The Council of Europe works with its 47 member states, the private sector, civil society and other actors to shape an Internet based on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It aims to ensure that the Internet provides a safe and open environment where freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, diversity, culture, education and knowledge can flourish.

To achieve this goal, the organisation has created international conventions in fields such as cybercrime, personal data protection and the protection of children. It also develops model legislation – via recommendations to its member states – and guidelines for private sector Internet actors.

The key pillar for the protection of human rights online is the European Convention on Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights, which rules on applications alleging violations of the Convention, has already delivered landmark judgments concerning the online environment, in particular in connection to the right to freedom of expression and to access to information, and the right to privacy.

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Data Protection Day

Council of Europe 28 January 2019 Strasbourg

New guidelines on artificial intelligence

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Council of Europe to take part in Internet Governance Forum in Paris

Council of Europe 7 November 2018 Strasbourg

A Council of Europe delegation will take part in discussions to be held at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) at UNESCO headquarters in Paris from 12 to 14 November, under the heading of “Internet of Trust”. Throughout the Forum, which will bring together representatives of governments,...

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Tackling hate speech in the media: Zagreb conference

Council of Europe 5 November 2018 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe and the Croatian Agency for Electronic Media are organising a conference on 6 and 7 November in Zagreb (Croatia) to discuss the different ways European states have regulated hate speech, and specifically the measures to tackle it taken by national regulatory authorities, the...

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Multimedia Multimedia

Safety of journalists, bloggers and other media workers


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Focus Focus

Human Rights of Internet Users

The Council of Europe has created a guide for Internet users to help them better understand their human rights online and what they can do when these rights are challenged.

Generally, these rights are set out in the terms of service of Internet companies, which are mostly lengthy legal contractual conditions which are seldom read and even more seldom fully understood.