private data. The film shows a data intruder running through a building and downloading one victim's personal data at home, another's medical records during an examination by a doctor and a third victim's bank details during a transaction at his bank. The film ends with a reminder that the Council of Europe has a convention on data protection.
Download the video clip here ==>


The Internet Literacy Handbook

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 third version of the handbook contains 25 fact sheets:
Getting connected - Setting up websites - Searching for information – Portals – E-mail – Spam – Chat – Newsgroups - World-wide libraries - Music and images on the Internet – Creativity – Games - Distance learning - Labelling and filtering – Privacy – Security - Bullying and harassment - Shopping online - Becoming an active e-citizen - Mobile technology – Blogs - Social networking - Web 2.0 - e-Democracy - Getting assistance


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.




A cookie ( is a text file left on your computer when you visit a website. It cannot harm your computer, but will give access to information about your behaviour and interests. This can provide a more personal surfing atmosphere. For example, when registering with a website you may be greeted by name upon your return.

It is important to decide how private you want to keep your online behavior. Since cookies can be used to track usage patterns and contact information they provide a possibility for encroachment on your privacy.

You can use anti-spyware to help control the data your system is broadcasting and to clean out unwanted cookies.  (

Source: Internet literacy handbook

Freedom to connect

The freedom to be connected is also the right to be protected. 


the video
clip here 



Recommendation of the Parliamentary Assembly on the protection of journalists' sources

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").
The relevance of this Recommendation for Information society and Internet governance lies in particular in its paragraph 9, 11, 12, 13 and 15. (more)

Council of Europe Conference

Internet freedom – from principles to global treaty law?

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.

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). (more)

OSCE media freedom representative and Council of Europe hold forum on preserving freedom of Internet while countering hate speech

"The international community must work to identify effective ways to address hate speech on the Internet without endangering freedom of expression", said the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, and Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, today at the Joint OSCE-Council of Europe Open Forum on Hate Speech vs. Freedom of Expression in Vilnius. (more)


World Wide Web Foundation

A passion for the Web. An even greater passion for humanity.

International not-for-profit organisation, created by Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web and led by CEO Steve Bratt

Mission: Advance the Web to empower people


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