Council of Europe promotes debate on human rights of Internet users at 2014 Internet Governance Forum

The organisation will also present a report analysing the human rights dimension of ICANN´s role and making proposals to address it.

Strasbourg, 25.08.2014 – The Council of Europe aims to trigger a debate on how to empower Internet users´ to exercise their human rights online at the 9th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) taking place in Istanbul from 2 to 5 September.

In an open forum to be held on 3 September, the Council of Europe will address this issue and explore how to apply a Guide to human rights for Internet users which was adopted by the 47 member states of the organisation on 16 April. The forum aims to identify ways to promote the use of the guide by users, governments, Internet operators and civil society organisations.

The Council of Europe is also organizing a side meeting to present and discuss a report on ICANN´s procedures and policies in the light of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democratic values. The report concludes that ICANN´s current rules for new gTLDs do not fully comply with freedom of expression and privacy standards and contains recommendations on how to address this.

At the IGF, the Council of Europe will organise or co-organise workshops on the following topics:

Frameworks for developing countries’ cybercrime cooperation.  Developing countries face serious challenges with respect to the investigation and prosecution of cybercrime, especially obtaining evidence admissible in legal proceedings from developed countries. The workshop will examine how developing countries can achieve international cooperation against cybercrime through legal frameworks.

Aligning ICANN Policy with Privacy Rights of Internet Users- What obligation does ICANN have to align its policies with international standards for data protection? How is legal privacy protection treated in ICANN’s policies? This workshop will seek to answer these questions and specifically discuss European data protection requirements in comparison with ICANN policy.

Institutionalizing the “Clearing House” Function. This workshop will discuss if there is a need for a global institution to which governments and other stakeholders can turn to for accessible and usable information on policy and best practices, to help identify Internet governance forward-looking solutions.

ICANN Globalization and the Affirmation of Commitments. In the context of ICANN’s globalisation efforts and the US Department of Commerce´s announced desire to transition its role regarding the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community, this workshop will explore future arrangements to promote globalisation and multistakeholderism while preserving the security, stability and unity of the Internet, and ICANN´s legal status relationships.

Network Neutrality: a Roadmap for Infrastructure Enhancement. This workshop will discuss if the market alone is able to provide appropriate answers to network enhancement in accordance with the network neutrality principle, and how governmental policies can promote private investments in network enhancement without impinging upon network neutrality.

The members of the Council of Europe delegation will also participate in meetings of the network neutrality and platform responsibility Dynamic Coalitions, and as panellists in a number of workshops and in the plenary sessions.