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The role of internet intermediaries as gatekeepers to freedom of expression – Conference in Vienna

Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers Vienna 12 October 2017
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The role of internet intermediaries as gatekeepers to freedom of expression – Conference in Vienna

The role and responsibilities of internet intermediaries, which critically influence the way we receive and impart information in the digital age, will be the focus of a conference on internet freedom, organized by the OSCE and the Council of Europe in Vienna on Friday 13 October.

The function of Internet intermediaries has changed radically over the years, with increasing questions and debates surrounding their role and responsibilities toward citizens online.

While it remains the obligation of states to guarantee and protect the freedom of expression and freedom of the media, internet intermediaries are increasingly playing a critical role in shaping public discourse online, raising many questions about their potential corresponding responsibilities.

The conference will provide a space for a critical and constructive exchange on these issues and bring together key stakeholders – state and non-state actors, civil society, international organizations, academia, the private sector as well as representatives of traditional and new media.

Participants will also debate a draft recommendation on the roles and responsibilities of internet intermediaries that the Council of Europe is currently preparing.

The conference is organized by the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship and the Czech Chairmanship of the Council of Europe, in partnership with the Austrian Federal Chancellery, the Council of Europe´s Information Society and Action against Crime Directorate, and the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.

Speakers at the conference include Clemens Koja, Chairperson of the Permanent Council of the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship, Roland Faber, Deputy Director General of the Federal Chancellery of Austria, Richard Kadlcak, Special Envoy for Cyber Space of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Jan Kleijssen, Director of Information Society and Action against Crime Directorate, and Harlem Désir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.


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